You’ll have a difficult time finding a better performance in the world of Formula One than Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes on Sunday afternoon. He nearly had a perfect race, coped with several small concerns in the cockpit, and conquered his teammate by more than 18 seconds to win the French Grand Prix. However, perfection is nothing without perspective, and with no other racer close enough to provide a decent challenge for most of the race, it’s nearly impossible to get excited about Hamilton’s fourth victory in 2019.
The French Grand Prix, in many ways, was a showcase of problems in the modern world of Formula 1. One team dominated the entire race from the start, the whole Grand Prix was decided after the very first corner, and the only excitement in the race occurred when Daniel Ricciardo overtook on the final lap only to be blotted out by the racing stewards following the chequered flag. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the storyline behind the Formula One championship in 2019 has very little left in terms of a narrative.
Why is the Formula One Season so Dull?
If Ferrari was competitive in the French Grand Prix, it’s highly likely that the focus would have been entirely different after the race ended. However, if anything, team Mercedes looked even more dominant during the race when compared to the previous races in the 2019 season. The reasons for Ferrari’s struggles are plentiful and varied. However, it essentially boils down to Mercedes being far more adaptive to changes in terms of the aerodynamic regulations as well as the construction of tyres during the winter.
What’s quite hilarious is the fact that these changes were put in place to make the racing experience for spectators better, and the racing on Sunday would have been far more tedious if they weren’t in place. If the regulations in 2018 continued for another year without being checked, the cars’ aerodynamic surfaces might have become far more complex which would have ended up in the vehicles losing performance while attempting to overtake another vehicle. However, if there’s one thing you can take from Mercedes and their dominance in 2019, is that the team is quick to adapt to new changes this year.
Mercedes vs Ferrari
Mercedes worked extremely hard to successfully adapt the aerodynamic concept from 2018 to coincide with the new rules of 2019, while the development direction of Ferrari has managed to lead the team down a dark, blinding alley. Ferrari has an advantage when it comes to engine performance compared to Mercedes, but downforce is their biggest weakness on most of the tracks this year.
Ferrari introduced plenty of upgrades to the car at the French Grand Prix to assist in the new development direction. However, it only created more questions without any real answers during the race. Will it continue to stay a one-sided affair for the rest of the 2019 season or will Ferrari find a winning direction?