Domination

 


Domination. A term we've come very accustomed to in recent years, and given how the opening rounds of this year's championship have played out, one we may not be seeing the back of any time soon. Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Is it something we need to learn to accept? Or something we should embrace?

It's a topic that sparks many a conversation, and one that often brings with it numerous arguments. And one that more often than not appears to throw all objectivity out of the window. One of the big sticking points for me is that the issue of domination frequently appears to relate more with who is dominating than the fact the sport is being lead by one team (or driver) and one team only. I think you can work out which drivers/teams I may be talking about here.

Is Mercedes' early dominance any better or worse for the sport than Red Bull's and Vettel's before it? Or Schumacher's before that? Or the glory McLaren days? Who it is shouldn't matter, but sadly in many cases, it does.

Formula 1 has always had eras when one team or driver is superior to everyone else because quite simply they are doing the best job. Every single person knows their job and is doing it better than everyone else. It's something to applaud, appreciate and more importantly, celebrate. It's the sort of greatness that we often take for granted, and maybe that's why we get 'bored' with it?

Watching a team perform at their best week in week out is brilliant. The dedication, skill and knowledge of everyone involved is truly outstanding. But can the same team winning race after race - no matter who it is - be good for the sport? For any sport for that matter?

You ask any reasonable fan of any sport; they enjoy seeing the best team/driver/sportsperson win. Of course we all have our favourites, ones that we want to win, but we appreciate and congratulate when others do a better job. It's what makes sport great, that on any day anyone can win.

The sheer number of different people, different elements and different complications that can arise over a race weekend make any Formula 1 victory a phenomenal achievement. From the outside it may look easy, straight forward and smooth sailing. It's not. Things can change in a second, particularly given the masses of new changes this year.

The way in which Mercedes have started this season is nothing short of brilliant. Quite simply they've done the best job. They've got on top of the new regulations faster than anyone else and at present look unstoppable. It may not last forever, but for the foreseeable future, they look pretty 'comfortable'. It's the responsibility of the other teams to catch up, to improve the spectacle and to make the fight for the win at the very least, a battle.

Just then, I referred to Mercedes' superb start as nothing short of brilliant. And it's true. But is it good for the sport? For the fans? As I said earlier, objectivity and willingness to listen and understand can often be thrown out depending on who it is doing the dominating.

In simple terms, Vettel's dominance last year is surely no better or worse than Hamilton's is this year? The way the four-time World Champion pummelled the opposition last year was something I've never witnessed to that degree before, and at times I literally found myself standing and applauding at the TV screen (probably looking like quite the plonker in the process). It's that level of skill, control and down right speed that makes this sport great. It's what all involved dream of, so why should we boo, be bored or switch off when it's achieved by one driver over another?

Applaud brilliance and celebrate dominance, the way it should be. For all, not some. If the past few years have taught us anything, it's that the battle behind the top positions is absolutely superb. Whether it be the battles between Alonso, Webber, Raikkonen and Hamilton of the past few years, the emergence of Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez or Valtteri Bottas in the midfield or the fight at the rear of the field; there is always something to watch.

Paul Godley 21/04/2014

Image source (and all image rights): Mercedes celebrate a 1-2 - f1fanatic.co.uk

Top Drivers

 
Driver Points
Hamilton 252
Rosberg 211
Vettel 203
Raikkonen 107
Bottas 101
Massa 97
 

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