Is Mercedes’ drama ruining the 2014 F1 season?

Spa GP, kettle mag
Written by Holly Wade

Mercedes are once again the talk of the track. Gossip and controversy have been surrounding the team all season and there looks to be no respite for them, or us, for the foreseeable future.

Mercedes are once again the talk of the track. Gossip and controversy have been surrounding the team all season and there looks to be no respite for them, or us, for the foreseeable future.

Stormy Spa

At last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix sunshine appeared in Spa but it was stormy rainclouds that covered the Mercedes garage. And as each race progresses this season it seems to become even more tempestuous for the Silver Arrows.

Right from the first session of the season in Melbourne back in March Mercedes have excelled as a team and it was easy to pick them as favourites for the two title wins. With a current 411 points to their name, staggering compared to the other teams on the grid, Mercedes are going to win the constructor’s championship this year. There is no real doubt about that.

The fight for the driver’s title has in theory come down to both Mercedes drivers. But which one will it be that takes the crown? With seven more races still to unfold ahead of us this season it is unquestionable that Mercedes will lift that trophy but whether it will be Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton is another matter altogether.

So this brings us to the Spa debacle. It’s been plastered all across the press and the topic is still hot, all that anyone is talking about in relation to the sport. On lap 2 of the race Rosberg’s attempt to overtake Hamilton turned sour as his front wing collided with and punctured Hamilton’s left rear tyre.

Though it left the German behind, having had to change his front wing, it also left Hamilton out of the race; as the Brit limped back to the pits he returned to the track in last position and couldn’t make up the places, later retiring to save his engine.

Mercedes Showdown

Rosberg has now very much assumed the role of the pantomime villain in the theatrical show that Formula One has become. He was even booed on the podium. In turn, Hamilton is the angelic protagonist that the audience are rooting for, and he is somewhat of the underdog at Mercedes now.

Whether Nico really did collide with his teammate on purpose we will never really know but naturally bruised Hamilton swears that he did. Next week in Monza we’re expecting a Wild West style showdown, perhaps even some duelling at dawn.

Since the season began it has been obvious that the pair would be fighting for the championship title, and, supposedly friends at the start of the season, their hunger and desire for the win has now made them sworn enemies.

It was entertaining at first. There was some fantastic racing action on track in Bahrain, where Hamilton was victorious, and their tumultuous relationship was definitely entertaining. But hasn’t it all started to get just a little tiresome?

Week after week Hamilton began to experience difficulties with his car, be it a fire in qualifying or engine failure during the race and in the meantime Rosberg would win. If Hamilton was at his best, and the car was behaving itself, then the Brit would win.

Either way one of the Mercedes cars would win. And it seemed to be a repeat of the end of the 2013 season, Vettel’s string of continuous triumphs all over again, just with another team.

Ricciardo's Triumph

So now we turn to Red Bull. Vettel has yet to win a race this season but surprisingly and shockingly his teammate Daniel Ricciardo has won three, the only three that Mercedes have not.

This is big news. The four time consecutive world champion is being outraced by his younger teammate whilst he himself has done nothing of note, and what’s even more shocking is Vettel’s response. Gone is the anger of previous seasons and instead he has mellowed, even seeming happy for his teammate’s success. Totally unheard of in Mark Webber’s era.

Why isn’t this being made more of? No matter where you turn Mercedes are still front page news. Ricciardo won in Spa, but Mercedes’ constant drama has overshadowed him completely.

Even after the race the only topic on the mind of the media was Mercedes. And this is why Mercedes and their drama are ruining the 2014 season. They’ve taken over completely and left little room for discussion of anything else.

It’s been an incredibly exciting year for the younger drivers that are paving their way in the sport. Ricciardo only started at Red Bull this season and has already outperformed Vettel by miles.

Finn Valtteri Bottas scored just four points throughout the whole of the 2013 season but this year, with the help of a strong car, he’s achieved four podium finishes and a win looks set for him in the near future. Plus he’s outperformed his teammate Felipe Massa who is a veteran of the sport.

Daniil Kvyat has finished in the top ten at nearly every race for Toro Rosso, making such a mark on the team that he has retained his drive for next season whilst teammate Jean Eric Vergne has been booted out for Max Verstappen, set to be the youngest Formula One driver in history.

Mercedes' Overdomination

Aside from the controversies at Mercedes the 2014 season has a lot to be remembered for but undeniably the rivalry between Rosberg and Hamilton will be its legacy.

So apologies to the drivers doing so well this season, you’re clearly going to have to wait for your deserved turn in the spotlight. Because, for now, all that matters is the fighting and hostility in the Mercedes garage.

The bitching, the backstabbing, the brutality, it will continue like this for the rest of the season, and if Mercedes decide to keep the same pairing into 2015 then it will likely persist well into next year too.

Because whichever of the drivers loses the championship this year will be back with a vengeance.

So Mercedes, we implore you. Stop with the dramatics and just race. The fighting and bitching is getting dull now. Let’s hope the next round of inevitable on track squabbling sees both drivers left out in the cold. Ricciardo is only 64 points from the top spot and 200 more are up for grabs before the winner is crowned.

Now that’s interesting. 

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.