Is Mercedes simultaneously making Formula 1 more and less interesting?
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team really seem to be acting like a double-edged sword for the sport.
After reflecting yesterday on the brilliance of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, I kept wondering what really made that race so special and more specifically, what do fans expect from the sport going forward. Obviously, it was a series of events that made it so exhilarating, and the race results speak for itself, but what brought about such an emotion to the fans? I think, bouncing off my words from yesterday, we may have to ironically thank the Mercedes dominance once again.
It may seem contradictory, given my view on the subject from yesterday, but for a race to feel this exciting, it almost seems an obligation for other races to appear boring in comparison. As such, the level of excitement would likely decrease if all races were as eventful as Gasly's maiden win. This then, becomes quite the balancing act. From a fan's point of view, is better to go through several "boring" races, with the constant possibility of Italian GP-levels of excitement (thus bouncing from one level extreme to the next), or is it better to stay in a sort of middle-ground area, and have all races at a slightly higher level of excitement, but risk having the thrill of races slowly depreciate? Honestly, I'm not too sure, but Mercedes' hybrid era dominance definitely gave us the former. If we weren't so used to the same race winners, the same podiums, the same cars pulling away from the crowd to an untouchable distance, yesterday's race would not have excited the entire motorsport community as it did. It became special because so many before that...weren't.
One thing is certain, I am looking forward to seeing how future race organizers react to Monza. Ferrari's overall difficulty this year, the brilliance of the younger driver generation, McLaren's return to fighting for podiums, the hardships that Mercedes are facing with midfield battles and engine cooling -- the championship will hopefully bring us many more eventful races. It's 2020 after all -- anything and everything can happen!
What do you think about the level of excitement in Formula 1? Was the 2020 Italian Grand Prix so exciting because previous races were not?