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The Untouchables - Mercedes wrap up 2014 Constructor's Championship in Russia

Published by Christine

Mercedes wrapped up the constructor’s championship in Russia
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes wrapped up the constructor’s championship in Russia with a convincing 1-2 victory that took their tally up to 565 points and sealed their first ever team trophy. The feat has seemed underplayed, however, with just a few champagne celebrations in Russia, and the inevitable distribution of World Champion winning t-shirts. (It always irks me that teams have presumptuous t-shirts printed up, no matter how obvious the outcome.) The muted reaction to such a dominant performance is in part due to the ongoing reflections regarding Bianchi’s accident, but much of it is down to the sheer inevitability of it all.

Mercedes have led the championship since the outset of the season, and were perhaps untouchable since week three. The mathematics may have only tipped to impossible in Russia, but the trophy was certainly theirs by the time F1 headed to Europe earlier this year. It would have taken a catastrophic derailing of their campaign, or some outside influence to make a difference. Red Bull did manage to claw a little pace back, and even snatch three victories from the grasp of Hamilton and Rosberg, but it was never going to be enough.

So congratulations must be given to Mercedes. Even if the story of the championship never looked like taking a twist in any other direction, that doesn’t mean it was easy. The team have had to manage some difficult times, particularly down to fielding two increasingly competitive drivers, and they’ve mostly managed to steer the good ship Silver Arrows clear of trouble.

Much of their success and pace is down to a superior engine, and the integration that comes from being a works team certainly gives a bit of an advantage to the German squad. But others have the same engine and only started to make an impression towards the end of the season, when enough aerodynamic data had been fed back to make upgrades more meaningful. Hopefully this continues to be the case next year, as another walkover championship from Mercedes might be harder to take.

Lonely at the top

It’s an increasing problem for Formula One, this domination by one team. Red Bull had their own way for four years, and although not all of them were easy victories, 2013 was an exceptionally one-sided battle for both team and driver titles. The only way Mercedes have kept this season interesting is that they’ve allowed their drivers to race, and both are equally as competitive in completely different ways to the other. That’s been fascinating to watch, and still is, as the fight for the 2014 Driver Championship is likely to go down to the wire.

F1’s viewing figures are dropping for many reasons, and one team being consistently two seconds faster than everyone else is a key one

Mercedes did the right thing, and gained fans in the process. Now, they can let their drivers really duke it out on track, with no internal repercussions to deal with. It’s not easy to like a team that dominates so easily, even though they are doing nothing wrong. Red Bull had their time, now it is Mercedes’ turn. Hopefully, someone else can catch up in 2015, otherwise it will be another year of convincing ourselves that the fight for second place is just as interesting. F1’s viewing figures are dropping for many reasons, and one team being consistently two seconds faster than everyone else is a key one.

Take nothing away from Mercedes, though. They won fair and square, with a good engine, two very strong drivers, and a hefty management team that just about clung on to control when it mattered. They deserved the win, and the trophy, and hopefully they can enjoy the remaining three races without controversy and with the confidence of being 2014 World Champions.