Button – ‘The F1 Audience is Tired of Mercedes Dominance’

Spa, Monza, Marina Bay, Sepang, Suzuka, Circuit of the Americas, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Interlagos and Yas Marina. An eclectic mix of races remaining on the 2016 calendar. The real question unfortunately remains, which of the two silver Mercedes cars of this 22-car grid will win each of the remaining races, barring a monumental f*ck up?

If you’re a fan of one of the current Mercedes drivers, you’d be laughing at the dominance that Mercedes has shown over the past few years… even if you’ve needed to install matchsticks into your eyelids to keep track of such dominance. People always reminisce romantically about the golden era of Formula One, but look! We have a double-tiered championship, like the good old days. Two drivers make up the Formula One grid, and 20 other cars are excitingly contesting the F2 class.

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's British driver Lewis Hamilton jumps from his car after winning the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 10, 2016. / AFP / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team’s British driver Lewis Hamilton jumps from his car after winning the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 10, 2016. / AFP / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s counter-intuitive to criticize the team that have taken stock of and poured a limitless budget over the regulations in recent years, to great success. What Mercedes has achieved is beyond remarkable in terms of complete dominance. This Silver Arrows era absolutely usurps the Red Bull era of 2010-2013 in that back when Red Bull were winning championships, we had several teams contesting for race wins. 8 different winners in the opening 8 races of 2012.

So, is the absolute dominance of Mercedes ruining the spectacle of the sport? It’s not Mercedes’ fault. They’re just doing their jobs very, very well. But there is something missing from the sport at the moment. I’m not even asking for the complete minnows of the sport to win a race or a podium, but an occasional shake-up in the order wouldn’t be a bad thing – And not just because both Mercedes drivers crash out…

MONTMELO, SPAIN - MAY 15: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates his first win on the podium with Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 15, 2016 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
MONTMELO, SPAIN – MAY 15: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates his first win on the podium with Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 15, 2016 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Jenson Button believes that the current hold that Mercedes have on Formula One is making fans switch off. He said,

“It’s a not a fight we’re involved with. It’s not a fight that really makes any difference to me whatsoever – who wins or who doesn’t win. For me, the important thing is we get other teams involved fighting at the front, because having just two guys in the same car fighting at the front is not what the sport needs.

It needs other manufacturers involved, other teams involved, and that’s where we’re letting the sport down by not doing a good enough job.

Races like Barcelona [this year’s Spanish GP] when Mercedes weren’t in the race, everyone loved it because there were four cars fighting for the win. That’s something we hadn’t had for three years, so hopefully we’ll have more of that in the future of Formula 1.”

– Jenson Button

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What’s to be gained from watching a two-horse race? Well, you can develop a rivalry narrative that runs for a few years. Interpret and psycho-analyze every morsel of body language as Hamilton and Rosberg sit shoulder to shoulder in the press room. Headline – ‘Rosberg rubs back of neck anxiously as Hamilton indicates mild garage rift’.

Blink and Mercedes are 168-points clear in the constructor standings after two races… Wha? That’s not even possible!? It might as well be.