A Fresh and Uncertain Start for Mercedes

With new regulations and the loss of one of their drivers, what can Mercedes do to pull it back together?

First there was the unveiling of a regulation change in F1. Then there was Rosberg’s abrupt announcement of retirement from F1. Now, Mercedes – despite being the top dog – is on shaky ground. The upcoming 2017 season will certainly be a test for them. But will it be for Hamilton?

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 03:  Top three qualifiers, Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Nico Raosberg of Germany and Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari in the Paddock during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 3, 2016 in Monza, Italy.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 03: Top three qualifiers, Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Nico Raosberg of Germany and Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari in the Paddock during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 3, 2016 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Rosberg won’t be around to light a fire under his ass and chase him round, and is there really anyone else that can step up to the plate? Some eyes, including yaboi Bernie Ecclestone’s, think that Max Verstappen might have a shot – but a slim one at that.

“Verstappen has been super. When I say nobody [can challenge Hamilton], maybe Max in that car could hurry Lewis along a little bit. The problem is a simple one: the Mercedes team, engine, everything, is perfect and they’ve got the best driver in the world.” – Bernie Ecclestone

It seems that there’s finally enough on the table to shake up the sport significantly enough. We are either on the verge of a fresh start for many F1 teams, or the way has been paved for several straight years of Hamilton/Mercedes domination. With as many new variables at play, the pendulum could really swing either way.

HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY - JULY 31: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheimring on July 31, 2016 in Hockenheim, Germany.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY – JULY 31: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheimring on July 31, 2016 in Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Whether the sport is headed into a pit or not is another debate. Personally, I feel that a shakeup would breathe new life into the spectatorship. F1 is the premier class in Motorsports. It’s a little shitty to see a lack of competition. Don’t get me wrong,  Hamilton slays out on the track – he’s proven repeatedly that he’s capable of pushing himself and the car to the limit. But after multiple years with Hamilton up on top, we’re naturally going to gravitate to wanting an upset – if but for only entertainment’s sake.