Since then, the Prancing Horses have struggled to match the pace of Red Bull, and, in more recent years, Mercedes. However, as evident in other sports, all dynasties, must, at some point, come to an end. Let’s consider whether the 2020 season will signal the end for the reign of Mercedes dominance.
Hungry Drivers with Points to Prove
The general feeling throughout the Formula One world is that Mercedes are the favourites to claim their seventh consecutive title, while Max Verstappen is considered to be the Silver Arrows’ main competitor. However, with Charles Leclerc and Sebastien Vettel behind the wheels of the new SF1000, Ferrari shouldn’t be overlooked. Despite claims from Mattia Binotto, the Ferrari team principal, during pre-season testing that the Prancing Horses were slower than both Mercedes and Red Bull, there is a belief that they may not be as far behind their rivals as Binotto is suggesting.
While each driver on the grid dreams of winning the world championship, only very few will turn that life-long ambition into reality. With their current pair of drivers, Ferrari have two different characters at contrasting points of their careers. However, the goal, albeit for varying reasons, remains the same. Having claimed the championship in four consecutive seasons between 2010 and 2013, Vettel is striving for the same level of consistency that saw him equal Alain Prost’s total of drivers’ champion titles while at Red Bull. Moreover, with the German entering the final year of his Ferrari contract, there’s a sense that this is a make-or-break season for the 32-year-old, who is desperate to add another title to his already-impressive collection.
For Charles Leclerc, on the other hand, the goal is to claim his very first drivers’ championship in F1 come the end of the season. The Monegasque driver finished fourth in last season’s rankings, 24 points ahead of his teammate. Having experienced the thrill of winning as a Ferrari driver at Monza, the 22-year-old will be even more determined to go one better and secure that elusive title that has long evaded the Italian team.
A Dynasty That Hasn’t Been Matched: Could It Now End?
There can be no doubts surrounding the abilities and mentalities that the Ferrari drivers possess, but that in itself may not be enough to see them end an era of Mercedes dominance. Over the last six seasons, Lewis Hamilton has won five titles, while his 2016 teammate, Nico Rosberg, claimed the other championship. In establishing themselves as the dominant force within F1, the Silver Arrows ended the reign of Red Bull, who have since struggled to consistently compete with the Brackley-based team.
Despite numerous underwhelming performances in 2019, Ferrari have been the only team in the last six years who have shown that they are capable of taking Mercedes all the way. More importantly, they also have a driver who is capable of doing so again. In 2017, Vettel finished 46 points behind Hamilton and, if it weren’t for two DNFs in the final seven races, could have been ideally placed to end Ferrari‘s wait for a title in the closing stages of the season.
What Mercedes have done in recent years has been unprecedented within F1, as no other team in the sport’s history have been able to secure titles in six consecutive seasons. The success that the Brackley-based team has enjoyed in recent times is, however, comparable to the reign of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors between 2014 and 2019.
However, if their dominance is a sign of what’s to come, then Mercedes may soon find themselves beaten by Ferrari. Currently, the Warriors sit bottom of the Western Conference and the Toronto Raptors, who toppled them last season, are among the favourites to win the title this season with sports betting when you visit Space Casino.
A Season of Unpredictability and Excitement Awaits
At the time of writing, it remains to be seen whether Binotto’s claims regarding Ferrari‘s speed are genuine or instead part of an intricate and well-thought-out game of bluff. That said, with a culmination of the inevitable downfall of seemingly-untouched teams combined with the driving talents on show at Ferrari, Mercedes are at risk of having their dominance ended by the Prancing Horses in the upcoming season.