Until now it was only an abstract concept, but with every passing day the reality of Red Bull leaving F1 comes ever so slowly closer. Those with an axe to grind, those who think that a winning German driver is against the natural law of Britain, Britain über alles, will sit at home and rub their hands, singing their “good riddance” mantra ad nauseam, but no later than Melbourne next year they will realize that with Red Bull the last winning independent team will leave F1.
Without major stage-managing or a freak race like the 1997 European GP or the 1996 Monaco GP we will have two teams able to win for years to come, maybe interrupted by the odd McLaren win if Honda ever catches up. The whole Red Bull engine saga has shown that Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda decide who is how competitive. All three refuse to sell Red Bull their engines and the only reason is the fear of competition.
Williams, Sauber, Force India, Manor, Haas – they are all there just to fill the grid, knowing they can’t win, else they wouldn’t get the engines they have. The manufacturers decide, who can be in F1.
Renault’s takeover of Lotus will most likely never happen. Someone at Renault must have realized by now that they will never make that scrap heap competitive – not with the current regulations.
The big loser in all of this will be the fan. With three teams unlikely to be on the grid next year, the third cars are almost inevitably bound to be introduced. I can’t wait to see the shitstorm that will be Monza when the tifosi have to watch three AMG Mercedes drivers on the rostrum. Of course they could always rig one of the two or three wins that Merc throws Ferrari as a bone once in a while.
Not even the biggest fan of easy Hamilton wins, which make Vettel’s and Schumacher’s numerous wins look like hard work, can still maintain that the new engine formula is good for F1. It has shifted the power from FOM/FIA firmly into the hands of Sergio Marchione and Dieter Zetsche and looking at the devastated state F1 is in right now, it doesn’t look like a good thing.