Johnson wrote:Race 2-14 (Monza) was definelty a period the Vettel-Ferrari was stronger. Even if you say the cars were equal in speed. Hamilton had a mechanical race DNF, a qualifying DNF and a grid penalty for Gearbox change in that 13 race period. So once accounting for reliability, Ferrari was the better car.
Once the season ends the Merecedes could still be the car to have in 13-14/21 races so could still end “dominant”. The 2013 Red Bull only won 4 of the first 10 races in 2013,then the last 9. The 2009 Red Bull won 1 of the first 7, then 5 from the last 10 and there an argument it was the best overall car in 2009 which at halfway would have been laughable.
That's too broad. The Mercedes was the better car between France and Austria - as has been said publicly by, among other people, Toto Wolff.
The truth is that so far there has not been a sustained period where one car was definitively better than the other. Many people - myself among them - think we're headed for one, but we've only had two races now where Mercedes clearly had the better car. That's not a sustained run of form either.
Bottom line: the season has been close, and when people talk about Ferrari's advantage in the first half, it was a tenth or two - and when people talk about Mercedes' advantage it was the same thing. Barring poor driver performances, neither team has truly dominated more than perhaps one race each. But I think people have become so used to dominant cars that when someone says 'the Mercedes is better' they take that to mean 'the Mercedes is enough better that the drivers no longer matter', which is not the same thing at all.