Is Mercedes unbeatable?

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KingVoid
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Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by KingVoid »

Can anything be done to stop Mercedes?

We are now in the 7th consecutive year of Mercedes winning both the WDC and WCC.

The advantage Mercedes currently have is similar to their advantage from 2014-2016.

There are no significant rule changes for 2021, so that’s another year of Mercedes domination along the way.

Is there anything that can be done to stop them for next year? Aero regulations that target low-rake and long wheelbase cars? Success ballast? Anything?

Thoughts?

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Mort Canard
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Mort Canard »

Well Merc will have to give up the DAS system for 2021 so there is that.

I don't know if Honda can step up and help RBR with more ponies.
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KingVoid
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by KingVoid »

I also despise the aero rule changes of 2019. They were supposed to create close racing; but all they achieved was guaranteeing another 3 years of Mercedes dominance.
A comment from Albon over the radio was also quite illuminating. “I don’t understand how I can have massive understeer through Three and then I arrive at Four and have oversteer.”

An aerodynamicist I was talking with didn’t sound too surprised.

“Since the regs changes of 2019 [principally the simplified endplates and the restriction of the under-nose vanes], the vortices you’re creating at the front end of the car can be quite unstable. Especially if you are running a lot of rake. The car is articulating around the front bib of the floor and that rake is increasing quite quickly as you slow down – and that makes that whole flow quite volatile. You can see in the tunnel the vortices can even suddenly switch from inboard to outboard. It could be the amount of steering lock or a crosswind – it’s so on the edge.”
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Invade
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Invade »

For 2021, I'd expect Mercedes to be a heavy favourite again, but that RBR will be much closer. RBR are underachieving right now and have more latent performance to unlock from their package than Mercedes in likelihood. Once they get on top of things and stop only equalising at tracks compared to their 2019 performance, they'll be able to do some damage to Mercedes. Then, for 2021, Mercedes lose an advantage which they seem to believe is key and presumably have the data to back it up — DAS.

So I do actually believe there is a chance for Max to win the WDC in 2021 if he puts in a great season and Hamilton drops the ball. But the likely result is:

2020 WDC - Hamilton
2021 WDC - Hamilton

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Invade
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Invade »

Further, I wouldn't bet against Mercedes putting out a package which can at least realistically compete for Championships going forward from 2022.

Actually, I'd expect it.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by KingVoid »

Invade wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:56 am
Further, I wouldn't bet against Mercedes putting out a package which can at least realistically compete for Championships going forward from 2022.

Actually, I'd expect it.
Mercedes are heavy favourites for 2022, but it’s not a slam dunk.

2020 and 2021 is a slam dunk and anyone who thinks otherwise is a bit delusional.

I personally give Hamilton a 95% chance of winning both 2020 and 2021 presuming that Bottas remains at Mercedes (which he will). The only way he doesn’t win the title is if he gets COVID or something.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by kleefton »

Mort Canard wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:39 am
Well Merc will have to give up the DAS system for 2021 so there is that.

I don't know if Honda can step up and help RBR with more ponies.
Imo the problem isn't that Honda or anyone else (well except the 2020 Ferrari maybe) is lacking ponies to compete with them. They do a great job all around; chassis, engine power, driver lineup, they tick all the boxes. The only weakness is on the pitwall and strategy side. I felt that in 17' and18' that it was the power unit and Hamilton that carried them while the Ferrari and Redbull had better chassis, Redbull the better driver lineup, but since then Merc has surpassed them in those areas. I still give Redbull the best chance to catch them, but they must explore their horizons more, and currently they seem lost and are not headed in the right direction. Maybe a thorough team shakeup wouldn't hurt.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by KingVoid »

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I honestly think that for the first time in my life, football has surpassed Formula 1 as my favourite sport in the world.

The Champions League is coming back this weekend and I’m unbelievably excited. Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, PSG... there are so many teams that could possibly win it. You can’t even rule the underdog Atalanta out. The tournament is so competitive and exciting. No one knows or can predict what will happen. Anyone can win. That is why it’s so exciting.

Meanwhile in the world of Formula 1, we already know that Hamilton and Mercedes have won both titles about 3 races into the season. Where is the competition? Where is the excitement?

This weekend will host both the second Silverstone race and Manchester City vs Real Madrid. I know which event I’m looking forward to more, and it’s not the Hamilton and Mercedes Sunday cruise.

I can’t believe I actually feel this way. For most of my life it was inconceivable that anything other than Formula 1 could be my favourite sport, but 7 years of Mercedes in the hybrid era have finally broken me.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Flash2k11 »

Mercedes are perfectly beatable, the other big teams simply need to do a better job. I posted in another topic on here about how Ferrari have blown it by wasting 2 years on what we can all surely agree now was an illegal engine, and despite the rule changes you have quoted about above clearly no longer favouring the high rake design, Red Bull still stubbornly refuse to move away from it and are now paying the price for that.

This year and next are going to belong to Mercedes now because of the circumstances we find ourselves in have led to next year using this years car, which is something no one would have forseen, and that is unfortunate because it effective becomes a double punishment for getting your car wrong this year, and that is regrettable. But Ferrari and Red Bull both have the resources to take the fight to Mercedes on the financial level and simply haven't done a good enough job doing it, the finger of blame for a boring season shouldn't be pointed at Mercedes, it should be pointed at the other 2.
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KingVoid
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by KingVoid »

You are arguing with a straw-man.

At no point did I point the finger at Mercedes for being dominant.

I do however blame the FIA for the 2019 rule changes.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Flash2k11 »

KingVoid wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:43 am
You are arguing with a straw-man.

At no point did I point the finger at Mercedes for being dominant.

I do however blame the FIA for the 2019 rule changes.
It was a point aimed at no one in particular. Though in regards to the 2019 rule changes, if its open knowledge that they make the high rake concept an unreliable one for performance, is it not the fault of the car designers for continuing to persue it?
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by mikeyg123 »

We do have the 2022 rule changes coming up. Has any team gone into a major technical regulation change with clearly the best car and come out similarly?

In 2013 Red Bull had by far the best car, they were probably 3rd best in 2014.

In 2008 the Ferrari was the best, 2009 was a bit all over the place so hard to rank them but definitely not in the top 2.

in 2004 Ferrari was the best car but became 3rd best in 2005. How much that had to do with tyres is unknown though.

In 1997 Williams was comfortably the fastest but dropped to 3rd in 1998

In 1993 Williams was miles ahead but dropped back behind the Benetton in 1994.

You have to go back to 1988/89 where McLaren survived the banning of Turbos to still be the quickest car.

It's also notable how long we've gone without a really big regulation change despite, in my opinion, the 2014 change doing more damage to the sport than any before.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by KingVoid »

Flash2k11 wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:51 am
KingVoid wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:43 am
You are arguing with a straw-man.

At no point did I point the finger at Mercedes for being dominant.

I do however blame the FIA for the 2019 rule changes.
It was a point aimed at no one in particular. Though in regards to the 2019 rule changes, if its open knowledge that they make the high rake concept an unreliable one for performance, is it not the fault of the car designers for continuing to persue it?
It’s not that easy to change something you have been working with for years.

I suspect that if Red Bull did switch to a low rake design for 2020, Mercedes would still be dominant because they have so many more years of experience with the low rake design.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by KingVoid »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:03 am
It's also notable how long we've gone without a really big regulation change despite, in my opinion, the 2014 change doing more damage to the sport than any before.
The hybrid era has been a complete failure to be honest.

The best era in Formula 1 history was 2005-2010 in my opinion. No dominant cars, a compelling title fight each season, plenty of unpredictability, and a variety of winning drivers and teams.

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tootsie323
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by tootsie323 »

This year it seems that Mercedes have made another step forward whilst their main protagonists have either stood still or gone backwards. With this in mind I feel that the WCC is almost a foregone conclusion for this year and next - and, unless Bottas demonstrates more of a killer instinct - Hamilton must be odds-on for WDCs number seven and eight.
Only Ferrari have had a car capable of mounting a sustained challenge (2017-2018) but the team dropped the ball on too many occasions and Vettel was guilty now and again of trying to out-drive their inefficiencies. Red Bull were capable of winning at some circuits / conditions but not consistently.
We're even at a stage where Hamilton himself is wishing (at least publicly, though I do believe that he genuinely enjoys a good scrap) for closer competition. I'm hoping that the other teams are well organised for 2022 and that aero regs will allow for cars to follow more closely without excessive loss in downforce / associated tyre wear.
One things I will say though is that, whilst Merc dominate, the battle for the minor positions is great and does make for enjoyable viewing. A championship sans-Merc would be awesome!
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Paolo_Lasardi »

Well, in a championship with only three contenders (teamwise), domination is a likely outcome. The races in the F1b class are close among each other - but that's all.

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Covalent
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Covalent »

Paolo_Lasardi wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:07 am
Well, in a championship with only three contenders (teamwise), domination is a likely outcome. The races in the F1b class are close among each other - but that's all.
Yes because Verstappen is the only one in the F1b class ;)

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Option or Prime »

I wonder if its not so much about design as personnel and the approach to development. Ferrari and Red Bull seem to revolve around key people, Newey and Helmut Marko at Red Bull and at Ferrari, Binnotto or whoever they deem as the boss in a revolving power struggle. Mercedes run their 'equal opportunities' where anyone can suggest an advancement, it clearly works. All the little half percents and up to a winning package in the end.

Toto is just an excellent man manager of those under him. It has to be said that even if teams could come up with an equal car it wouldn't be enough, it would beed to be 5% better to counter the Hamilton effect. Frankly you would have to be biased not to admit he has that extra something that makes him a repeat champion.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Exediron »

Mercedes is the best team in Formula 1 at the moment. Their combination of engine and chassis has proven unbeatable under the current rules.

It'll be interesting to see if the budget cap hurts their dominance, but they have a pretty huge advantage in being the only team of close to their own level of competence to make both their chassis and engine. Ferrari and Renault don't operate at nearly that level right now, and Red Bull is saddled with a poor engine even when they make an outstanding car (which doesn't appear to be the case this year).

As well, Mercedes have a lead driver who can make the difference against almost anyone. That helped them win in 2017 and 2018, but right now they don't need it.
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Badgeronimous »

Mercedes are just a brilliant team, helped a lot by the rules and financial climate that has seen performance locked in like never before. Driver wise they have a tremendous number 1, and probably the best driver available who seems happy to accept being number 2.

Of course they are beatable, but realistically now, only Red Bull can do it before the rule change - and Ferrari taking the fight to Mercedes in recent years surely has a bit of an asterisk beside it now, despite what the record books say? Unless Mercedes get disproportionate bad luck, it is hard to see anything but a Hamiton/Mercedes WDC/WCC double in 2020 and 2021.

Much as I give the Mercedes winning machine a lot of credit for having the ultimate F1 operation - the hybrid era has been largely a disaster for the sport as a spectacle - worse than the Ferrari era of the early 00's and Red Bull era of the early 10's. I think it would be hard to argue that the 2010's has been the worst era for F1 - despite having a golden generation of drivers for the most of it - I feel robbed as a fan of missing out on what should have been a great era.

I really hope the 2022 rule change brings the sport back to where it should be.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

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KingVoid wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:18 am
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I honestly think that for the first time in my life, football has surpassed Formula 1 as my favourite sport in the world.

The Champions League is coming back this weekend and I’m unbelievably excited. Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, PSG... there are so many teams that could possibly win it. You can’t even rule the underdog Atalanta out. The tournament is so competitive and exciting. No one knows or can predict what will happen. Anyone can win. That is why it’s so exciting.

Meanwhile in the world of Formula 1, we already know that Hamilton and Mercedes have won both titles about 3 races into the season. Where is the competition? Where is the excitement?

This weekend will host both the second Silverstone race and Manchester City vs Real Madrid. I know which event I’m looking forward to more, and it’s not the Hamilton and Mercedes Sunday cruise.

I can’t believe I actually feel this way. For most of my life it was inconceivable that anything other than Formula 1 could be my favourite sport, but 7 years of Mercedes in the hybrid era have finally broken me.
How many WDCs do you suppose Hamilton will win and how dominant do you suppose Mercedes will be from 2022 onwards until, say, through 2026?

I don't care much for football but do enjoy the CL. I'm British but just never really cared for it and always preferred tennis, rugby and cricket... and F1 of course. These days I also love the NBA and NFL.

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Invade
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

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mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:03 am
We do have the 2022 rule changes coming up. Has any team gone into a major technical regulation change with clearly the best car and come out similarly?

In 2013 Red Bull had by far the best car, they were probably 3rd best in 2014.

In 2008 the Ferrari was the best, 2009 was a bit all over the place so hard to rank them but definitely not in the top 2.

in 2004 Ferrari was the best car but became 3rd best in 2005. How much that had to do with tyres is unknown though.

In 1997 Williams was comfortably the fastest but dropped to 3rd in 1998

In 1993 Williams was miles ahead but dropped back behind the Benetton in 1994.

You have to go back to 1988/89 where McLaren survived the banning of Turbos to still be the quickest car.

It's also notable how long we've gone without a really big regulation change despite, in my opinion, the 2014 change doing more damage to the sport than any before.
Frankly I just expect Mercedes to quickly catch up and at least provide a car that can compete for the Championship even if they don't nail it for 2022. Their base is so strong and complete, so I just can't envisage any real disaster for them which is impossible to recover from.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Siao7 »

By definition, so far yes, they have been unbeatable and will continue to be for the current and the next season too.

Going forward, I believe they can obviously be beatable, many times in the past a dominant team has been caught. I find it worrying that after all these years the performances don't seem to have converged as much with the other teams though.

Finally, Mercedes has the best driver in the field, by far. The young pretenders are still not right there yet, Hamilton hasn't lost any sleep. He looks pretty unconcerned!

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Paolo_Lasardi »

Covalent wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:18 am
Paolo_Lasardi wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:07 am
Well, in a championship with only three contenders (teamwise), domination is a likely outcome. The races in the F1b class are close among each other - but that's all.
Yes because Verstappen is the only one in the F1b class ;)
:lol:
Yes, for this season it really and sadly looks so.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

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Exediron wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:51 am
Mercedes is the best team in Formula 1 at the moment. Their combination of engine and chassis has proven unbeatable under the current rules.

It'll be interesting to see if the budget cap hurts their dominance, but they have a pretty huge advantage in being the only team of close to their own level of competence to make both their chassis and engine. Ferrari and Renault don't operate at nearly that level right now, and Red Bull is saddled with a poor engine even when they make an outstanding car (which doesn't appear to be the case this year).

As well, Mercedes have a lead driver who can make the difference against almost anyone. That helped them win in 2017 and 2018, but right now they don't need it.
That Mercedes are the best team in Formula 1 is without question. What I am asking myself at the moment is whether they are the greatest sports team of all time.

It's not all power unit either, they have absolutely nailed the chassis year after year and this season the car looks so much more planted through fast corners than any other. You can see easily from the onboard footage how much more speed they can carry. Add the best driver in the sport at the moment on top of that and you have an unbeatable winning machine. Impressive as it is, I share peoples' disillusionment with this though. Hamilton has this year's title sewn up already, and who would bet against him winning it next year? Even Hamilton himself seems disillusioned with the lack of competition.

I am hopeful for 2022 though, the new regs give everyone the same starting point and I think the budget cap will help a lot. Despite my glowing praise above, the current F1 format helps Mercedes a lot by ensuring that 7 of the teams cannot compete with them because they don't have access to even half of their budget. Then Ferrari are out of contention because of the "rule clarification" setting back their engine development a couple of years. That just leaves Red Bull as the only competition, and they have not done as good a job on aero and their engine probably still lags behind a little on power. The playing field gets levelled in 2022, and I'm optimistic for the improvement it will bring. I think any of McLaren, Renault and Racing Point could at least be competing for podiums on a regular basis. If Mercedes nail it again, then I think the question I posed at the start of this ramble has its answer.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

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j man wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:15 pm

That Mercedes are the best team in Formula 1 is without question. What I am asking myself at the moment is whether they are the greatest sports team of all time.

It's not all power unit either, they have absolutely nailed the chassis year after year and this season the car looks so much more planted through fast corners than any other...
Who are the contenders?

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by JN23 »

Invade wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:15 pm
j man wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:15 pm

That Mercedes are the best team in Formula 1 is without question. What I am asking myself at the moment is whether they are the greatest sports team of all time.

It's not all power unit either, they have absolutely nailed the chassis year after year and this season the car looks so much more planted through fast corners than any other...
Who are the contenders?
Football: Barcelona 2008-12, Brazil 1970, Spain 2008-12.

Cricket: West Indies 1980s, Australia mid-90’s to mid-00’s

Rugby: New Zealand 2011/15 World Cup winners.

That’s very quickly off the top of my head in just a few team sports. I have very little interest in American sport so someone else will have to fill in on that one.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by KingVoid »

JN23 wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:45 pm
Invade wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:15 pm
j man wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:15 pm

That Mercedes are the best team in Formula 1 is without question. What I am asking myself at the moment is whether they are the greatest sports team of all time.

It's not all power unit either, they have absolutely nailed the chassis year after year and this season the car looks so much more planted through fast corners than any other...
Who are the contenders?
Football: Barcelona 2008-12, Brazil 1970, Spain 2008-12.

Cricket: West Indies 1980s, Australia mid-90’s to mid-00’s

Rugby: New Zealand 2011/15 World Cup winners.

That’s very quickly off the top of my head in just a few team sports. I have very little interest in American sport so someone else will have to fill in on that one.
I am not old enough to have watched Brazil 1970, but in my opinion what Spain did from 2008-2012 is a far superior achievement to what Mercedes has done in the hybrid era.

My reasoning is fairly simply. Spain didn’t have a much bigger budget than all the other countries. Spain didn’t buy all of England or Germany’s best players. Spain produced their own talent from their own academy and dominated international football. No other European country has ever won 3 major international trophies in a row. That is something very special.

Imagine if every Formula 1 team had an equal budget of 100 million euros and Mercedes still dominated. Then I would consider it an equal sporting achievement to what Spain achieved.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Flash2k11 »

Out of that admittedly small list, you'd do well to outdo the WI cricket team of the 80s.... a decade unbeaten.
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by WHoff78 »

Regarding budgets, and comparison of football and F1, a select few countries such as Spain have much larger budgets that they invest in the sport, including player development and the national team, and scouting. Some of this is also linked to the clubs, where I don't doubt that the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid were ahead of the curve. Same story with the German national team. England were well behind, and reviewed this in a lot of detail around a decade ago which bought about a number of changes including the development of St. George Park and how they set-up the youth teams to play a certain style. It all happens a lot slower but money is still critical.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Paolo_Lasardi »

Comparing budgets and football vs F1: the uneveness of the distribution of payments is much bigger in F1 than in football leagues.

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Siao7 »

Paolo_Lasardi wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:08 pm
Comparing budgets and football vs F1: the uneveness of the distribution of payments is much bigger in F1 than in football leagues.
I think you need to read this maybe:

https://laligaexpert.com/2019/03/04/la-liga-salaries/

This is but one example

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by tootsie323 »

How about Ed Moses? 400-metre hurdler who won 122 consecutive races between 1977 and 1987 and should have been a three-time olympic champion (but for the US boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980). That's some dominance.
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Invade »

tootsie323 wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:59 am
How about Ed Moses? 400-metre hurdler who won 122 consecutive races between 1977 and 1987 and should have been a three-time olympic champion (but for the US boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980). That's some dominance.
If we're not going by best team and can include individual sportsmen then things get even more interesting. This topic is going off the rails however and I suspect the mods will split it and send it over to another subforum.

So, how about Jehangir Khan in squash who went unbeaten for 555 matches in a 5-6 year span?

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by tootsie323 »

Invade wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:15 am
tootsie323 wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:59 am
How about Ed Moses? 400-metre hurdler who won 122 consecutive races between 1977 and 1987 and should have been a three-time olympic champion (but for the US boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980). That's some dominance.
If we're not going by best team and can include individual sportsmen then things get even more interesting. This topic is going off the rails however and I suspect the mods will split it and send it over to another subforum.

So, how about Jehangir Khan in squash who went unbeaten for 555 matches in a 5-6 year span?

Five Hundred and Fifty-Five. x(
Oops, yes - on two counts. Going off on a tangent with an individual, and overlooking Khan!
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by mmi16 »

Only MB can beat MB.
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by DOLOMITE »

Guess we close the case on this one....
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by j man »

mmi16 wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:33 pm
Only MB can beat MB.
Or a bit of sunshine...

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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by Mort Canard »

DOLOMITE wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:02 pm
Guess we close the case on this one....
:thumbup: :lol:
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Re: Is Mercedes unbeatable?

Post by tootsie323 »

Just tweak the thread title: Is Mercedes sun-beatable?
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