Analysis: Why does F1 find it hard to respect Mercedes domination?

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Another Grand Prix, another Mercedes 1-2, as the Silver Arrows enjoyed perhaps their best weekend so far in Spain.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were simply untouchable throughout, with the Briton pouncing on his opportunity into Turn 1 to take the lead.

From there, he never looked back to secure a third win of the year as his teammate followed him home to continue Mercedes' record-breaking run of perfect results.

There can be no doubt that the performance of the world champions this season has been nothing short of remarkable, simply blowing away their opposition, who, admittedly, have also fallen short of expectations.

A case can already be made that this is their most impressive year in Formula 1 because their success isn't just due to one area, as has been suggested before.

Whereas, since 2014, the engine or the brilliance of Hamilton have been the difference, now it is the entire package from the drivers, to the car (both engine and chassis) and particularly the team operation, which has been flawless.

Many wondered how Mercedes would respond when it appeared their days at the top were over, and this year, following the apparent pace of Ferrari in pre-season, we got the answer.

If we were being sensationalist, of which there is no harm every now and then, you could even claim this is the first time that the Hamilton & Mercedes combination has reached the level of Michael Schumacher & Ferrari.

And there are even suggestions the team could repeat McLaren's achievement in 1988 when the British outfit won every race bar one.

Despite all that, however, the overriding response to the Spanish Grand Prix was negative with some even calling it the death of F1.

That's understandable when you see the same result race after race, year after year with seemingly no end in sight as Ferrari and Red Bull struggle to keep up.

A similar argument was made during the early 2000s when Schumacher was winning his titles at the Scuderia.

But while there was respect for what the German did with the Italian team, that doesn't feel the case this time with Mercedes.

Perhaps it's the love\hate nature of Hamilton or the feeling that the success was only due to the car and its superior engine.

The more likely reason though is that most feel that this period of domination has been born from the state of F1 itself, where manufacturers dominate and money rules.

It would certainly be very interesting to see the spending comparison between Mercedes and the rest, with the uncomfortable truth probably being they have spent much higher since the start of the season.

And that feeling of a team buying their way to success simply doesn't sit well, particularly when others, in this case, every midfield team, are unable to compete as a result.

But ultimately, all Mercedes do, and have done since 2012/3, is take advantage of what was possible under the regulations.

From the unlimited budgets to the introduction of hybrid engines and more, F1 has allowed them and Ferrari to thrive with their 'whatever it takes' attitude to win.

The difference is Mercedes continues to beat Ferrari at their own game and that is why this period of domination is becoming more prolonged.

Efforts are being made to correct that with the new rules for 2021, and most are praying that it delivers the expected results.

But when it comes to whether we should respect Mercedes for their current run, I'll let Lewis Hamilton's comments from Sunday form the conclusion.

“It’s not as much fun, for sure, as when you’re competing against another team,” he said. “That’s what Formula 1 is about.

“People watching might be unhappy with the gap we have to the Ferraris. Of course, we want to be as quick as we can be, we don’t know why the others have fallen off a little bit.

“[But] it’s not our fault. It’s not these guys’ (his Mercedes' colleagues) fault that they are really great at their job.”