London: The top three teams’ domination of the Formula One podium over the past two seasons is unacceptable and has to change, the sport’s managing director for motor sports Ross Brawn said yesterday.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was the only driver outside Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull to finish a Grand Prix in the top three in this year’s 21 races, the Mexican ending up third in Azerbaijan in April.
Canadian Lance Stroll, for Williams, was in the same position at the same Baku circuit in 2017, when the season had 20 races.
“Two podiums from a total of 123 is unacceptable, especially when it comes with an ever-increasing technical and financial divide,” Brown said in a Formula One season review after last Sunday’s closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“It’s a problem we are tackling together with the (governing) FIA and the teams because the future of Formula One depends on it,” added the Briton, who was previously a technical director of Ferrari and principal of Mercedes.
Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are also the only teams to have won a Formula One race since the current V6 turbo hybrid engines were introduced in 2014.
Sunday was the 100th Grand Prix of that era and Lewis Hamilton, now a five times world champion has won 51 of them for Mercedes. Hamilton also won 11 races this year, leading 458 of the season’s 1,264 laps.
German driver Nico Hulkenberg, who races for the Renault works team and was ‘best of the rest’ in seventh place overall this year, has now started 156 Grands Prix without once standing on the podium.