Happy new year to you all!
I hope you all have a good 2016.
As we’re now technically past the halfway point of the current decade, I want to reflect on something that I have thought about for a while: have the even-numbered seasons (2010, 2012 and 2014) of the 2010s decade been more exciting than the odd-numbered ones?
2010 was a season where five drivers were in with a chance of winning the championship: Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Hamilton and Button. An improved Red Bull car, along with the redemption of Ferrari and McLaren, meant that you couldn’t predict who would win each race. Four drivers were still in the championship going into the final race in Abu Dhabi with Sebastian Vettel coming out as the winner, to begin his world championship winning streak.
In 2011, Vettel left everyone standing. He seemed to have much more confidence in the car, especially in qualifying. The German went on to clinch his second world title at Suzuka, which was five races before the curtains came down on the season. Despite this, we saw some incredible race craft from the two McLaren boys, Hamilton and Button, in China and most famously in Canada. However, the unpredictability that had dominated the previous season had vanished with Vettel being totally in command.
2012 was a highly anticipated season with the return of Kimi Raikkonen, increasing the number of world champions on the grid to six: Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Button, Schumacher and the Iceman himself. The unpredictability that had vanished in the last season also made a return to the grid, with seven different drivers winning the first seven races of the season. However, as the season went on it became a two-horse race between Vettel and Alonso, which went down to the wire in Brazil, the last race. People were undecided who would take the title and the drama didn’t end until the last few laps of the race. Vettel collided with Bruno Senna on the first lap, which dropped him down to the back of the pack, but he showed why he is a world champion and clawed his way back to the sixth position he so desperately needed to take his third successive title.
The main talking point in 2013 was Hamilton leaving McLaren to go to Mercedes. But, that was the only talking point and the main excitement of the season. Like in the 2011 season, Vettel had so much confidence – so much so that he won the last nine races of the season. This lead to the German taking the title in India, which was four races before the end of the season.
There’s only one phrase to describe the 2014 season and that’s the clash of the titans! In the new V6 hybrid turbo era, Mercedes left everyone standing, developing their V6 power unit long before anyone else. It was a two horse race between Hamilton and Rosberg with some very intense wheel-to-wheel racing between the two. It looked like Rosberg would come out on top in the first half of the season, but his team-mate came good in the second half. As with the 2010 and 2012 seasons, the championship came down to the final race, where Hamilton – after six years of waiting – took his second title.
2015 was predicted to be similar to the previous year, but maybe for Rosberg to get his revenge. We were all wrong. Hamilton annihilated everyone including Rosberg, until after the US GP, when the Brit took the title. I will nominate this season and the 2013 season as the “some of the most boring” seasons of all time.
To conclude this post, it seems as though the significant rule changes were made in the even-numbered seasons (2010 with the ban of refuelling, 2012 with the new front noses and 2014 with the new V6 hybrid turbo engines), which increased the unpredictability of the results. Apart from the DRS and the Pirelli tyres, which were introduced in 2011, fewer rules were changed in the odd-numbered seasons, which meant that whoever won the championship in the even-numbered seasons would carry that momentum through to the next season.
Thank you very much for reading.
Please get in touch if you have any other views.