And so we have reached the end of a glorious season of F1, one that could have been a whole lot less exciting if Mercedes hadn’t given their drivers free reign.
What was certain from the time gap that Mercedes had over the rest of the field in Austin and at Interlagos (we can forget Abu Dhabi when the engines would have been turned down) is that the Silver Arrows have maintained their strong advantage throughout the season.
So, as we turn our crystal balls to look at the 2015 season, there are already many in the paddock who think Mercedes will be an equally dominant force in 2016.
The people who have to put a hard number on the expectations for 2015, the bookmakers, are in no doubt that it will be a second constructors’ title for Mercedes.
Paddy Power have Mercedes as 1-5 favourites to make two in a row in 2015, with (and this will gladden Ron Dennis’s heart) McLaren next up at 6-1. The surprise is that Red Bull are only third in the order at 7-1, Ferrari are at 10-1 and Williams (who lest it not be forgotten came an easy third this year) only 11-1.
As for the drivers’ title, it’s no big surprise that Lewis is favourite at 4/6, with Rosberg at 15/8. The logic for next year is that teams will come closer to Mercedes and although they will field the strongest car, they’re not going to eclipse the 2014 season in terms of 1-2 finishes.
This means that Rosberg will have to try and do what Hamilton does best, which is to ‘get down and dirty’ and battle it out wheel-to-wheel with other cars. Lewis has always had the streetfighting advantage, so in these circumstances is a stronger favourite than he has been this year.
Remarkably, even though McLaren haven’t officially announced Fernando Alonso as one of their drivers for 2015 he’s third favourite 8-1 to win the title, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo at 14-1 and Sebastian Vettel at 16-1. Good news for Jenson Button, too. Even though he hasn’t got a confirmed driver for 2015 the bookies think he has a 20-1 chance of the title, much better odds than Felipe Massa (40-1) who will be driving for certain.
Bets we’d like to see Paddy Power create some odds for
What are the chances that Jean Todt and the FIA will come up with a formula for saving money for the smaller teams?
Will 2015 be another winless season for McLaren and Ferrari?
Will Jenson Button have to wait till winter testing to find out if he’s driving for Mclaren in 2015.
Can Caterham find a buyer before it’s too late…?