Haas team owner Gene Haas says that the gap from the midfield pack to the top teams is so huge, nobody but the front-runners stands a chance of winning a race. This year, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have won the eleven races between them and are considered to be the top three teams in the sport.
The last time there was a non-Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari win was the 2013 Australian Grand Prix, when Kimi Raikkonen won the race in the Lotus. Since the introduction of the hybrid era, F1 has become increasingly expensive and complex, leaving teams with bigger budgets to produce the greater cars.
"That’s a dilemma that F1 is facing,” Haas said. "You have the teams at the front and then this big mid-pack. We’re all very close together, as a matter of fact the mid-pack is all within a second. So from a competitive standpoint we’re all very equal, it’s just you have this group way out in front that we’re all struggling with. The reality of it is, that outside those three teams nobody has a chance to win. If you’re running sixth through 20th, you really don’t have a chance of winning."
Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz spoke of something similar recently: "In my opinion at the moment we have two different categories in Formula 1 and it's not what Formula 1 should be about, you know, so hopefully it's something that will not happen next year. For us, as a midfield team, we don't even look at what Mercedes is doing, as it's just a different category at the moment."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing