The vicious cycle protecting Mercedes and Ferrari

The vicious cycle protecting Mercedes and Ferrari

Many of Formula 1's midfield teams are unhappy with the current state of the championship's engine war, and it looks like there's no end in sight for Red Bull, McLaren, Toro Rosso-Honda and Renault

McLaren's relief at finally ditching Honda and moving on to papaya orange pastures new is palpable. Fernando Alonso was on typically bullish form in Australia, talking up his Formula 1 team training its laser focus on Red Bull, despite some obvious residual shortcomings with the MCL33, and a 1.3-second deficit to the fastest RB14 in qualifying.

There's not too much to get excited about really. But everything is relative. McLaren has only to glance backwards to see how much worse things might have been had it stuck rather than twisted last season. Despite the swell of excitement over an unusually reliable winter, Honda endured a muted first race with Toro Rosso in its post-McLaren nirvana.

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