You tend to reach a stage in development where you hit a brick wall, and can't get any more from a power unit, which may well be the case for Mercedes. Lesser Teams are still heading for that brick wall, but have still got a bit of development left, unlike Mercedes couldn't financially get there earlier.Max continues to stretch the lead in the standings. The ease with which the Red Bull car opens a lead in the early laps doesn’t auger well for Mercedes and Hamilton. Either Hamilton has lost his edge, or the Mercedes shop has / is producing and inferior car, or both … or Max and Red Bull have found an extra gear. But it’s not just Max, Perez is also able to work his car through the pack from deep starting positions. Today he started in the pit lane yet sill finished 8th, indicating that the Red Bull team with a Honda power plant is superior to Mercedes.
Bottas continues to be anemic and twists in the breeze awaiting his fate for next season.
The focus must now be on aerodynamics, driver learning to brake a couple of hundredths of a second later into the turns.
Honda development is among the worlds best, when I was out in Nagoya I had a factory tour (not of their F1) but their saloon car production, attention to detail was unbelievable. Even in Japan it is considered the best build quality car out there. Such is their boast that over the main factory entrance is a big arched sign (in English) saying ' IF HONDA MADE MAN HE WOULD LIVE FOREVER'.
As you say Yankee it would appear Honda are still a little away from that wall.