Now that the season is under way the consequences of the politics played in 2015 and 2016 have become much clearer.
Ferrari, Red Bull and the FIA were desperate to not have Merc running away with another championship. This resulted in the rule changes for 2017, which all 3 thought would benefit them.
The net result of all these changes is a racing formula where many corners that required careful control of the throttle etc to get round them, are now flat. This means that F1 has become more of a powerplant biased racing formula than before. And there will be less overtaking.
It is ironic that Red Bull thought that increasing the aero capability of the cars was going to help them (Adrian Newey could lead the development of a better aero solution than other teams). Whilst Newey has developed very innovative solutions in the past, he has not worked full time on developing F1 aero for a few years, in the meantime Merc have demonstrated a very effective development approach, which has continued this year. And at Ferrari they have clearly gone back to what they have had a lot of success at doing, which is making flexible aero components (front wings, rear wings and the floor) to improve the aero solution.
With significant differences in the powerplants remaining (and the duty cycle having changed somewhat, making it even harder to achieve high levels of reliability), those differences have been amplified a bit more and Red Bull are no closer to winning at present, whilst Ferrari have put RBR comfortably behind them with their improvements.