I think development is very hard to judge and to be fair last year Ferrari concentrated on getting it right for the new regs, which is reflected in the way they dropped off in the 2nd half. But at best they were only ever going to be bridesmaids, so it's understandable. It's not likely the same will happen this year, not when they have a chance of the main prize.
I think the votes reflect the fact that the Mercedes still looks slightly stronger, particularly in qualifying trim, which gives Lewis a fairly hefty advantage on Sundays
Not sure where you're seeing that. To me, the cars are pretty much even and I think that's the only logical conclusion at this point. Certainly there is no way to perceive Mercedes as better on Sundays right now and the notion that they are better on Saturdays is only supported by Hamilton setting pole position by a narrow margin
(which he wouldn't necessarily need a car advantage to do).
I think it's more about Seb only very narrowly beating Bottas both times despite having a reasonable margin to Kimi and not making any big errors going by the reasons I've seen anyway.
You'd have to have Bottas pinned as fairly quicker than Seb and much quicker than Kimi to come out to a Ferrari advantage and while the latter sounds feasible right now the former doesn't for the people thinking Mercedes have a small advantage on a Saturday.
Which could well be harsh on Bottas but it's a bit early to elevate him to that kind of standing based on not even getting within a tenth of Lewis yet never mind actually beating him a few times like even Kova and with respect Button
did. And I don't think too many would pick them over Seb in a qually battle.
Button was beaten by Hamilton in qualifying by embarrassing margins at times when they were teammates. You won't see any driver completely shut out their teammate in the qualifying battle but Bottas is certainly a quick single lap driver. He bested Massa in qualifying in the same car over a 3 year period of time. Vettel lost out to Daniel over a single lap in the one season they spent as teammates so it's not impossible that he and Bottas have similar single lap performance.
The fact is that Vettel has out-qualified Bottas in both races so Valteri wouldn't have to be better than him as a qualifier to have the results he has had. Kimi has performed poorly in qualifying for years. You can go back to his WDC season in 2007 and see that he was out-performed in qualy by Massa that year (as well as every other year that they were teammates). Kimi is the only one of the four drivers at Merc and Ferrari who is a known poor qualifier and he has also struggled with setup in the first two rounds so I don't think he provides a valid comparison point to three drivers who have performed well and generally been within very close margins of each other in qualifying.