The Scuderia has winning races in sight, as Ferrari, F1 oldest and most successful team, starts a new season, fitting for this iconic carmaker’s 70th anni year.
A decade on from their last driver’s championship with Kimi Raikkonen in Y 2007, Ferrari recently emerged from 8 days of testing in Spain with the fastest lap times coupled with impressive reliability.
Their new SF70H racer has been scrutinized by rivals up and down the pit lane.
With media activities dampened, and the car presented online without fanfare, The Scuderia have adopted a low profile leading up to the Australian opener in Melbourne on 26 March.
During Winter testing in Barcelona Ferrari did not reveal their true performance and are ready to take on dominant Mercedes.
“I think Ferrari are bluffing and that they are a lot quicker than they are showing,” the UK’s 3X world champion Lewis Hamilton told reporters last week, even as the Italians went fastest.
“They are very close, if not faster,” added the MercedesAMG driver.
Red Bull’s Australian Ace Daniel Ricciardo agreed,
“Ferrari looks strong,” he said. “At the moment they look like they are pretty close to Mercedes’s pace if not on it…”
Ferrari failed to win a race last year, their 2nd such “goose egg” in 3 years, while MercedesAMG won 19 of 21 and took both titles for the 3rd season in succession.
The days when the Red Ferraris, who have competed in every world championship since the beginning in Y 1950, were dominant with 7X world champion Michael Schumacher are in the scrapbook.
The Y 2017 rule changes, with wider tires, bigger sound, and faster cars, could signal a new awakening for 4X world champion Sebastian Vettel and veteran Kiki Raikkonen.
The handling is better, the power unit delivering and the team more settled after a difficult 2016 during which principal Maurizio Arrivabene played down reports of a climate of fear at the factory.
“I think we are better prepared than last year,” said Mr. Vettel, who joined in Y 2015 hoping to emulate boyhood hero Michael Schumacher. “I think overall the team is in better shape.
“What happened in the background was really, really important to make a step forward, and hopefully we’ve done that.”
Mr. Raikkonen lapped faster than anyone ever before in Barcelona, with a best time of 1min, 18.634secs.
With the F1 team’s track success a Key driver of the Ferrari brand, and President Sergio Marchionne always looking for a return on the investment, Mr. Vettel was careful to keep bubbling expectations grounded.
“If we can be fighting for the podium in Melbourne, it would be great,” he said. “If you win three world championships in a row as a team, then it’s clear who is the favorite, rule changes or not.”
|NYSE:RACE||69.34||16 March 2017||1.48||69.16||69.5||68.93||496,000|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Bullish (0.48)||Bullish (0.35)||Very Bullish (0.67)||Bullish (0.42)|
Have a terrific weekend.
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