F1: Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) Focused on Ending MercedesAMG’s Dominance
Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel has won the 1st 2 races of the new F1 season.
Mr. Vettel’s victories has him with a 17-pt lead over MercedesAMG’s Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship.
Ferrari are also ahead of Mercedes in the Constructors’ standings, although 2 Silver Arrows on the podium in Bahrain kept Ferrari from taking a larger lead. Had it not been for the unfortunate pit drama Sunday, Kimi Raikkonen would have been on the podium ahead of Mr. Hamilton or Mr. Bottas
So, I reckon the time has come for MercedesAMGs’ F1 dominate to come to an end, with The Scuderia focused on its 1st world title since 2007.
This year the Ferrari is more solid than last year, as Mr. Vettel felt “healthier” in his Ferrari in Bahrain but insists the Team must improve despite winning the opening 2 Grands Prix of the season.
“We worked on the set-up, which helped us to extract more. It was more consistent on one lap but also in the race. So, I felt just healthier and more in control.”
“It’s clear that we need to improve,” he said.
“Valtteri and Lewis are pushing very hard. Obviously, Kimi, alongside, is pushing incredibly hard. The two Red Bull guys with Max and Daniel are pushing hard.
“Those 3 teams and 6 drivers are very, very close to each other. It will be important to improve and be quick everywhere you go. That helps.
“The quicker you are, the more you are one unit with your car, the happier you feel, the more you’re able to extract when it really matters.”
Mr. Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen had been strong throughout the Bahrain GP weekend but was pipped to Pole and then retired from the race after a pit-stop accident that left a mechanic with a broken leg.
Mr. Raikkonen said his performance did not ease the frustration of losing the race.
“It doesn’t matter how good things are unfortunately if you don’t finish or score points,” he said. “It’s obviously far from what I want.
“I had struggled a bit with the rears in the first stint. We changed the tyres, I was taking it kind of easy and still catching up, it was going OK.
“I’ve been pretty happy all weekend but there’s always things to improve and you could have done slightly different and better.”
By winning at Sakhir, after his season-opening success in Australia, Mr. Vettel became the 1st Ferrari driver since Michael Schumacher in Y 2004 to take the 1st 2 races of a season.
China is this weekend. Stay tuned…