F1: Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) Will Strike Back in Japan
But Mr. Vettel’s fight back from 20th on the grid to 4th, on a track that was expected to favor MercedesAMG, gives Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) hope that can strike back, win and take the lead again.
It is why the Maranello outfit and Mr. Vettel head to this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix with the belief they can be in the mix for victory, despite MercedesAMG having won the last 3 races at Suzuka.
Owned by the Honda Motor Company, Suzuka represents a different challenge, with more high-speed corners than Sepang and high levels of tyre wear and degradation expected.
The unusual figure-of-eight, high downforce circuit features a mix of corners, with sweeping changes of direction, technical sections, a chicane and a hairpin.
Weather conditions can change quickly, given the venue’s coastal location, and when it rains, rivers often form across the track, increasing the risk of aquaplaning.
A straightforward race, then, is by no means a certainty and Ferrari is hopeful it can get on top of the engine troubles that plagued both Messrs Vettel and Raikkonen in Malaysia.
Mr. Vettel knows victory was possible at Sepang had he not suffered engine trouble in qualifying. The car had the pace over 1 lap, Mr. Raikkonen missed out on pole position by 0.045s and in race trim.
Mercedes would ordinarily start favourite for Japan, particularly given its recent record at the track, but its struggles in Malaysia suggest it will likely find itself in a fight with Ferrari and Red Bull Racing.
Red Bull Racing cannot be discounted, particularly after Max Verstappen drove to his 1st victory of the season in Malaysia, and could take points off MercedesAMG that in turn would help Ferrari’s cause.
This race will focus on Ferrari, MercedesAMG, and Red Bull Racing as the championship approaches its finale.
Ferrari had the fastest car in the last 2 races and yet scored just 12 points compared to championship leader Mercedes’ tally of 68 in that frame to trail by 118 with 5 races to go.
Live coverage of Sunday’s race begins at Midnight ET 8 October, with 1 hour of pre-race in F1 Countdown, with lights out at 1:00a EDT.
Additional live TV coverage occurs for qualifying at 2:00a EDT Saturday, 7 October and FP2 at 1:00 EDT Friday, 6 October 6, all these on NBCSN. FP’s 1-2-3 will air on the NBC Sports App.
|NYSE:RACE||114.23||4 October 2017||-0.10||114.02||114.27||113.52||297,690|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Neutral (0.24)||Bullish (0.27)||Neutral (0.21)||Bullish (0.25)|
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