F1: Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel Must Rebound Sunday
Unless Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel bounces back with a championship performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix this week, he risks heading into F1 Summer break adrift of Lewis Hamilton.
Mr. Vettel should have been the racer in the ascendancy, but his crash out while leading the wet German GP last Sunday cost him the race and gifted a surprise victory to MercedesAMG’s Hamilton.
Mr. Vettel now trails Mr.Hamilton by 17 points after 11 of 21 races. He also gave away points with mistakes last year and must avoid doing that again as he and Mr. Hamilton duel for a 5th F1 title to move level with Argentine great Juan Manuel Fangio.
Despite his error at Hockenheim, where he led by nearly 10 secs before sliding off into the barriers late into the race, Mr. Vettel has been a bit defiant with the press.
His confidence is down to the fact Ferrari has often been the quickest car this season, even more so than the usually dominant Silver Arrow of the MercedesAMG
“Everyone knows what we can do, so I am confident looking forward to Hungary,” Vettel said.
“We have showed it enough times. We have a strong car so we can be as confident as … more (confident) than anybody else.”
Taking the Pole at the tight Hungaroring circuit, known in F1 as Monaco without the walls is Key given it is among the hardest tracks in F1 for overtaking.
Mr. Vettel won from Pole last year. He held off team mate Kimi Raikkonen on the long straight into Turn 1, and held on to win despite driving more than 50% the race hampered by a steering problem.
He has grit and tenacity, and he needs to show against rival Hamilton, who has often proved the better driver under pressure.
Although MercedesAMG reclaimed the leads in the drivers’ and constructors’ championships after victory in Germany this does not disguise the fact MercedesAMG has major shortcomings. Before last weekend’s race, the paddock talk was of the Silver Arrows, power, reliability and team strategy issues.
“In the cold light of day, we also know and recognise that we did not bring the quickest car to Hockenheim,” MercedesAMG F1 Boss, Toto Wolff said.
“Hungary will see another tough fight with both Ferrari and Red Bull. It is a high down-force track and on paper they should both be very fast in Budapest. However, if there is 1 thing the German Grand Prix taught us, it’s the fact that predictions do not determine race results.”
Following the mid-season break, the F1 championship resumes at the Spa track in Belgium on 26 August. Usually, the last race before the Summer break is a mixture of excitement and relief.
There will be a somber mood hanging over the Budapest paddock after the death of former Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne, 66 anni, this Wednesday who died after complications from surgery in Zurich.
Upon replacing the longtime head of Ferrari Luca di Montezemolo in Y 2014 at Monza, with the iconic Scuderia a fading force in the motorsport, the industrious and very focused Marchionne returned Ferrari to title-contending form.
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