Logically, the Drivers and Constructors’ World Championships are already won by Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes for some time. However, this final stretch of Ferrari has been making thinks exciting in F1 in terms of competitiveness and proving that the “Prancing Horse” still knows how to race. How will it go in Russia?
Ferrari: Trio of victories excites the “Scuderia”
After having waited until the 13th race of the season to get their first victory, Ferrari gained some momentum and they are at 3 consecutive wins already. Charles Leclerc shined in Belgium and in Italy, and now it was Sebastian Vettel’s turn to finally win at the Singapore Grand Prix.
As I’ve mentioned on the introduction, the most important titles of the season are already awarded to a Mercedes’ team that crushed the competition during the first half of the season.
However, that doesn’t mean that this reaction from Ferrari isn’t remarkable, especially at a stage where they are racing more for pride than to rectify things in the Championship.
— Charles Leclerc Brasil Fans (@BrLeclerc) September 21, 2019
In Singapore, besides the competitiveness of their car, Ferrari utilized an intelligent strategy that allowed them to “overcome” Mercedes on the successive interventions of the safety car on the track (a total of 3 times during the race).
On the other hand, the victory of the German driver who is a 4-times world champion has been a relief, not only for him, but also for the Italian team that continues to have a lot of hope on the German.
Yes, Leclerc was a breath of fresh air for the team and having two drivers with great quality is always an important “boost” for the future. However, Vettel has the experience of a champion, and in case he has a competitive and reliable car at his disposal for the next season, he certainly won’t let his team down.
Sochi’s Circuit is tricky
This weekend, the F1’s circus is installed in Russia, more precisely in Sochi where Ferrari will try to get their 4th consecutive victory on a track that has been a true paradise for Mercedes.
Yes, since the F1 landed in Russian soil in the circuit of Sochi in 2014, Mercedes have gotten 5 victories in 5 Grands Prix, which means this is a circuit that suits the English team well.
The prolonged straight lines followed by somewhat tight turns allow the teams to extract the maximum power from the cars in terms of speed and aerodynamic ability, which means only a team with an all-around car can win this grand prix.
The British driver hasn’t won in 3 races, having won only 2 of the last 7, which contrasts with the 6 victories on the first 8 Grands Prix of the year.
But the Ferraris are in good form and they can’t be counted out of this equation with Charles Leclerc with odds of only 2.65 to win in Russia, while Sebastian Vettel is around 3.45 to win consecutive races.
In any case, and after a race where Mercedes didn’t even have a driver on the podium, everything suggests that Hamilton will be privileged in case the team needs to prioritize one of their drivers to win in Russian soil.
Red Bull shortened the distance
As I had mentioned a week ago, Red Bull made several changes to their car with the intent of getting closer to the two top teams in terms of competitiveness and the results were seen immediately.
With the fight for the 2nd place in the World Drivers’ Championship still wide open, despite the 30 points’ advantage of Valtteri Bottas, Ferrari’s drivers, alongside Verstappen, will try to explore every possible opportunity to reignite this fight when there are only 6 races to go in this 2019 season.
Apparently, Red Bull continues to be a bit below their rivals in terms of power on track.
However, the qualities of Verstappen have been visible throughout the season and I wouldn’t be surprised if the team sponsored by the energy drink could once again find a way to put their driver at the podium in Russia.
Theoretically, Mercedes will have conditions to return to victories, but the remaining teams are motivated with the recent change of scenario recorded and they will try their best to extend this streak.