Is Ferrari going backwards?

July 18, 2017 5:48 pm

The British Grand Prix was nothing short of a disaster for Ferrari. Sebastian Vettel who led the Championship by 20 points coming into the race, was at the most believed to lose only 7 points to his title rival Hamilton but come the race end his lead has been reduced to just 1 point.

And this disaster couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Mercedes would be stronger in Spa and Monza and the looming threat of an engine penalty for Ferrari means the Championship leader could lose further points.

But the major issue is the relative downturn of competency level of Ferrari in the past few races in comparison to the beginning of the season when the Ferrari looked clearly the superior car in race trim with its shorter wheelbase giving it an advantage in circuits with tighter corners and its superiority in the aerodynamics sectors in comparison to its German rival.

The Mercedes package had a dominant engine to help it in qualifying and turned the car into nothing less than a rocket on straights but its tire woes meant the Silver Arrows were more often than not were on the back step in races.

But it seems James Allison has started working his magic on the car now and the Merc is getting better with its tires as was evident with Bottas’s pace on Sunday. On the other hand, Ferrari it seems to have stagnated and lost the advantage it held atleast on the race pace front. The last time Ferrari won was back in May in Monaco and agree that Azerbaijan slipped through its fingers and it would have been a win for the Italian Stable had its No. 1 driver kept his head cool but it was a race that wouldn’t have been won on merit rather due to a freak technical trouble that it’s competitor ran into during the race.

So the last race Ferrari won on merit is once again Monaco and since then four races has happened and Mercedes has won on 3 occasions and has taken 3 further podiums while Ferrari has only 2 podiums to their name. Although Canada, Azerbaijan, and Austria were by their nature Mercedes favoring, but Ferrari should have been closer if not on top in Britain considering Silverstone is an aero dominated track that requires a very stable car both of which is SF70H’s forte this year. The glaring half a second advantage in Qualifying and 1-second advantage in race pace for Mercedes, was biggest it has been this year and is particularly worrying when you factor-in the point that Ferrari had an Engine upgrade here while their German rival did not.

Hungaroring is the next track and with its twisty corners should aid the Ferrari more and Vettel needs to win in order to go into the summer break with a championship lead and to ease the pressure on the team a little bit to give them a mental boost, for Ferrari has been losing the development war with Silver Arrows.

Muktesh Swamy

A Petrol Head, Traveller, Writer and Philosopher. Who do you wanna meet?

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