The Summer break is coming to an end and the circus will start going from venue to
venue again after a 3-week hiatus. Next up is the classical location of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, a track loved by all and a venue to some great racing over the years.
Going into the weekend, Championship leader Vettel will arrive in Belgium with a 14 point lead, with how much advantage he’ll leave is a matter to look forward to but the consensus is that it’ll go down unless a miracle comes to the German’s rescue.
The upcoming two races i.e. Spa and Monza are going to play to the strengths of rivals Mercedes. The W08 and SF70H are pretty close to each other in terms of chassis having their own sets of advantages over the other in specific environments but the engine powering the W08 is a notch or two higher than the Ferrari engine with the advantage quite evident on Saturday allowing the Mercedes boys to lock-out the first positions.
Spa and Monza are both power hungry circuits and therefore the best Vettel can hope for is P3 in both the races or intervention from Mother Nature in the former venue.
And that’s what Vettel and Ferrari should aim for. Taking risky strategy and pushing against the superior Mercedes can have drastic results as Britain proved.
Finishing P3 in both the races and Hamilton winning them but would result in a 6 point deficit going into Singapore but that’s a gap Vettel can overcome aided by the fact that Singapore will favour Ferrari and by finishing 1-2, Vettel can convert the deficit into a 4 point lead and this lead can be even bigger given Red Bull can be in the fray as well.
The Mercedes is the faster car overall and Ferrari needs to play this game tactically in order to fight for the driver’s championship.
With Asian races also Vettel’s stronger suit, it hinges on how the two teams have fared during the summer break. If Ferrari is able to pull off just a few extra grunts from the engine then maybe the fight can be even between the two title protagonists but till that happens, Ferrari and Vettel has to play this like chess rather than out and out street racing because in the latter scenario, I’m sorry to say, it’ll be the German who’d emerge as the loser.