Insight: Popular response to Ferrari F1 renaissance – but can they keep it going?
Sebastian Vettel
Posted By: James Allen  |  31 Mar 2017   |  6:02 pm GMT  |  204 comments

Ferrari’s winning start in Melbourne puts them at the top of the F1 world championship table, the first time since the opening race of the hybrid era in 2014 that a team other than Mercedes has done so.

The result has been warmly received across the board and has given the sport a shot in the arm, even if the race was not one for the souvenir book.

But while there is no doubt that the Scuderia has the pace at this stage of the season, the question is: can they keep it going across the next 19 Grands Prix and develop at the same rate as Mercedes and Red Bull?

The reason for posing this question is that in recent years, development at Maranello has not matched the pace set by rivals. It was a source of frustration for Fernando Alonso on occasions during his time with the team, while last year seemed to be going the same way.

With a major rule change for 2017, many teams stopped development early last year. Ferrari had to play a delicate game because they can never be seen to “give up” and they clearly kept going to some extent because they were competitive in the final race in Abu Dhabi. But there was upheaval internally with the changes of technical management and – as we now know, there was a massive piece of work going on in parallel, to develop the sophisticated 2017 car.

Red Bull got ahead after the summer break when the races came thick and fast and outpointed Ferrari.

Sebastian Vettel

So what do we know of the competitive picture today and the way things are likely to play out between now and November?

As with the overtaking debate, it is hard to draw concrete conclusions from Melbourne on the relative pace of the silver and red cars. There looked to be little between them on pace.

Because the tow is very big at this track, it is one of the hardest races to build a gap, as we saw with Hamilton. This is partly due to the double DRS zones and Hamilton struggled to get free from Vettel in the opening stint.

In Qualifying it is clear that the Mercedes still has an advantage on the extreme engine modes over Ferrari. Although Ferrari has done a great job on its engine, this is going to be difficult to overturn, which is likely to give Mercedes the advantage on track position at the start of races.

There are a certain number of laps that the driver is allowed to do in that mode, such as Q2 and Q3 laps, the start and after a Safety Car. It damages the engine and that is why they are restricted.

So that leaves Ferrari probably having to make the difference in races, unless Vettel or Raikkonen has a particularly strong day in qualifying, on a day when Hamilton and Bottas struggle.

Sebastian Vettel

What are the strengths of the Ferrari package?

Vettel and Ferrari looked more comfortable on the tyres in Melbourne.

Commentators in Italy have suggested that the relative amount of 2016 tyre development testing Vettel and Hamilton did may have played a part. Hamilton did less mileage than Vettel, who made a real point of racking up the miles in the Ferrari mule car and also visiting Pirelli’s base.

It looked rather like the early part of 2013, when Mercedes still hadn’t fully mastered the way to use the tyres in races. We will find out more in the next two races. Shanghai is a front limited circuit, meaning that the front tyres get a beating due to the long constant radius corners and that is the limiting factor. Bahrain is more about looking after the rears and at the moment Ferrari appears to have the edge on Mercedes and Red Bull in that department.

One promising sign was that the Ferrari was very quick on the soft tyre, which is set to be the most commonly used compound this season.

As for development on the chassis, Ferrari has gone for a different concept aerodynamically from the others, the area around the sidepods, bargeboards and the leading edge of the floor in that area are a clear signal of that. They have low wishbones, high sidepods and a low undercut on the bodywork, which helps to deal with and channel the dirty air off the front wheels. It is pretty complex and quite highly developed already.

Mercedes also has some highly developed areas on the car, while the front wing is not that different from last year’s which suggests that there is plenty to come from there, for example.

So it will be a case of making developments in areas that make a difference and doing so consistently.

Daniel Ricciardo

What about Red Bull Racing?
Red Bull didn’t look on it in winter testing and their form in Melbourne was the same. The balance was an issue and although tyre temperatures this year are not as peaky and critical as last year, they still had a problem. The car looked nervous and the aerodynamic stability was questioned. Daniel Ricciardo crashed at the crucial moment in qualifying.

There was some discussion about whether they had suffered from the FIA clarification on the trick suspension systems which adapt ride height for corners and straights. To avoid a protest at the first round, they were told not to bring the advanced system, but it wasn’t the negative silver bullet that many made it out to be. It was about the same as others, just not a step ahead.

As well as needing more work on the aero set up, the team was also having to run the Renault engine in a sub-optimal mode pending a fix which is due on the phase two engine in May. The word is that Renault found 35kW of additional power from 2016 to 2017, which is worth half a second of lap time, but they aren’t able to run the engine at the limit due to an issue on the hybrid system.

So the view on Red Bull is that there were clear explanations as to why they were not on the pace in Melbourne and there is every reason to expect that they will develop strongly once these details are attended to.

They will be hoping that it doesn’t come too late to catch the other two teams, but if they are lucky Mercedes and Ferrari will take points off each other during these early fly away races and not get too far ahead.

What do you think? Leave your comments in the section below

Featured Innovation
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

The biggest surprise of AUS not the "Big 3", but it was the pace of the Haas F1, at least in the capable and skilled hands of Grosjean. The Romain Empire qualifying a stupendous sixth on the grid and was heading for a big spoonful of points before his engine grenaded itself.

Usually the 2nd season of GP racing [for a new start from scratch constructor] is what's known in the British music industry as the "difficult second album" - ie a struggle for ideas and vision - and yet it seems Haas F1 (or the "Maranello B team") have come up with a very capable and quick challenger. Whoever would thought that?

I actually thought the charming and very likeable Grosjean was a contender for Driver of the Day, in so far he completely exceeded everyone's expectations of what he would do on track in terms of pace and track position.

Racing driver 1

I always said Grosjean was a good driver. Think of the solid performances he had in 2013 when paired with Raikkonen at Lotus. If I were McLaren I would seriously have him on the radar for a possible candidate to replace Alonso, if he decides to retire. Plus he knows Boulier quite well.


And if I am Grosjean, why will ever consider that! 😀


On another note. Alonso must be kicking himself.


I was very sad that Haas did not finish, they were having a brilliant race with Grosjean.


Nice article; one race win is hardly a renaissance though.


I agree with you in a way. Though it does look a little more promising this year. I want it to be closer this year aswell, but Ferrari was close to winning last year in Australia too. Then it all seemed to go backwards after that. But keeping fingers crossed that this is not just a "one hit wonder".


Couple of big difference from last year - 1. Gap to pole was some 0.8 sec and 2. If I remember correctly, Post the race stop, Nico on medium tyres was keeping up with Seb's super soft comfortably.


Totally correct. But one doesn't stop wondering if Merc have a little more in reserve.


Obviously Mercedes is taking sandbagging to levels never seen before:
hold back for the first few races and give Ferrari some points advantage and the fans some hope and then strike back.


Who said Merc were sandbagging?


But it did prove that the testing times weren't false like last year. And they could definitely handle the tyres better. Here's hoping for a competitive season all the way through.


Yeps, Ferrari seem to have an all round better car this year. Fingers crossed here too.


I must be the only one who doesn't care for Ferrari. I like seeing them anywhere but the podium even though I like both of the drivers.


I didn't like them in the Schumacher days when even if Shumacher had a mechanical Barichello sill had to move over and let him win.

But I must say I think they've somewhat mellowed a bit recently (comparatively)

But we need them now to compete with Mercedes: Nobody else is doing it.

Just try and support Vettel and ignore the car then. Is there some kind of F1 courselling service available for this? Or a special type of glasses lenses to shade out the red?

Maybe print off a picture of Vettel's head, and put it on the screen and move it over the car when the director switches over to him?


Please name even 1 race where Schumacher had a 'mechanical' and yet Barrichello still had to move over to let him win. Talk about old wives tales......


Your not alone, i spent a lot of time working in Italy, actually Turin during the early 2000's when MS was winning everything, unbearable. Ecclestone's pandering and the unfair pay structure they still benifit from has done little to heal the scars. Never felt anything against the drivers though, hard not to admire Schumacher who raised the bar in terms of professionalism, and Vettle who is incredibly talented comes across as humble and one of the most affable drivers on the grid. Its just the team, in my eye's they will always be F1's Manchester united.


I believe Mclaren were at the top of the WCC exactly three years ago.


Which engine did McLaren have then?


I think it's easy to say that it wasn't a Honda😉
By the way, have you seen some of the positive info that's been coming out from the FIA meeting last Friday? About engine change in 2021.


Please note the date of the post. Yup...April 1st.

They will probably replace the turbocharger with supercharger, take out the heat recovery to make the engines noisier, but in essence, the PU lives on.


They know how to make the right statements. They made right ones for the PU revision, and what did we end up with? 1 less fewer PUs per season, till what 2 or 3 per season, and some savings, and exhaust whistles for 2018. EXHAUST WHISTLES!


Not the "jewel of an engine" they were expecting the following year.


You believe correctly - McLaren were 2nd and 3rd, giving them 32 ponits to Mercedes with 25.


then we got the famous demotivating Ron rant and that was that


You've stated you believe. That must be such a short term memory that you are not certain enough!

Are you sure you're not thinking of testing times? The first car out?

Poor McLaren and Alonso...


Early days, very, but already we can surmise from what James says that Allison IS replacable, and that Binotto has achieved what was asked of him bearing in mind the massive pressure that Ferrari are always under.

Will Binotto and his team continue to deliver? I would not bet against it.


Winning start can be addictive - you win few races in the beginning and suddenly the energy levels and positivity in the team can be very high - it changes the whole environment... so crucial for Ferrari to keep up the momentum...


As you say it is early days. I think that Ferrari are strong because James Allison had a big part in its design so they are I think reaping the fruits of his work. Will the new design team be able to continue its development? Time will tell...


Guys like Allison just manage, they aren't designing the car.


I realise James A was not the sole "designer" - and of course there is an engineering team of which, I still believe, James was the major player and had a big input into the conception of their latest challenger.


"I still believe, James was the major player and had a big input into the conception of their latest challenger."

Such BIG input that they didn't even bother putting him on "gardening leave".


Well seeing as no one really has a clue how much input Allison had I believe it's pointless to speculate.

I wonder what was he doing with the 2015 & '16 cars.


I do not think Ferrari are reaping the fruits of Allison's work this year. If anything.. would blame the quick souring of relations bewteen him and the other Ferrari seniors last year for the general lack of direction as far as "in-season" development was concerned last year. I would not worry much about them fading away this year.

But i would surely bet on Redbull making severe positive strides through the season which may be enough to surpass the others anyway. Regardless of whether its early enough for Redbull to join in the chapionship win battle.. they will go for wins regardless if they can later and that is when it will become a random variable for Merc and Ferrari.


Phil, I agree 100% on "Early days", as the primary factor.
Allison replaceability: who came up with this conceptual design? I don't know, but it does show the hallmark 'good on tires' of the Allison Lotus adventure.
In your case fro Binotto, the question is not whether you would bet against him, but would you bet "on him"?
I go back to the main factor, "early daze".


As much as you may doubt, someone who really matters has bet big on Binotto already.


Daniel Ricciardo crashed at the crucial moment in qualifying......

He certainly was found wanting when it really mattered - did he crack under the pressure to outperform Max or was he worrying about his new clothing range sales?


Well, good luck with that one. I think it's quite obvious what the result will be😄.
And I didn't even know that DR had a clothing range going🤔🏁


didn't even know that DR had a clothing range....

Did you not? He launched it during the run up to the Oz GP. It appears to consist of a variety of T-shirts, including a very fetching sleeveless number 🙂 His 'brand' logo can be seen on the top of his crash helmet and apparently he was involved in the design and he assured everyone who would listen that he is 'stoked' with the range! Personally I would have thought he might have been better off spending his time working on a design of visor that doesn't mist up when it rains - he wouldn't want a repeat of Brazil should China turn out to be a wet race 😉


C63, a clothing range! Whatever next? Will we see Dan turning up at fashion shows now he is a designer? Obviously the penalty for attending these events is instant and hysterical criticism from many of the regular posters on this site, although perhaps on this occasion that spirit of forgiveness will prevail, just as it did after qualifying in Melbourne....


I'm a motor racing fan. I don't really take much notice of what drivers do in their private time. And that includes LH. Which is most probably why I get a little irritated when some posters seem to have a problem with drivers that have a private life. I just like to see the best drivers in the world driving F1 cars. That's all.🍻


JamesK, that's an admirable outlook to hold, many people on this site would do well to take note....



Bad start certainly for him; if anything prior to qualifying I thought it was Max who was struggling. He has quality but the problem is so does Max. We might see few forced errors by these two this year due to competition. I see one of them joining Ferrari in 2018!!


joining Ferrari in 2018!!

Not sure how that could/would work out. If Vet/Ferrari have a good season the last thing they will want is Danni Ricci joining and upsetting the apple cart and there is no way that Red Bull will let Max go. Having said that I would think this must be Kimi's final season in F1 so they need to find someone who is prepared to take his place. Maybe Bottas or Grosjean?


Bottas or Grosjean will do.
it seems that even Giovinazzi would do...


it seems that even Giovinazzi would do...

Maybe in a few years, but not next season. Ferrari have a tendency to go for more seasoned drivers.


C63, it would have to be one of those two, I always thought it a little odd that Valterri would sign a one year deal at Mercedes, unless he knew something about 2018 that we don't....


odd that Valterri would sign a one year deal....

I know what you mean , I guess he was going no where at Williams (his stock has fallen in recent times) so what did he have to lose ? He may well shine and get back on the radar of the big teams , which wasn't likely to happen had he remained at Williams.


C63, if Valterri rolled the dice for a chance of glory, then good luck to him! It's a hell of a gamble though, and I can't help feeling that he knows he will be in F1 next season, the question is where? Could Ferrari see him as an obvious replacement for Kimi? They turned him down before, but he has a bit more experience now, or maybe he will just go back to Williams. Not a bad option with Paddy on board.


Bad loss to Ricci - I think he might want to set it right..


Let's say Ferrari has a good year and Seb goes onto win the title; one botch on his cv will be his bad


"this must be Kimi's final season in F1 so they need to find someone who is prepared to take his place."

I don't think Ricciardo will be faster than Vettel again. Other than that its Sainz, Grosjean and Justin Bieber of F1 in a potential blockbuster move to put most popular driver into most popular team.


3498, the Justin Bieber of F1? I doubt Ferrari would want Lance...


@C63- People pushing for the maximum.. usually make mistakes while trying to "out perform". That is why they are paid so much.. to find that limit. Far better that he found the limit than just be safe and under drive the car 😉


It's physically impossible for a driver to out perform their car - they may get closer to it's limit than another driver but they cannot ever out perform their equipment. As for whether it's better to find the limit - I would agree. But in this instance Danni Ricci exceeded the limits of car, crashed and was out of qualifying. He damaged his car in the crash and was awarded a further 5 place grid penalty (daft to award a penalty for accident damage, but them's the rules) - so, all in all, I am struggling to find the positives in what he did. Practice is the place for finding the limits of the car - not quali.


"It's physically impossible for a driver to out perform their car - they may get closer to it's limit than another driver but they cannot ever out perform their equipment."

Which is why people make mistakes, which was Nomad's point. In trying to find the limit, he went over, or "over-performed".

It's not "physically impossible" to out-perform a car. If it was, then drivers would never lose control of their car.

There is a limit. It CAN be exceeded.



Maybe we are at cross purposes - of course a cars limit can be exceeded . Any fool can crash - the trick is to get a close as possible to the limit of performance but not go over the edge. Nomad appeared (to me ) to be implying that somehow a driver can out perform their car e.g. he was driving every lap at 110% . This is a common misconception spread by people who appear not to understand the laws of physics .


If a driver can control a subtle slide through corners and go faster as a result (car/tyres are over the limit of adhesion) then surely he is driving it beyond it's limit. Suppose it depends what you class as the limit.


All I was really trying to say, was that a driver cannot exceed the limitations of the car - no matter what people want to believe no driver can 'outdrive' his car. He can drive right up to the limits of his car and certainly some drivers are better than others at consistently doing that. But the notion that some drivers extract more than 100% of a cars performance is a fallacy - they may get closer to the 100% available than their team mate but they cannot exceed it.


"he was driving every lap at 110% . This is a common misconception spread by people who appear not to understand the laws of physics"

You are not wrong about the laws of physics, but you are probably taking such "fan claims" too literal, which is why you assumed Nomad was implying that Dan was omnipotent, lol.

A cars performance is ultimately determined by numerous factors including "driver skill". So while yes, the vehicle is bound by the laws of physics, it is controlled by a driver who may be able to perform at 110% relative to all performance metrics achieved up until that point. So I think we are discussing two different limits. You are pointing out the "physical limit" which might be of interest to Adrian Newey, while most of us are simply discussing "The Limit" which is an arbitrary performance barrier that includes a drivers skill as applied to any given lap, and factoring temperature, pressure, compound, fuel load, weather, etc. It's actually a fun thing to ponder. How many cars in F1 never reached their potential due to lack of driver skill? How many cars wound up exceeding the expectations of the designer?

Don't go talking your physics to too many Fernando "110%" Alonso fans though. I am pretty sure they think that he is, in fact, omnipotent (he may be).


Good question .


Such a shame Ricciardo has taken his eye off the ball; as we all know from Hamilton's detractors it's absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to have any extra-curricular activities and be an F1 driver.


The clincher will be whether Ricci attended any parties or met anyone famous in the days before the GP - both well known car breaking activities 😉


Ohhhh, meowww. A little baiting going on there😄. Can't we just let the lads get used to these new cars first😉. But yes, an enormous amount of pressure on drivers in their home races I would think. Especially if there is a possibility of a podium.🍻


Hi James,
This season I was determined not to get involved in all the squabbling with the anti-Ham brigade. I politely suggested to one of the main culprits (on a different thread) that they might tone it down a notch or two and was assured that it was not them - but us, the Ham 'fan club' who were too sensitive and too precious. So, in the spirit of scientific research, I thought I'd test the waters, so to speak. I've reeled in one of the main suspects very easily (despite my line being quite coarse and the hook very large) and there are a couple more who's replies have appeared in my mailbox, but have been deemed by the MOD's as to vulgar for public consumption ! Anyway, although it's early days my initial analysis suggest that it is not just Ham supporters who don't like nonsense written about their driver and it is common with fans of other drivers. Fear not , it is not my intention to continue this experiment for very long - although I might just have random trials here and there as the fancy takes me 🙂


C63, good post. I'm sure there are many of us who do not wish the site to become a battle ground between warring factions, all the drivers make errors, they all have bad races, and sometimes they all say the wrong thing. Perhaps everybody could start recognising this and actually talk about what happened in the races, rather than dredging up stuff that happened months or years ago and inventing wild conspiracy theories in order to stick it to their least favourite driver. A quick look through the comments section from Sundays race report shows a huge amount of criticism for Lewis, is this warranted? He had a quiet race, but finished second and beat hi steam mate. Looking at the amount of stick he got after the race, anyone would think he had had a Maldonado style crash fest!


Way to keep your nose clean C63 !! 🙂


Serious comment that



Wrong again!! He was actually brushing up on his Italian.


Thank you for your correction, what was he doing - listening through his earpiece to one of those 'learn a foreign language in 5 days' tapes that are advertised on the net 🙂



Well at least he's bi-lingual unlike yourself. Perhaps you'd like to sign up for some lessons.


And this is relevant how ? Also how do you know whether or not I'm bi-lingual?


mange tout C63....


@ C63.... As usual, you've nailed it precisely with your deeply appreciated comments. I would go even further and say that it was all of those things and possibly more! DR is a 'flake'. I would very much doubt that he will retain his seat for much longer and at the best he'll get demoted to TR before Barca and if he continues to 'buckle' he'll be out of F1 before years end. And rightly so....I mean how did he get the drive in the first place? I'm certain that Adrian/Sars et al will agree with me. I must say C63, your ability to see through the fake facade erected around DR gives me boundless pleasure and it is something that completely eluded me. Keep up the excellent work.


And your just a smiling face in the middle of this big punch up😂😂




Ken.........Well you know mate there's a would be comedian in every crowd. Interesting isn't it how Danny Ricc is easy game for some in the Verstappen and Hamilton fraternity but the moment you lay a feather duster on either of their heroes whoa, can't go there!! The word hypocrisy comes to mind. I challenged this particular individual to post something positive he had said about Dan. Just as well I didn't hold my breath. Actually I don't really care Dan can do the talking on the track for himself and his fans.


He'll have to stay on track long enough for him to do that 🙃


He did his talking last time out didn't he - qualified 10th? Or have I missed something?


Adrian, I wonder if we did a survey of the comments from the last couple of years on this site and added up all the derogatory comments made about other drivers by each regular poster, who would finish top of the "bashers list". I think there are a couple of Ricciardo fans on here who post far more comments about Lewis than Daniel, and none of them are ever positive. Strange that you should challenge C63 on his supposed lack of positivity towards DR, I remember numerous comments from him where he has congratulated the Australian on good performances etc. I have to say if you are looking for people who deliver 100% negative comments on a particular driver, you might be better off directing your ire at a couple of your fellow members of the DRFC....



Thanks for your comments. I can only answer for myself as other Ricciardo supporters can answer for themselves. When it comes to Lewis I can speak with ‘clean hands’ because I can’t recall posting anything negative about the guy. On the contrary, for example, I praised him for the very positive comments he made towards his team (which I posted in full to Kennycarwash) after the Malaysia debacle.

You think it “strange” that I should challenge C63 “on his supposed lack of positivity towards DR” I don’t because I’ve never seen any. I asked him in good faith to refer me to a post where he had said something positive about DR’s driving skills and all I got back was a reference to a post he made in June last year where he said that Dan is a “good guy”. And now you and fellow Lewis supporter KRB have come to his rescue. Mate, I’m sure he can speak for himself! Perhaps he didn’t like me suggesting that he should take advice from yourself in relation to objectivity and fairness towards DR. Unfortunately I’ve come to the conclusion that C6 is not much better than the Verstappen Crowd who want to slam dunk DR even when he wins. As fierce a Lewis supporter as you are at least you give him credit where due. That I acknowledge.

As it appears that you are now his spokesperson perhaps you can advise me why he would post his most recent anti DR comment on an article (Ferrari Renaissance) that had absolutely nothing to do with him or Red Bull. Or perhaps you can account for his sarcastic comment that DR’s visor misting up was the cause for him going into the barriers in Q3 in Melbourne. Finally perhaps you can tell me why C6 is so naïve to believe that he’s not going to get a response in kind from DR supporters when he posts such dribble. And you want me to direct my “ire” to my fellow DR supporters on JA’s Forum?


How did I get dragged into this? C63 laid it out ... as a test, he would dish out some of the bile that the LHBC regularly dishes out, and gauge the reaction.


How did I get dragged into this?

Lol - I did wonder about that myself. Although the fact that you have been named does - despite not being involved at all - perhaps demonstrate how the anti's see the things we don't. They are clearly not there but exist in their imagination alone 🙂


DR comment on an article (Ferrari Renaissance) that had absolutely nothing to do with him or Red Bull....

Have another look at the article above - see the picture of a Red Bull? Just below that there are 5 paragraphs discussing the performance of Red Bull and in there it mentions Danni Ricci crashing at a crucial moment in quali'. I didn't make it up - I copied it from the article.



Scroll up and you will note the words in bold introducing the article:

So clearly the primary purpose of James Allen's article concerned Ferrari not Red Bull.

Yes, I stand corrected at end of the article James makes observations about RB's aerodynamic stability, it's suspension and race pace. Post race DR could not understand why he lost the rear (something similar to this he had not experienced previously) and James' comments may have provided an explanation.

And what is your response? Instead of treating the article with respect by posting an intelligible comment about RB's issues and why DR went off you treat it as a license to post your usual anti DR rhetoric that he went off because he succumbed to pressure from Verstappen, that he was more concerned about promoting his new clothing line and developing a water proof visor.

And this is my point your contributions regarding DR are no more than cheap shots that contribute nothing to a meaningful conversation.


Adrian, I applaud your balanced view of Lewis, and not falling into the trap of allowing your preference for one particular driver lead you down the path of deriding his competitors. i do however think you are being a bit harsh on C63, my take on his comment was that it was written with tounge firmly in cheek and was really about the difference between reactions to similar events involving different drivers. I stand by my position that C63 holds a balanced viewpoint and has said positive things about Dan, and most of the other drivers in the past, even Nico! I take your point about the relevance though, obviously you recall my complaints to Sars turning a none Lewis article into an opportunity for a dig at him the other day, but as I genuinely think C63 was not being serious when he wrote his original comment, I think it's ok.


I challenged this particular individual.....

A challenge which I met in full - how odd that you would bring that up.



Sorry mate but your cheque bounced.


Eh, what cheque? I don't possess a cheque book.



You still don't get it! My recent comments to you on this thread are about as relevant as your cheap shots at Danny Ricciardo. That's the point. Whether you speak a thousand languages or pay your bills by cheque, cash or credit card interests me not


Agreed indeed. The two are polar opposites so anyone trying to compare the them are clearly trolling and thus their comments are to be laughed and ignored.
Some Hamilton fans around here are as classy as the driver they support #Blessed


Sars, are you sure you remain so classy when it comes to your comments about Lewis? Surely a classy person would recognise that he does some good things on track now and again, rather than continuing with the never ending "Lewis is a douchebag" rhetoric?




The truth hurts!


I'm quite surprised the 'douchebag' reference got past the MODs. It certainly wouldn't have when I first started commenting on this site.


C63, I guess it depends on if the insult is delivered in a "classy" way...


The two are polar opposites....

Very true, Ham has 3 WDC's, 53 wins, 62 poles , the most number of wins at different circuits and the only man in the history of the sport to start from 20th or lower and podium 3 times. Ric, in contrast, has Zero WDC's, 4 wins and 1 pole. #polesapart


@ C63...gee, i bet stating that made you feel good even, dare i risk saying it,...imperious? Only joking. No, you're quite right, DR has zip...a measley 4 GP wins to his credit. He shouldn't even be mentioned in the same post as Zeus..sorry, Hamilton. I am completely surprise that Mercedes came knocking on Red Bull's door to see if DR was available and what were Ferrari thinking when they , reputedly, did the same last year? I mean who makes these decisions. Obviously they are all braindead. Even James had the temerity to give DR Driver of the Year 2016. Yes C63, i'm afraid that DR is all washed up. Goodnight Irene.


Kenneth, so what you are saying is that it is unfair to criticise a driver when he is obviously so well respected within the sport? Hmmm....


Come on C63, you're forgetting the Monaco win that was rightfully Ricciardos last year, after he qualified on pole (in a session Hamilton couldn't compete fairly in) and then led comfortably (after Hamilton was bottled up for laps by Rosberg and Ricciardo built a 10 second gap). If you flip those results Ricciardo almost has 1/10th as many wins.


Smacks forehead in exasperation - how could I have overlooked such a glaringly obvious 'fact'. My apologies for that 🙂


Thanks Mercedes!


Yes, thanks Mercedes for deciding to get serious, and pour the money taps on in order to get a top driver and top people in.

I wonder if RBR wish that they would have just agreed to the RRA back when they could've?


@all above
Come on guys! Can't we just appreciate all these drivers. I'm a so called "ham fan", but I certainly have a high regard and respect for these other drivers. They are sportsman at the top of their game, entertaining us in something we love😊. I try to be positive and think of this forum like a type of pub get together, a load of blokes talking F1, taking little digs at each other😄. But sometimes I seem to drift of to the time I was in nursery school😂. It's only been one race, and people are at each other's throats already. Just my 2pence worth! Now I'll shut up.
This wasn't directed directly at you sars👍, just your post is the last under all this bickering😉🍻🍻😊


I agree 100% with your post!
(But it was quite hilarious when the barman cut off C63 and TimW!)


All good James. People can be critical of whomever they want. As usual though this thread, as every thread before it, was hijacked by a FB and made into just another thread about 'poor Lewis' and his nasty detractors.
Its not the views people express about any one driver that's the issue its the constant MOANING about it from two posters.
James/Alex should just ban all that have posted on this sub-thread but that's not going to stop people posting, especially the ones above who post under multiple alias.
I shall continue not to care either way.


SARS, are you sure this little contretemps began with someone criticising Lewis and his fans moaning about it? I'm pretty sure it was Ricciardo in the firing line and it was his fans doing all the moaning....


Definitely the former. Quite possibly the latter.


McLaren would have briefly led the championship after the 2014 Australian Grand Prix as they came home 3rd and 4th but inherited 2nd and 3rd after the Ricciardo exclusion. Since only Rosberg finished that season opener for Mercedes, his 25 points were good to put Mercedes in second behind McLaren at 33 points.


@Erik - FANTASTIC observation!!
That means this new generation of Hybrid F1 iself started with Mclaren taking the early lead. I look at it positively from a Mclaren perspective instead of looking at a false dawn fro a Ferrari view point.


As far as I understood, the person behind the highly siphisticated aero at Ferrari is David Sanchez and it was his idea to get the car ready to folkow in dirty air. Seems that they are able to follow another car in dirty air more than Mercedes. Another point is the recent interview from Haas where the team suggests that the new Ferrari engine is most probably more competitive that Mercedes based on the GPS readings. So at the moment Ferrari seems to be strong at:
1. Following another car in dirty air
2. Using softs and other tyres during the race
3. Rear limited tracks such as Bahrain and Barcelona

Mercedes is stronger at:
1. Qualifying and in this era of F1 is it most probably the biggest advantage and all they need now is a great strategy
2. Frint limited tracks
3. Cooler conditions

What we do know is that both Mercedes and Red Bull can develop in a rapid rate and make it work. Ferrari in the post Brawn era is yet to show that they can match the development rate of the best teams. I remember they always had some sort of issues...adopting the CFD as well as corellating their wind tunnel.

Time will tell. My guess is that whoever is going to lead by Canada has a real chance to win the championship.


There was an article floating on the Italian press which said that on the past 2 years Ferrari spent hundred of millions euros in updating facilities and equipment on order to match Mercedes levels of investment in research and testing. Marchionne once stated that Mercedes CEO, apparently they consider each other friends, was kind enough to tell him how much Mercedes spent since the new era of hybrid tech was introduced. From there Ferrari resurgence began. Ferrari suffered in different eras of F1 and they coincided with being out spent by rivals. Historically, once Ferrari reach the level of investment of their rivals, they hardly end up second. Time will tell.


Merc's advantage:
"1. Qualifying and in this era of F1 is it most probably the biggest advantage and all they need now is a great strategy"

Is countered by Ferrari's strategy:
"1. Following another car in dirty air"

Should be a great season ebbing and flowing between front and rear limited tracks. And maybe with a little luck, this year will have hotter average temps.


All true, but Simone Rasta has layer the concepts. I re-iterate that Merck this hear did take a risk, more than Ferrari, by sticking to data that they were solid to them. Their wheel base is very long and that puts the car eating the rear tires and overseer. Very fast but not in the long run. Difficult to correct as well even with active suspensions (and theirs have an interesting release of loads -pay attention at Ham qualm ... he can load the car to the limit but car doesn't unload back with the same forceful action btw). In my view development from Ferrari was slow because they couldn't when direction of development / problem solving was not clear. I expect them to do it rather quickly this year. Engine to early to tell.


I agree qualifying has taken a step forward in importance, and over the season I think it will be advantage Hamilton - the Merc seems to have an advantage in qualifying, and I'd expect Bottas to get in between Hamilton and Vettel more than Raikkonen to do the same.


"and over the season I think it will be advantage Hamilton - the Merc seems to have an advantage in qualifying"

Depends on the track. Doubt they will have any advantage in ESP or HUN for an example. Also, at Albert Park (front loaded) LH pretty much nailed every apex while Vettel made mistakes and gap was less than 0.3 sec.


Oh yes, Ferrari gave the fans a reason to tune on the telly once more because they have brought back unpredictability to the sport whereby the fans do not know who will win the race.

Regards the development race, I am opportunistic Ferrari will manage because they have a well stocked war chest. The issue in the past was the team was starting on the back foot which makes catching up more difficult especially when the token system was in place.

Regards Ferrari's strengths, being easy on the tyres has always been an advantage the team has enjoyed in the Pirelli era, this is the reason why the team struggled with the harder tyres as they couldn't generate enough heat

On the topic of qualifying, according to Andrew Benson, both Ferrari and Mercedes are pretty equal in terms of raw pace and Lewis made the difference in Melbourne, not forgetting Vettel revealed he made a couple of minor errors during Q3

Talking about Red Bull, it's unfortunate they found themselves off the pace but with the expected upgrades on the way, the team may have a shot to salvage third in the constructor's title as Kimi and Bottas has shown to be strong team players


On the topic of qualifying, according to Andrew Benson, both Ferrari and Mercedes are pretty equal in terms of raw pace and Lewis made the difference in Melbourne, not forgetting Vettel revealed he made a couple of minor errors during Q3

That seems like a good point Goferet. Maybe a major part of Lewis' race this year will be on Saturdays.


@ Red Rider

Indeed, qualifying on pole will be of important for Mercedes as it will give them the best shot to take the battle to Ferrari because a Ferrari pole coupled with good tyre action would equal a slam dunk win


True, Seb made minor mistakes but he said he could not have beaten Hamilton qualification time anyways.


Judging from well-informed, in-depth replies from fans far more knowledgeable than myself over the last few days I believe the extreme polarity of their opinions militates against an accurate assessment at this early stage. Indeed, a few of those experts are of the view that Mercedes is purposely 'playing it soft' in order to keep the championship alive. I hope that this is the case and that more teams will adopt this strategy if and when they develop the potential to be front-runners - so that we can look forward to at least four or five teams 'vying' for the championship for the greater part of the season. Overtaking is becoming a thing of the past so I will be happy to make do with a 'win-lottery' to maintain interest. I really won't mind if Mercedes turns the wick up at a crucial juncture and 'narrowly' trumps the opposition at season-end. Although I have a driver-agnostic approach to the sport I would be more than happy to see Hamilton secure another WDC as his detractors need to review their unwarranted negative bias. Here's hoping that for 2018 aero rules will dictate that ground-effects are the order of the day so that I can look forward to watching the races live - enjoying an overtaking bonanza - rather than relying on selective replays highlighting Verstappen's efforts to demoralise the old boys.


If what you say is true, I would probably stop following. If a car can win all 20 races, let them win all 20 - don't gift it to make it close.

Gabo Rochinotti

I don't think than any team can ever afford to "play it soft". But I have to give you that watching Toto Wolf slam the table twice when Vettel emerged from the pit in front of Hamilton was like watching a very bad actor. Maybe he has a problem in the showing emotion department, but it looked like he thought to much before making an obvious gesture... and the repeating it after an akward pause. Yes, I would say that man tried to hide something.


I agreed with this at first. But if you watch other sports, managers are often emotional knowing that every action will be recorded and replayed...think of football managers on the touchline.

Gabo Rochinotti

True. So you would say this is a Liberty Media directive? "Please, team managers, show emotions whenever a camera is around".


Maybe he was trying to impress his boss that he is passionate about the races and really wants Merc to win. Drama could be for TV audience also. He might have thought the first one did not go live, so tried it a second time, just to make sure.


That's not drama...that's 'ham' as they say. Hamming it up for the camera to show some 'passion' That was so amateur he'd never get another audition....


It seems plausible the the restrictions on the trick-not-FRIC suspension may have affected both RB and Merc, with the uncharacteristic tire degration Merc exhibited in Melbourne.
RB has always been about conceptual design, and if there's was built upon the parameters of aerodynamics delivered by the trick-not-FRIC suspension, it may take them a bit longer to get their aero/mechanical back on the top shelf.

So far, it looks like Ferrari are ahead on tire management, and this could be key with single stop races.

While it was mentioned how well Ferrari went on softs in Melbourne, we all remember how poorly, especially compared to Merc, they went on mediums; based on testing, they are good with all compounds.

Not getting too ahead of myself with hoping there can be competition this year, based on the trend of Mercedes (as I say it) having so much (aero/mechanical/power) upgrades in the bag, their biggest problem for the past two years, has been managing the illusion of competition, so as not to have the juicy part of the F1 market stop showing up, thus target audience marketing potential shrivel in the cold and consequently wipe out their return on investment (ROI) for their F1 program.

Having been burned so badly over the Merc domination years, I remain unconvinced that they still aren't holding back decisive upgrades that can likely get them back up on to both top steps of the podium!

Still hoping for feedback on Ferrari conceptual design advantage/disadvantage for following efflux from lead cars, specifically, the high placement of the radiator intakes and huge (yes HUGE!) undercut real estate to craft a dirty air solution for the back of the car.
Can they follow closer, with less aero degradation from a leading car?
Might they have a aero retention advantage for passing through leading car dirty air/efflux?

loving the chuckles, keep 'em coming.


with less aero degradation from a leading car?...,,

I saw an interview with Mike Gascogne the other day and he was explaining the correlation between loss of clean air and loss of downforce - he said (I hope I've remembered this correctly) that if you have 80% of the clean air then you only have 64% of the downforce you would have with 100% of the clean air. He was basically saying the way a modern F1 car generates downforce it is impossible to follow and not be affected - and the more downforce you have to start with the greater the loss .


But surely everyone bar Mercedes would be developing a solution to their aerodynamic design to generate sufficient downforce to follow in dirty air, or at least maximise their tyres more effectively to make up for any downforce deficit. If you're spend your time in the wind tunnel and teraflops of CFD with a starting point of 100% clean air, you're going to be disappointed in the real world when you can't get close to another car.
Merc of course don't need to worry about this because they always start on pole.


a starting point of 100% clean air...

I don't believe Merc are so foolish they would not consider the problem of following another car. They are very well resourced and one of the (many) advantages of being a big team is the ability to conduct different areas of development simultaneously. The team conducts between 100,000 and 200,000 race simulations before each race (can you imagine sifting through that lot?) and the key members of the strategy team have over 100 years combined F1 experience between them. I find it difficult to believe that none of those race simulations would consider the possibility of following another car.


If your entire package is optimized to qualify and stay at the front, then no, I would assume they did not spend as much time as the others when it comes to following in dirty air.

Besides, even if Mercedes DID put thought into following in dirty air, they haven't lived that life. Ferrari and Red Bull have been living that life. They know it better. They have way more data regarding this. This might be a season where the lessons learned from being behind Merc for so many years will come in handy once Ferrari are at the front.


DaleD - seriously?




Ferrari’s winning start in Melbourne puts them at the top of the F1 world championship table, the first time in the hybrid era that a team other than Mercedes has done so.

Polite correction, but McLaren actually topped the WCC table after the 2014 Australian GP, owing to Hamilton's DNF and McLaren's double podium.


I'm sure he was probably thinking along the lines of engine manufacturer when he wrote it.


Not sure how you would get that, or think that, from what was written. Unlike Indycar there is no "F1 world championship table" for engine manufacturers.

McLaren topping the table after the first race in the hybrid era was an anomaly, and that's why it was overlooked.


And if you want to know "why" I would suggest that, we are talking about the first year of a new ENGINE era.


Dude don't look at me, I am not the one that wrote it. James did. You will have to ask him. I was merely suggesting a reason why he *might* have wrote what he did that didn't assume he was making an obvious mistake.

But thanks for explaining how the championship tables work. After following the sport for two decades I still need these things explained to me like I am a two year old. Also, congrats on having insider definitive knowledge on why James said what he said.


Holy sensitive Batman!

No insider knowledge, just adhering to the principle of plain meaning when comprehending written text.


Which engine did they run?


One promising sign was that the Ferrari was very quick on the soft tyre, which is set to be the most commonly used compound this season.

Well considering Pirelli are required to now bring 3 out of 5 different dry compounds to every race now that's a slightly obvious statement as the rules mean the is an permanent option brought to every race this season where as other compounds won't be.
In regards to RBR I think they might struggle a bit until Monaco really as they aren't get a big PU upgrade until Canada and by that time Ferrari and Merc will probably have moved their PU's on a step further. I don't think the RBR drivers will playing roles of WDC contenders but they could interfere later in the season in a WDC fight when they and the team are up to speed.


@Stephen Taylor.. though its an obvious fact, I'm glad you pointed it out, because it had not occured to some of us anyway!


Summer break is not a usual Ferrari strength in terms of development. RB and Merc should be able to outpace Ferrari in the Europe. Unforced errors of Kimi would matter when the field is closer.


Bwoah.... Unforced errors... Based on last seasons driving, with this seasons car, you might get to watch pure magic!


What is meant by running the engine in 'extreme mode'?
Is it just a higher rev limit?
Or running richer or leaner on the fuel?


'extreme mode'?

They have a battle setting, one where their phasers are no longer set to stun 🙂


About RedBull...
I know I'm an arrogant archair expert that can't really teach nothing to Newey.
But... xP
I believe the problem is in the body. That bulk of the sidepod Jet Fighter shape is sending the air to the rear wing on a diagonal flow - rather that the horizontal air stream of Ferrari.
The the behaviour of the back gets twitchy, on and off, depending of the angle and on direction changes.
Of course, just because the top of Ferrari's sidepod is horizontal, it doesn't really mean that the air flow reaches the botton of the wing horizontally too.
It's much more complicated than that... for sure, for sure.
RedBulll never had a car with that shape, so maybe it's better to retreat to amore familiar conventional one.


Look at this nice pic of Ferrari in motion.
The sidepod channels the airstream to the botton of ther rear wing.
The front left tire has 2/3 of it's contact patch on the ground - steering in a mild right turn.
The front right doesn't have much load and shows it's small camber setting.
The RedBull is hard to see due to the blue mate paint, but it seems that Newey went back to his Leyton House days when his cars looked like wrapped in a vacum plastic bag.
After the hunchback in the sidepod there is a long depression - because there was a long empty space in the back of the sidepod, with no mechanical components there.
So why not compact it, reducing the volume of the sidepod there with a depression instead of leaving it boring, straight, long and hollow ?
The problem is it kind of creates waves/ondulations, and at certain {shifting} steering angles a low pressure zone in the depression space.
Even worse that it is diagonal, creating a oversteering effect by lifting the rear of the car in turns.
Since the aero generated upforce driver is diagonal, its horizontal vector component is felt by the suspension motion, but the vertical vector is felt by the - erratic - G-Force on curves.
So the low pressure zone pushes the back of the car upwards and also left/right, creating a very unpredictable / twitchy rear end of the car.
The air arrives at the rear wing very scrambled and varies according to the steering angle, speed and curve radius.
I can't really teach anything to Newey, but I can brainstorm. xP
The Williams has the same sidepod shape {problems} of RedBull.


@ De Weberis.... 'I can't really teach nothing to Newey'! Conversely, does that mean the 'you can teach something to Newey' ?


New with Newy! @DeWeberis - who knew! 🙂


This should clear up any questions regarding Ferrari's commitment to inseason development.

"We still have 19 challenges ahead of us and today's race shows how the slightest thing can make the difference between being in front or being behind. Therefore, we must continue to push as hard as possible on development." ~ Mattia Binotto


OK, so the commitment is there. It is the capability that is being questioned now.


Seeing as how they had the capability to build the car, why would they not be capable of developing it during the season? This is not last year with all the turmoil and distraction of Allison leaving and a reorganization of the entire program.


Yes they can!


I am somehow confident that Ferrari will be able to develop their cars at a similar pace than the other big two team. I am no expert and it might be more of a wish than anything else, but as they have started the season with what appear a good base, it should be easier to work on improvememt as against having to work a faulty design over.
Pole is as it has been for a while all important and there the Mercedes seemed to have kept their advantage, but maybe 17 is going to have the flavor of 13, when Mercedes could get on pole but then fall behind because of their usuage of tires. It appears so in the first race but will it stay true in the races to come, that we don't know.
At the end, l hope that it stays close between these two teams and that the Red Bulls manage to catch up with them. Looking very much forward to the Chinese GP. Marc


So strange to not see Mclaren featured, even mentioned in passing, with the top teams *sighs*


I think you are going to have to get used to it. Sadly.


There's unfortunately a good reason for that I believe😳🍻


Would be interesting to see in Red Bull's case how often a team has started the year as the 3rd to 4th quickest car and still manged to win the Constructor's Title.


the loss of paddy lowe is a major loss for benz. i don't see allison as an equal replacement - not by a long stretch.


I really can't see any reason why ferrari can't continue to be competitive. It is rather silly to assume, at this point in time, anything else. What happened in the past is simply that, the past. New era, new cars, new personnel. With just one race completed what we do know is that ferrari performed better that many expected and that has to be good. There appeared to be, to me, very little in between ferrari and mercedes and that strategic variables further helped to confuse the competitive issues. I expect that it will take at least three if not more races to establish some sort of pecking order. IMO it would also be foolish to write off RB as they do have great resources, the point is however , when and how far down the road will ferrari and mercedes be, when they do get it right!


Well said👍 But I don't think anybody is writing of the "bulls". We all know they're gonna get there. I think a lot of people were just surprised at how much of the pace they were with respect to Merc and Ferrari. After all, Redbull, with Newey, was getting all the hype over the winter with these new regs coming in. I think everyone was just expecting that Redbull would be there straight away. That was a little disappointing to me. But yes, we know they will get there🍻


@ james K.... thanks for the response. The hype over the winter wasn't all coming from the team although they weren't playing it all down. The hype was, in the main, coming from the media who needed stories to keep the wheels turning. That alone caused the 'expectancy' to rise so high. Like you i too was rather disappointed in the early testing but i always knew that it would take some time to get it all together. China should be better....i hope.



Agree with all of that. The media developed a bIt of false optimism but it's early days and China may provide a better guide. Actually I was encouraged by Verstappen's pace in Melbourne something which he commented on post race but then he also made negative comments regarding a lack of balance and downforce. It might be that RB will be in 'damage limitation' mode until the first engine upgrade in Spain and later in Canada. Just hope that Ferrari and Merc have mostly played their hand. Hey mate remember the posts we exchanged on "free speech" well I've come some way towards your position. Perhaps not quite there but I do understand your position.


@ Adrian..... Just as well this site doesn't fall within the ambit of 18C hahaha. Yes, i'm hoping that the RB boys can sort the balance problems as the 'window' seems to be rather elusive and narrow banded. Once the engine upgrades arrive and are reliable then we may see some better racing. ATM i am of the impression that both Ferrari and Mercedes are out of reach but then again you never know. Both ricciardo and verstappen will be out to get into the mix and perhaps China will be better than expected.


And hopefully the Renault motor too!. DR and MV deserve better!


@ James K...yes, i fully agree with you there.



Absolutely they deserve better.


Wish we knew the bhp output of all the engines. I wonder if merc and ferrari have broken the 1000bhp barrier.?


I read it somewhere - the BBC I think, that they have, certainly in quali mode.


I think that ferrari were playing with mercedes in Melbourne. Vettel was in control when he trialed Lewis and he maintained the gap when he was ahead. I believe that ferrari have not shown their car's full potential. They may not have the pace over 1 lap for qualifying but i think they have the best package over race distance. Wait and see!


Track Position


I've just discovered this site and I am impressed by the thoughtful, mature comments as well as the insightful articles. Thank you.


Dan, just don't mention Lewis....


Best to avoid every second monday...


😂😂😂😂 what do you mean??



Tell your friends

Tornillo Amarillo

James, I have a question:

Suspension from Race 2 and later: Merc and RB will use the advance one and get a protest from Ferrari? Or the old one with the same excuse made in Melbourne of being heavier?



It's not over is what I hear


"Its not over" - Really?

That is worrying for Ferrari but encouraging for Redbull. While the former may become suddenly less competitive in relation to the latter due the suspension, they may end up equal.

But the problem is Mercedes will end up dominantly ahead of the both again if the disputed suspension system is approved. So there still remains for Mercedes to completely endanger 2017 with sheer dominance.


@ james what chance an update article surrounding this ongoing 'suspension' debacle?

Tornillo Amarillo

Does somebody know if F1 could regulate the "dirty air", the turbulence for the car behind?

I mean drivers say in 2016 the car behind had turbulence making overtaking very difficult if they were in the 1 plus second behind. Now in 2017 they say they get that turbulence impeding overtakes with a gap of 2 seconds!! So the problem is bigger and racing could be extremely boring.

Maybe it could mean that change in rules and design in front and rear wings, body, floor, sidpots or I don't know what BECAUSE OF THE NEW RULES are creating MORE turbulence.

The simple question for anybody who knows something about it is if is technically possible or not to rule some mandatory designs or limits to design in order to create minimum dirty air for overtaking. Opinions?


interesting comment... I was thinking from the other point of view, does anyone design their aerodynamics so that it generates untidy air to hinder following cars? Or is that just my devious mind?
I think it's all an excuse anyway ... when a diver jumps from the high tower, there's a spray of water on the landing zone so that the diver hits 'broken' water and not a solid floor of water. Wouldn't the same go for racing cars, the broken air in front should make it easier for the following car to close up on them ... it used to be called slip-streaming.


@ Tornillo A....I would suggest you look at Indy cars and see how they tackle this problem.

Tornillo Amarillo

I thought Indy cars all the cars have the same chasis, and that does not apply to F1, doesn't it?

Tornillo Amarillo

Excellent article. And what about the midfield, it looks like Force India has lost its edge, Renault is improving, like Haas, and Williams is King!

With Paddy Lowe in Williams, in the development career could Williams threat Red Bull? I think that being Stroll a rookie he cannot score like Red Bull's drivers this season...


This year Ferrari is a very different beast. With Binotto at the helm and loads of internal talent at Maranello promoted, the young encouraged to push the boundaries...... I can see Ferrari developing well this season. Arrivabene with Marchionne's backing has built an excellent team with a daring mentality.
Also, lets not forget that Aldo Costa fell out with Montezemolo and left for Mercedes because LDM was too tight to spend money on the wind tunnel. I can't see Marchionne not funding the team for the tools they need.


It is not a given Red Bull and Merc will out develop Ferrari, I mean everyone expected Red Bull to be strong in 2017 and currently they are not. I bet my last dollar no oneexpected Ferrari to be this competitive so maybe they will suprise in the development race as well. Let's be clear they have a new technical team so so far know what are doing.


Intersting times ahead but I would like to see the MERCS retain that extreme engine mode during the race (the FIA should mandate the use of engine mode being the same from qualifying to race) and see how long they last in the race. I wonder if this extreme engine mode is why HAM had the mechanical failures last year, drives the car too hard.


I wonder if Redbull will also have an extreme engine mode once thier PU is sorted in the second phase of engines you talk off.


So Max, you want to be a member of our little club just like Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton? OK Max, you can have a membership card, but remeber, it expires I'd you don't state this view in the press regularly.


@ Sebee....The 'Jean Todt says NO'.


Dittos to first comment here. Team Haas was very pleased with the Ferrari power unit.


And that's the scorecard for JAonF1 league on GPpredictor... well done, GT Marley, you seem to have got most things accurate!


Ohhhh, that's me in 7th. Who's GT Marley??
Come forward GT Marley, show yourself!


I see I'm coming a fine last. Onwards and upwards from here!


Yeps, it can't get worst😄 you'll have to get your act together my friend, even me, as a "ham fan" 😉 knew that this was Vettels for the taking🏎🏁. Just kidding. One can only but guess. But good luck for the next one🍻


James, we all have seen this "renaissance script" before - 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix. We also saw what happened next. As a Ferrari fan, I just cannot come to face it that we bet Merc competing with full strength. I sincerely hope I am wrong, but let us see how Merc responds this weekend.
But now that the token system is wrong, I also would like to think Ferrari can develop the car in-season, but really we need to see the Gap at China and Bahrain before getting the hopes up.


Was Malaysia the first round of the 2015 calendar?


one swallow makes a summer here...


Well, since Ferrari broke their trend of starting a season on the back foot, it means they won't waste the season playing catch-up. Hopefully this means they can now break their trend of under-development.

Also, hopefully there is a parallel team with someone already brewing ideas for 2018.


Curious about the extreme engine mode. Seems to me ferrari had the better package all weekend. IF anything, I think hamilton stole pole. The 3 tenths was the difference between him and vettel/bottas.

Top Tags
SEARCH Innovation
JA ON F1 In association with...
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer

Sign up to receive the latest F1 News & Updates direct to your inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!