Vettel’s great yearning: this is his chances for the title
Sebastian Vettel’s hunger for the world championship title is greater than ever this season. But the competition is not sleeping. Are Vettel and Ferrari ready for the throne?
It will soon be five years since Sebastian Vettel celebrated his last Formula 1 world championship title. Eleven years ago, Kimi Räikkönen was the last Ferrari driver to triumph.
We have the goal and the ambition to bring the title back to Maranello,” Vettel clearly stated the Scuderia’s motto.
But when the new season in Australia starts next weekend (race on Sunday at 7.10 am in the LIVETICKER), Ferrari also starts into a very difficult undertaking.
Although Vettel and Raikkonen provided positive approaches during the test drives in Barcelona, it is doubtful whether the title is really within the realm of possibility.
SPORT1 checks whether Vettel 2018 is ready for the title (Formula 1 2018 racing calendar).
The tests before the start of the season give Ferrari hope: Vettel and team mate Raikkönen set the fastest times during the eight days of testing in Barcelona. Vettel even set a new course record in 1:17.182 minutes, setting a big exclamation mark.
After the impressions of the tests Ferrari was “in good shape, but we could be in better shape,” said the Ferrari driver.
Vettel and Ferrari also benefit from the fact that they have learned from last season’s messed-up season, in which an accident and a technical defect wiped out almost all chances within a few weeks. That won’t happen to them again.
During the break there were also personnel changes at the Scuderia. The Italian racing team brought the former deputy race director Laurent Mekies from the world automobile association FIA. Especially spicy about it: Mekies has a lot of insider knowledge about the cars of all teams due to his previous function.
Just the name of his new racing car “Loria” (from Latin “Laurus” = “laurel wreath”) should now lead him back to the throne.
But this season’s world championship title is by no means a sure thing. The competition with Mercedes and Red Bull is too strong. Ferrari was only the third force at the longruns in Barcelona. In terms of race distances, Mercedes and Red Bull could therefore have an advantage.
Vettel, on the other hand, seems to be particularly well equipped for qualifying thanks to the fastest lap times in the tests. However, Mercedes never really showed what they can do on a lap during the tests.
The fight for the title will probably be a triathlon this year. In addition to Mercedes, Red Bull with driver Max Verstappen is now strong enough to compete in the World Championship: “Max definitely has the potential to become world champion. We’ve all seen it,” said four-time champion Hamilton.
For Vettel, however, Mercedes continues to be the favourite, “Lewis has been doing a great job for many years. A lot has to come together for us to fight for the championship,” explained the 30-year-old.
Mercedes also used the break to eliminate last season’s problems: “Mercedes knew that the speed was there. It was just to show it more often. The fact that they had a small problem with it last year was probably the worst thing that could happen to the other teams,” said ex-constructor Gary Anderson at Motorsport totally.
Ferrari’s car, on the other hand, has room for improvement: “There is still work to be done. We need to understand the car even better. There are still a few riddles,” Vettel had admitted after the tests. These include speed in corners and lack of grip. According to Anderson, Ferrari “has nothing like the grip level of the Mercedes.”
Even though Ferrari is more hungry for the title, Vettel Stand now has a worse car than Mercedes. Hamilton is the number one in the team for the Silver Arrows and again becomes World Champion.