After letting the 2017 drivers’ title slip through its fingers, it’s possible Ferrari could walk away with both drivers and constructors crowns in 2018.
The SF71-H is a step forward from its predecessor, and has been the fastest car of the weekend more often than not this year.
Part of that is courtesy of a breakthrough on the horsepower front. Although the Scuderia weathered a controversy over its twin battery setup in its energy recovery system, subsequent mid-season upgrades delivered a notable boost in overall power.
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4-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION
"In the last couple of years the importance of the power unit is there. So you need a strong engine. You need a good car and good aerodynamics. So it is really team effort trying to get the car to a good level. And then obviously you need to execute as well.”
But it has been the execution that has let the Scuderia down … leaving it trailing Mercedes in both championships heading into the summer break.
Slow pit stops cost crucial track position in China and Hungary, while a disastrous stop for Kimi Raikkonen in Bahrain left a mechanic with a broken leg.
Then there have been mistakes on-track … none more high-profile than Vettel’s error while leading his home grand prix at Hockenheim, costing 25 valuable points.
Raikkonen has been a strong support to Vettel and has, on his day, looked a threat to win several races this year … crucial performances given the Finn is off-contract at the end of the season.
The Scuderia’s last title of any kind came 10 years ago, when it clinched the 2008 constructors’ championship … but driver Felipe Massa lost the drivers title in the last 800 metres of the final race to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.
And after farewelling former chairman Sergio Marchionne with his sudden passing in July, the Scuderia now has some extra profound incentive to perform well - to honour the man who helped build the Prancing Horse’s proud legacy of success.