Ferrari is desperate to make the most of the next three rounds to reclaim control of both championships.
And one event could turn the title race on its head, with Sebastian Vettel trailing fellow 4-time F1 World Champion, Mercedes Lewis Hamilton by 24 points. And in the constructors’, Ferrari is 10 behind the Silver Arrows.
Belgium and Italy ahead, run back-to-back, are power tracks, where horsepower is king, and the SF71H should be able to stretch its legs and outrun Mercedes...
...as it did at Hockenheim, where Ferrari was half a second faster than the Silver Arrows on the straights - given alleged recent gains from its twin battery system.
And while F1’s governing body, the FIA has said the system is legal, stating it is entirely satisfied on that front, it’s rumored that the system is already too complex to police.
The Prancing Horse’s twin battery system is said to be revolutionary, allowing it to simultaneously deploy and harvest energy – for consistent, useable power.
“They have a great power unit, huge performance – we’re looking good through all kinds of corners but we are not able to match their straight-line performance,” said Mercedes’ Toto Wolff.
Ferrari’s gains in all areas, though, have made for an increasingly potent package that both drivers have had confidence in from the launch.
SOUNDBITE (English) KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN,
2007 F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“I think it’s very well finished and a lot of good things, a lot of small things that usually makes a big difference in the car – the detail, the finished detail is good. So just for me, it looks good.”
And if the Scuderia can make the most of its power and upgrades in Belgium and Italy, Singapore could be where the tables turn with the Silver Arrows traditionally weaker in the hotter climate events...
“I’m quite confident with what’s sitting in the pipeline that we can improve. So we’ll see. It should be an exciting second part of the year,” said Vettel.
The memory of Sergio Marchionne will be front of mind as Ferrari marches into the season’s second half as the war with Mercedes intensifies.