Ferrari vs Merc? More like Red Bull vs Ferrari

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If you listened to our podcast Monday, you might recall Paul and me discussing Red BUll’s current pace and how they actually have Ferrari squarely in the crosshairs this season. As the Italian team head to Hungary, team boss Maurizio Arrivabene says that Ferrari can fail but if Red Bull has anything to say about it, they may do just that.

I was reading an article about Red Bull’s performance and the question was put to team boss Christian Horner about where their shortcomings are to Ferrari:

“Nowhere. We have a very strong car, strong drivers, the engine is improving.

“I don’t think there is anything really to fear.

“We outscored Ferrari by 15 points at Silverstone [before gaining more from Nico Rosberg’s penalty] and we outscored them by 13 points in Austria.

“We have some of the more powerful circuits out of the way like Montreal, Baku and Austria and the circuits coming up hopefully play to some of our strengths.

“It’s going to be a tight battle with them for the rest of the year.”

Fact is, the team are moving forward and if you recall, Horner said at the beginning of the season that they would start to make more progress mid-year…which is exactly what they’ve been doing.

If there is one recurring issue that comes to mind with regards to Ferrari, it’s their gearbox and the gearboxes they’ve provided to Haas F1 and Sauber. it does seem to be a very finicky piece of kit and that’s putting it lightly. Sebastian Vettel has paid twice already for gearbox changes this season.

The hopes were that the team would close the gap to Mercedes and take the fight to them but after 10 races, Mercedes has won 9 of them and now Red Bull are out-scoring them. Is it time for a resource switch to 2017? All the teams are faced with this crossover point and one has to wonder how much they will continue to plow into the 2016 car.

Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT

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jakobusvdlF1katjiji the catMIERoger Flerity Recent comment authors

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I think many teams have begun concentrating on 2017 and completely surrendering this season to Mercedes-Benz/AMG. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Ferrari were one of them. I get the impression that, with Vettel, Ferrari wants to recreate the heady days of Michael Schumacher dominance but forgetting that, too, was a struggle in the first 3 years. Consider that RedBull has become very competitive and now vying for the sport’s 2nd best team while using a “white-label” Renault engine. Yeah, both Ferrari and Mercedes are happy not to sell them their engines.

jakobusvdl
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jakobusvdl

I was wondering if Ferrari wouldn’t use their financial and engineering resources to carry on developing this years car and P.U, in parallel to developing the 2017 car.
My thinking is that with the pressure they put on themselves under by saying they’d be competing with Mercedes this year, it would be bad for image/morale/career prospects, if they finished third behind RBR.

Roger Flerity
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Roger Flerity

It took 4 seasons for Ferrari to build up to a winning car that Schumacher then dominated with – on the back of a 16 year dry spell. The current hole they’ve dug is 8 years deep, and they face two fierce competitors in AMG Mercedes and Red Bull. As you note, they need to first keep Red Bull behind them, or risk RB standing between them and Mercedes both on track and in the WCC points race. I have no faith they are going to pull this one out. They came at it with too much confidence and too… Read more »

jiji the cat
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jiji the cat

And to add that Schumacher was looking for a way out after the first 2 years. Almost signed with Ron.

MIE
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Since he got promoted to the senior team only one driver has scored more points than Max Verstappen. While other may be no stopping Lewis Hamilton, I do wonder how much of Red Bull’s improvement is down to a stronger driver pairing and how much to chassis and power unit development.

jiji the cat
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jiji the cat

Red bull imo have the strongest driver pairing out of the 3 teams. I would be confident in saying that they have already surpassed Ferrari on performance and have merc in there cross hairs.

Roger Flerity
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Roger Flerity

IMHO – strongest driver pairing is a stretch. I’ll buy essentially equal to Hamilton/Rossberg, Vettel/Raikonnen, Button/Alonso. However, I will admit that, to me, Ricciardo is Mark Weber V2.0. Very, very good, but a penny or two short at the dollar store. 2014 was a hyped up fluke against a demotivated team mate, 2015 an awakening. 2016 will be a reckoning as he comes to terms with an unfavorable win/loss record against a talented team mate beyond his capacity to stop, who is likely to make an outside pass on him in the WDC standings by the time the checkers shut… Read more »

jiji the cat
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jiji the cat

I disagree ( as I would) Roseberg just doesn’t have the mental strength nor the aggression to be a true match for Hamilton. Kimi is waning. He certainly isn’t what he used to be.
Both red bull drivers have had stellar performances this season. Riccardo especially in qualifying and 2 victories that the team stuffed up. Max is very mature and fast. I think they both surpass Kimi and Rosberg.

F1kat
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F1kat

Next year is all about aero and improving the tire performance. mostly chassis and engine dependent. It could be a two way battle between merc and bull. Ferrari will be third best.
If Honda comes on time, Mcl could give us some refreshing season like 2013 and 2012 first half. otherwise we have to settle for two way fight. I don’t think Ferrari is on time with 2017.

— i dont know how any news related to F1 is turned into Lewis vs Nico comparison.