The success of Australia has aroused desires in Ferrari. The fact that Mercedes’s competitor was so caught up in the Melbourne race was not necessarily expected in advance, but it also makes it necessary to cope with a new role in China at the weekend. Many even see the Reds as favorites, but Sebastian Vettel doesn’t want to be a part of it.
Mercedes still has to be the favorite,”he underlines on Thursday before the event. Although the Formula-1-season 2017 has been started in the best possible way, the German does not want to imagine this with his team.” It was only the first race, which is why it doesn’t mean much,”explains Vettel.
Especially in qualifying, the silver arrows still had their nose in front of them, and who knows what would have happened if Lewis Hamilton hadn’t hung so long behind Max’s traps after his pit stop. The situation in China is completely different anyway. Mercedes was able to win the last three races here and could use an alleged engine advantage due to the long straight lines.
Hence Vettel pushes the favorite role back to Brackley despite the World Championship Tour: “We know that we have a strong package, but we also know that there is a lot to do, to keep up with them and to hold our position,”says the cheerleader, stressing that the Scuderia only looks from race to race. But we want to keep up the trend,”he adds.
Is the rain surprising?
Team colleague Kimi Ruikkunen is also struggling to make predictions for the coming weekend. The Finnish has landed behind the silver arrows in Australia and only shrugs when it comes to the question of favoritism: “We have a pretty good package and a good feeling, but it is pointless to guess who will be ahead now. We will know at the weekend,”he wavers.
Because Ferrari knows that the route in China does not have much in common with Melbourne. Overlapping manoeuvres have been almost inflationary in recent years due to the 1,3 kilometers long straight and the results here are not always predictable.” In China there are always big surprises,”Vettel emphasizes and recalls 2007:”I started on 17 or 18 for Toro Rosso (17; Amen. d. and became fourth at the end. The rain helped us. One never knows here.”
Speaking of rain: He could find formula 1 this year and make the fight for victory even more unpredictable. Apart from the sparsely used rain test in Barcelona, the pilots have not been able to experience the new cars in the wet. But there are no worries for councillors: “If the car is good in dry, it is usually not so bad in wet. We should be okay under all circumstances,”he says.
victory in Melbourne is no guarantee of a successful year
However the Grand Prix of China will run, Ferrari has already achieved one thing this season: there are already more wins in the account than in the previous year. Looking back, 2016 is often seen as a bad year by Ferrari, but Vettel doesn’t want to leave it like that.” It wasn’t the best year, but we were on the podium quite often anyway,”he says.”It was not the best year. However, it was not the season we had hoped for.”
That 2017 should be better, he does not see it carved into stone:”After a race you can easily say that the year is better, but it was just a race”, says the German, who is confident that the start had a positive effect. Ferrari employees were very happy about the reward for the hard winter and now motivated to work even harder.
“Many things have changed, the team has evolved. We’re in a better position. The work is more focused and we are more confident,”Vettel emphasizes, who of course loves to distribute further lucky monuments in Shanghai as well. Because Australia felt pretty good already: “It was a great weekend for the whole team.” Will he be able to say that in China too?