Welcome back to Race Chaser Online’s continued 2017 Formula One preview series. Today’s preview focuses on the most famous team in the sport.
No. 5– Sebastian Vettel
No. 7– Kimi Räikkönen
2016 Team Points Finish: 3rd (398 pts.)
2016 Highest Race Finish: 2nd five times
MARANELLO, Italy — When people think of soccer, most think of Manchester United, Bayern Munich or FC Barcelona, but when people think of motor racing, Ferrari is usually the first name to cross their lips.
The most famous team in all motor racing, and the oldest in the Formula One World Championship, Scuderia Ferrari has started the year off looking like they will be returning to the top step of the podium this season.
Having finished as the runner-up in the Constructors’ Championship in 2015 with three wins, the team struggled under the Mercedes juggernaut last year, finishing second five times and coming nowhere close to the Silver Arrows.
Sebastian Vettel was the strongest driver on the team, with three seconds, four thirds, eight other finishes in the top five, and one more in the top 10. However, engine failure on the warm-up lap in Bahrain, plus an expletive-laden rant against race director Charlie Whiting in Mexico after both Vettel and Max Verstappen drove dangerously, were the negatives of an otherwise strong season.
In the third season of his second stint with the team, Räikkönen drove well, never finishing outside the points when he reached the checkered flag. His four retirements, including a massive shunt that wrote off the car in Brazil, were the only negatives of his season. Consistency was a key to his sixth-place finish in points.
This season’s SF70H has been the class of the field in testing. There were no major issues with the car, allowing the team to do 956 laps for 2,765 miles.
Räikkönen was the only man to break into the 1:18 barrier in testing, his 1:18.634 being the top time after eight days, and 3.366 seconds faster than Lewis Hamilton’s pole time for the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.
Vettel was second after the eight days with a time of 1:19.024, 0.390 seconds slower than Raikkonen.
If testing is any indication of how well the teams will do in Melbourne, Mercedes and Red Bull will have a real challenge on their hands from Ferrari. Both Vettel and Räikkönen look to have a good chance at winning the race.
As far as the season goes, though, look for Ferrari to stay very strong, and possibly return to their long-storied World Championship form.
For more information about Scuderia Ferrari, visit http://formula1.ferrari.com/en/.
For more information about the Formula One World Championship, visit https://www.formula1.com/ .
About the Writer
Jack Cobourn is the international motorsports correspondent at Race Chaser Online, and covers the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Rally Cars, Formula One and the FIA World Rally Championship.
Cobourn has been an avid follower of motorsports for years, having not missed a Formula One race in 16 seasons. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware, with a degree in history and a minor in journalism.
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