One of the biggest problems that worry Formula 1 bosses day and night is the predictability of the races. If the season gets too predictable, fans will lose interest and F1 will lose millions in revenue.
Because, who wants to watch a procession of cars?
So when the season started, one big hope they had was to get some more competition between the teams and it looks like their wish was granted in many ways.
Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton had a flawless pre-season testing and the Silver Arrows team was happy with its car’s development. But once the season started, it was a whole new story.
Ferrari seems to improve in every race and have a better pace at straights as well as corners while Mercedes W09 fumbled in every race and was back to its ‘Diva’ characteristics.
To add to the drama, Red Bull also joined the fight in the front row and has shown better long run pace than the German outfit.
But, the big fight is still between Mercedes and Ferrari and most likely between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
However, it is nothing like what we saw in 2017 and here is why.
Last year Ferrari lost the battle due to numerous problems with the car. This time, their SH71H is faster than Mercedes W09 in both corners and straights. Vettel claimed three pole positions and won two races while Hamilton won the Baku race, more due to luck rather than speed.
Hamilton is unhappy with his car. The German team is yet to figure out how to get the best results out of the tyres. But Vettel is happy with the performance of his SF71H. He believes the car has improved tenfold, compared to last year.
The German said: “The most important thing is that we have a good car. We have a car that we can work with qualifying. If we can put it in the front, we can fight for a win. We have good pace in the race. I’m not worried at all because I think it’s quite different to last year wherein qualifying for most of the time for most of the year we weren’t competitive enough.”
“And also then later in the season in the race we weren’t competitive enough to make things happen. But if you are quick enough, you can make things happen. Now the way the race turned out is for some people good, for some people bad – speak to Valtteri [Bottas] I’m pretty sure he’s not sure because it was his win – but that’s how it goes. As I said I’m not worried because the car is there and we need to make sure it stays there.”
Hamilton agrees with Vettel’s assessment and knows that being in the lead in points is nothing big as it may change with every race.
The British driver said: “Leading the championship is great, but if we continue as we are, it will take a lot of lucky races to keep me here,”
“And you can’t expect that for the next 17 races. The car has the pace but we are not unlocking it. We need performance and I need a rhythm and they’re not in perfect harmony.”
2 thoughts on “Why Vettel V/s Hamilton battle is not the same this year”
“Last year Ferrari lost the battle due to numerous problems with the car”
This is not entirely true. Mercedes also had their fair share of reliability issues ( gearbox issues, engine failure, headrest failure, radio/it failure etc). Ferrari lost the battle because Vettel made a lot of errors, while Hamilton was more consistent. Also what Vettel states about not being competitive enough towards the back end of 2017 isn’t correct. They were instrinsically faster than Merc in Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia and won in Brazil
Vettel is winning with the better car