Ferrari put away the world championship with second place in both the constructors and the drivers’ titles and on the strength of the five wins that bear Sebastian Vettel’s signature. It was an important step forward after the “zero” on the score sheet the year before and in the light of next year, even though the gap from Mercedes is still big, as we saw in the last few grands prix.
In fact, at the Yas Marina circuit Vettel paid with a gap of 0.350 second per lap compared to Mercedes’ duo which became a gap of almost 20 seconds at the finish line, which then rose to 45 seconds at Kimi Raikonnen’s expense (fourth in front of Max Verstappen). Mercedes showed all its strength, competiveness and reliability. From what we learnt after the race the two Ferrari drivers fought for all the race against excessive fuel consumption.
It was the Finn that was the target of a lot of criticism during the season and the protagonist of some mundane races, only occasionally replacing them with a notable performance. There was no lack of important statement from Ferrari’s President Sergio Marchionne. However, he decided to once more trust in him.
“I know I will make some enemies, but I would have chosen differently. With Vettel’s three year renewal I would have put a young driver at his side to give him experience, one able to become the heir of the four times world champion and at the same time able to put him under pressure, rather than a 39 year old,” commented Gian Carlo Minardi in an interview with Biagio Maglienti in his slot on Sky Sport News, “We hope that Father Christmas will let us find a nice present under the Xmas tree for 2018 since our Italian drivers are second to none, even if it is hard for them to emerge as there are few spaces and the only Italian team we have in F1 is Ferrari, a top team.