There are still 5 rounds until the end of the season on the Formula 1 World Championship that this weekend lands in Japan at the historic Suzuka circuit. After Lewis Hamilton’s win and Mercedes’ 1-2 double the gap between Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari has climbed to 50 and 55 points respectively in the drivers’ and the constructors’ ladders.
Ferrari must admit its fault for the points lost at Monza as at the other circuits in the times that was most favourable for it. The gap would have been much smaller, just like the pressure. Mercedes has shown great strength both technically and strategically. Even if some did not like the team games, the history books will only show the titles won.
Toto Wolff’s are making the most of all the material available to them by exploiting every favourable opportunity. Unfortunately Ferrari has not managed to do it just as well, despite finishing within a few seconds after a very tight and tough grand prix.
Suzuka is surely not an easy circuit where in recent years the weather was an important variable. This weekend too the forecasts are not the best since there is a tornado and we do not yet know which direction it will take. I may be the case to change the date of the race since the bad weather has always been a constant factor. I remember the 1994 edition when Alboreto and Martini touched without even noticing because it was raining so much. It went decidedly better for Fittipaldi in 1992 when he crossed the finish line with the Lamborghini powered M192 in sixth place, giving us the only point of the season.
Pirelli will bring the Medium, Soft and SuperSoft mixes and Mercedes and Ferrari have focussed on different strategies with 10 sets of SS for Vettel and Raikonnen and 7 for Hamilton. It will crtainly be the case to intervene with the tyres in view of next year since this year they are not achieving the results hoped for with negligible differences in performance from one mix to another.
Gian Carlo Minardi