Despite trailing Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in the championship tables, Sebastian Vettel is convinced he and Ferrari have more to come in the second half of the season, and can take the fight to their rivals.
Vettel, who like Hamilton is chasing his fifth world championship to match the record of the great Juan-Manuel Fangio, says that in the pipeline are many developments that will enhance the already-impressive Ferrari. Indeed, many observers believe the Ferrari to be the better and more consistent car.
Furthermore, the death of Sergio Marchionne – the CEO and a much respected figure in the team -and subsequent management reshuffle does not seem to have made the negative impact that many were expecting.
Shocks Down the Field
With talk of next season’s Ferrari drivers rife in the paddock – Vettel is remaining yet Kimi Raikkonen is out of contract and is yet to hear whether he will be retained – the surprising announcement that Daniel Ricciardo will leave Red Bull for the works Renault team for 2019 is the first move in what now promises to be an interesting driver market scenario.
Ricciardo, one of the most skilled in the field, had been mentioned as a possible Ferrari driver, although the belief is that the seat will go to either Raikkonen or the young Charles Leclerc – the latter of whom some believe has already signed a contract. The Red Bull drive is likely to go to Pierre Gasly, who is currently impressing at junior team Toro Rosso.
Elsewhere, the Force India team has gone into administration after a court hearing involving a number of creditors, not least engine supplier Mercedes-Benz and driver Sergio Perez. The uncertainty surrounding the team means that Perez and his team-mate Esteban Ocon may be looking for work.
There are, however, rumoured to be a number of potential buyers for Force India – which is a well-run and effective midfield outfit – so we await news on that front.