Publication date: April 3, 2019
Two races in the 2019 F1 season and a possible 88 points, Mercedes has accumulated 87. For the context, that's 9 more than Ferrari and Red Bull have combined.
Based on the pace of Ferrari in Bahrain, and how the last two seasons have developed, it is difficult to see Mercedes maintain such dominance, but when everything is said and done at the end of the season, there is a good chance that this beam will start. will prove to be influential.
Unlike the start of the hybrid era, Mercedes can not wait to enter all races and come out with a 1-2 simple. Ferrari, and occasionally Red Bull, have become too good for that to happen. However, what can be expected is that the Mercedes duo maximizes the capacity of the car and is as timely as possible. The frequency with which they do it is not comparable to those around them and is the reason why the championships return to Brackley.
– Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) April 1, 2019
The first two races of 2019 are perfect examples of this. 87 out of 88 points would imply that Mercedes has been impeccable, but that is not the truth. Mercedes has faced adversity, it is her opportunistic response to the problems that the points have given her.
Mercedes found herself in an authorized position in Australia with Valtteri Bottas converting the pace to a maximum of 26 points, Lewis Hamilton's career was marred by damage on the floor, but he was still able to see the threat behind finishing P2. Having the fastest car on a weekend is one thing, but it means almost nothing if that pace does not turn into points.
In contrast to that race in Melbourne, Mercedes did not enter Bahrain with the fastest car, but thanks to a combination of driver errors and car problems, both Ferrari drivers got out of the race, and gave Mercedes another result of 1-2. Call it luck if you wish, but there is a reason why this type of result works consistently in favor of Mercedes.
Having the absolute rhythm is one thing, but it is the consistency that often proves to be the one that makes the difference. In 2018, there was little to choose between Hamilton and Vettel when it came to the real pace, but Hamilton had the advantage when things were not perfect. Hamilton only finished the podium four times in 2018. Vettel had four at the French Grand Prix and finished with nine.
So, how can Ferrari counter this? Off-season changes were necessary and indicate that they understand that something must be done. After four consecutive years of losing against Vettel, Raikkonen pbaded in favor of Charles Leclerc.
It would be wrong to make a definitive judgment on that movement only in two races, but the first signs are incredibly promising. In just his second race in red, Leclerc did everything necessary to claim his first victory. A good performance from Friday to Sunday gives Ferrari a lot to get excited about.
Ultimately, the weekend did not have the conclusion that Leclerc would have wanted, but I would not worry too much if it was him. Bahrain was the first of countless opportunities that Leclerc will have to win a race and it will not be long before he takes one.
It is said that the inexperience of Ferrari's youngest driver in more than 50 years is not the biggest concern of the Scuderia in the early stages of this season. It could be said that he is not even in the top three. The three main reasons why Ferrari did not claim either of the two championships in 2018 appeared in Bahrain and everyone needs attention if they want the story to be different in 2019.
First, the tendency of Sebastian Vettel to pbad himself off as a Beyblade. As fast as Vettel is, there are too many times when he makes mistakes that cost him valuable positions. Just two races and Vettel has already made his first mistake. The margin of error is minuscule at the top of the championship and he simply can not allow this to become a regular feature again.
Radio on board + full Vettel & # 39; s spin & wing equipment
?? Credit: F1 / FOM pic.twitter.com/e8WJ3kTKbc
– Mathias (@ SrVideosF1) April 1, 2019
Second, reliability. In general, the reliability of Ferrari is good, since Vettel and Raikkonen only have 5 FNP combined in 2018. The problem is the competition with which they must be compared. Mercedes suffered only three recalls in 2018 (one of which was not due to reliability) and Ferrari has to meet these standards to have a chance.
Third, strategic errors. It will focus a lot on Vettel's turn after Bahrain and it's understandable, but should they have been fighting in the first place? The impact of the new tires was off the charts, but they allowed Hamilton to make a lap before Vettel.
The strategy left Vettel vulnerable. Of course, this does not excuse Vettel from making the mistake, but the easiest way to make sure it does not happen is to eradicate the situation so that it does not happen in the first place.
Ferrari would have been a little concerned to see Mercedes so far ahead of them in Australia, so at least those concerns have been stifled, but it does not make sense if you can not take advantage of the car faster.
Ferrari still has a lot to work on all year long and they have to take risks when they come. If they do not, the ruthless silver arrows will enjoy a sixth consecutive championship.
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