Second win proves Ferrari can fight for the title “until the last” – Marchionne

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Ferrari’s second victory of 2017 proves the team can compete for the world championship, according to the team’s president.

2017 Bahrain GP in pictures
Sergio Marchionne said Sebastian Vettel’s Bahrain Grand Prix win was “hugely satisfying” for the team.

“More importantly, however, we are now completely confident that our victory in Melbourne wasn’t just a one-off and that we will be at the forefront of this World Championship until the last.”

“We finally have a competitive car to count on and it is important to recognise the speed with which we implemented the developments demanded for each new race. All this is the fruit of superb work at the track and in Maranello, so my compliments not just to Seb for his achievements in Bahrain, but also to the whole team.”

As in Australia the two Mercedes drivers completed the podium ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

“Congratulations to Kimi too on a good race,” Marchionne added.

“That said, we are well aware we have a long road ahead and know that if we want to get to the most important finish-line of all, we cannot stint on our commitment and focus for a second.”

Vettel now leads the drivers’ championship by seven points from Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari is also ahead in the constructors’ championship standings with a three-point margin over Mercedes.

The last time a Ferrari driver went into the final round of the championship with a chance to win the title was in 2012, when Fernando Alonso finished second to Vettel, who was driving for Red Bull at the time.

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    20 comments on “Second win proves Ferrari can fight for the title “until the last” – Marchionne”

    1. I’d say it’s still a bit too early to say that…

      1. toiago (@toiago)
        +100 I think that Marchione is being a little bit too optimistic. When they are more than halfway through the season then there is room for optimism. Three wins in 2015 didn’t give them the championship so I’d be a little more cautious if I was him. I am hoping for the best for Ferrari this season but i’m not convinced of their ability to develop with Mercedes for the whole season.

      2. I think Ferrari can and will perhaps lose themselves some time soon, this weekend they got some upgrades but they had their worst qualifying positions. Vettel won though and at times looked very quick.
        In the end Ham was happy in China because Mercedes won on a track that despite their past success does not play into their 2017 strengths and today Ferrari is gloating as they won on a track that does not suit their car’s strengths particularly after the PU woes of Friday.

        1. Your comments have been so one-sided it’s laughable. Since pre season testing when you swore up and down the Ferrari was junk – despite many in the press saying how well planted it was etc. Nope, good ol Pennyroyal says he knows better from seeing the on-board camera.
          Why not just give credit where it’s due already? Your seething negativity for SV & Ferrari make you look like a fool on the day they were impeccable.

      3. Agreed. While I’ve been positively surprised by Ferrari, they haven’t even reached the number of wins they had in 2015.

        Talk about the title is best left to the latter stages of the year, not race #3.

    2. Great job from Ferrari again. Although in an ideal world they’d want Kimi hauling in the points alongside Seb, the silver lining is they clearly know early on who #1 and #2 is within the team.

      Mercedes’ “strategy” today stunk of compromise. Not wanting to do Bottas the disservice of releasing Lewis early on or trying to split strategy as soon as Vettel pitted.

      Sorry Valtteri, I know you had pole and track position at the beginning of the race, but until your team decide on their #1 and #2 drivers (of they ever do), Ferrari will continue to reap the rewards from their shoddy strategy calls.

    3. Yeah, I’m really afraid we’re seeing a up to pace Ferrari that will fall behind once Mercedes starts bringing the updates.

      1. Ferrari and Mr Marchionne have said very directly that they are fully committed to an in-season development program this year. This isn’t like last year when they lost their chief designer before the season was half-over. They also went through a complete reorganization and began work on this year’s car at the same time. Allison’s leaving really screwed up their development last year. As they say, that was then and this is now.

      2. @xtwl
        In 2016, it was obvious since the first tests how the SF16H lacked pace compared to the W07 which was able to deliver similar performance to Ferrari on the Harder compound.
        The chassis wasn’t great , the rear was not stable as well. When kimi and Vettel were pushing, they were losing the rear very easily and as a result the tyres also. So it wasn’t about development, the SF16H wasn’t a match at all to the W07 on pure pace.
        As for the development race, it’s true that Ferrari got out paced not only by Mercedes but also by RBR who were getting stronger every race since the Russian GP despite not bringing visible aero upgrades as they used to do. The reason was their suspension system, no wonder that their struggle this year was down to Ferrari’s query about the suspension systems that have aero benefits. After all the statistics show that the Renault PU has evolved compare to last year.
        Unlike last year’s car, the SF70H was born “healthy”. It was obvious since the first test that the car is quick, reliable and enhanced in every single aspect (PU,tyre management and especially aerodynamics). It’s easier to develop a project with strong baseline car than a project that was already compromised even before it was finished.
        Today’s win for Ferrari must be a big blow to Mercedes (Toto’s body language was quite telling) because Bahrain is a power unit circuit that emphasizes Mercedes strengths. I think it’s totally the opposite, the best has yet to come for Ferrari.

    4. What’s interesting is that both Ferrari victories have come on a circuit with plenty of heavy braking zones and slow corners. Maybe too early to speculate but is Ferrari better on a start-stop tracks this year and Mercedes then better on “normal” tracks like Barcelona? And as Bottas struggled with the rears today, is the pre-2014 problem of too heavy tyre use back with this year’s Merc (at least in certain conditions)?

      1. Gavin Campbell
        16th April 2017, 21:22

        I would say that’s a good theory, the Merc looks nervous. Hamilton out of T2 and even Bottas’ pole lap where he constantly looked like he was fighting the car – really on edge.

        The Merc is faster but it seems to be very nervous and a bit of a handful in places, especially on traction out of the corners. These guys can deal with that for 1 lap in clean air on a Saturday but they struggle more to do it over a race distance and the car seems a lot more sensitive to dirty air than the Ferrari. It’s probably loosing the same amount of downforce but the change in balance makes a tricky situation unmanageable.

      2. Yes, Ferrari won on two tracks with stop and go corners but equally the Safety Car robbed them of a real chance to fight for the win in China which has been historically a Mercedes track. Pace-wise, Ferrari has been competitive in all three races so far. Bahrain not so much in qualy but that was down to their focus on race pace rather than single lap pace. Given the different nature of the first three races, I don’t think the SF70-H has a particular weakness. It may not be as quick as the Mercedes in terms of outright pace, but the race is won on Sunday and that’s where Ferrari has excelled so far this season.

        1. Their only real weakness seems to be quali. They lack that oil burning it seems that Mercedes do in quali.

          Also on straights they are a bit weaker. But faster in corners, better on tires, especially rear.

          Once Mercedes stabilize the rear of the car, Ferrari will have to make a step up in some way, to keep up.

    5. Ferrari are doing well, but they must make sure that they keep qualifying no worse than they did in Bahrain.
      If Red Bull put on some upgrades and close the gap, their drivers will seek to put themselves between Ferrari and Mercedes who seem to have a power advantage in Q3. Starting from the 3rd row woul wreck Ferrari’s championship ambitions very quickly.

    6. Sergio Marchionne is also the fellow that said that the Dodge Dart would save FCA . Ha ha.

    7. Marchionne comes across as slightly incompetent. He seems to have a poor grasp of the sport and remember his epic failure with FCA and the Dodge Dart.

    8. Marchionne should follow the new Ferrari policy of little or no comment to ease the pressures, but seems he can’t help himself.

    9. Good job by Ferrari, they have seemed to sort out their poor strategy calls from 2016 that caused them to lose 2 races in 2016 (Australia and Canada come to mind). Mercedes on the other hand continue to make poor strategy calls which will/have cost them in close races so far this year. In 2016 their poor calls didn’t affect them as much because the W06 was so much faster than anything else on track. If Ferrari remain competitive all season Merc need to clearly give VB the #2 role and brush up on strategic analysis for races.

    10. This just means really Ferrari made a good start. :D off course there is no reason to finish season in this form as well.

    11. And here I was thinking Ferrari were done with the stupid comments that do nothing except make the team feel more under pressure.

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