F1 Racing (UK) - - SEASON PREVIEW 2016 -


The big ques­tion is: can Se­bas­tian Vet­tel de­liver a tro­phy to Fer­rari where Fer­nando Alonso couldn’t? Vet­tel is younger, so he still has that hunger and that need to de­liver – plus, I get the im­pres­sion Seb puts in just that bit more work away from the cir­cuit, and I think that will help carry him for­ward. Un­til very re­cently, he was the only cur­rent driver to have vis­ited Pirelli to try to un­der­stand their de­sign phi­los­o­phy – and al­most cer­tainly to try to in­flu­ence it to­wards his driv­ing style.

A lot rests on tech boss James Al­li­son, and the team he’s built around him, to make the next step. The en­gine has ob­vi­ously made a big leap, but what’s the next stage in ef­fi­ciency? It’s one thing be­ing able to de­liver a rea­son­able qual­i­fy­ing lap, but fuel ef­fi­ciency is a part of mod­ern For­mula 1 and a key el­e­ment in be­ing able to mount a chal­lenge to Mercedes.

We are hope­ful, of course. Just as we want to see good rac­ing be­tween Nico and Lewis, we also want to see Fer­rari in the mix. If they’re not up there, then it’s just go­ing to be an­other Mercedes intra-team bat­tle.

Kimi Räikkö­nen is a shadow of what he was, but he’s a good num­ber two who will al­ways be a few places and sev­eral sec­onds be­hind his team-mate. Kimi isn’t de­liv­er­ing con­sis­tently; I know it’s al­ways dif­fi­cult to crit­i­cise Kimi be­cause he’s a fan favourite for what­ever bizarre rea­son (I’ve been his team-mate, so I do feel I’ve got some in­side knowl­edge here!), but I don’t think he has the work ethic.


He re­lied on tal­ent to de­liver his ti­tle, and that ship has sailed. He can’t just rely on his speed any more, as dis­played by Se­bas­tian com­ing into that team and mak­ing it his own.

If James Al­li­son and his col­leagues have im­proved their car as much as they did last year, ‘Su­per Seb’ could match Fan­gio’s five world ti­tles. I’d love to see that: F1 needs Fer­rari suc­cess. But Kimi will need to pull his socks up.

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