Finally Vettel v. Hamilton, the duel of the Multiple World Champions has kissed the formula 1 awake -there has not yet been a single direct duel between the top favorites in the young season.
The long-awaited duel between silver and red finally determines the headlines in formula 1, and the two main actors are also doing their best verbally. Of course he wants to finish me off out there,”Lewis Hamilton says about Sebastian Vettel,”the opposite is true. I’m in top shape, Mercedes is in top shape. Seb’is also at the limit, and Ferrari is not as strong as it has been for ten years.”
Two victories for Vettel, one for Hamilton, the title race seems in fact to be completely open. And yet, before the Grand Prix of Russia on Sunday (14:00 clock) the royal class is still waiting for the first real duel of the Multiple World Champions because a cycling duel between Vettel and Hamilton is still missing this promising season.
The races in Australia, China and Bahrain were remote duels, they were all decided at the command post, also luck and bad luck with the traffic on the track played a role. Direct comparison of these rather uncompromising racers would undoubtedly raise the tension to another level, but it is probably only a matter of time. There is a lot to be said for this at the moment.
On one round clear advantages for Mercedes
Because with only slightly different races, in each of the three World Cup races the other pilot could have won, which shows how close things are between Ferrari and Mercedes. Although the silver arrow is clearly the fastest car on one lap, all pole positions so far have been quite clear to Hamilton and his new teammates Valtteri Bottas.
Ferrari has advantages in the race, however, because Mercedes is still struggling with too much tire wear: is the asphalt too hot, overheating on the rear axle of the W08 especially the softer rubber, which became a problem in Melbourne and Bahrain. Vettel’s new Ferrari, on the other hand, is so far less dependent on external conditions.
The key to success for Mercedes is therefore in solving this problem.” We know what weaknesses we are overcoming and where we need to be even more careful in the coming races to win,”says Motorsport Chief Toto Wolff:”You have to address every problem, analyze it properly and draw up a plan, How to avoid repeating the mistakes in the future.”
Tire-friendly asphalt in Sochi
In the test runs in Bahrain just after the last race, the World Championship team searched meticulously for the cause of the high wear.
With excitement can now be expected, who has advantages in Sochi. In principle, the course at the Black Sea Mercedes could be much better: temperatures are lower, and the route around the Olympic sites of 2014 is known for its very mature asphalt. This should help Mercedes even if the difficulties have not yet been eliminated.
However, Ferrari in Sochi is not underestimated either. Because the Scuderia and Vettel have been strong on every track so far, the SF70-H has never failed. The first direct duel between Vettel and Hamilton can come.