WE EXPLORE THE FIVE BATTLE FRONTS THAT SEPARATE MERCEDES-AMG FROM FERRARI THIS FORMULA 1 SEASON
AFTER WINTER TESTING, hopes were high that – finally – Mercedes would be challenged at the sharp end of Formula 1’s hybrid era. Not only was Sebastian Vettel fastest around Barcelona, but he was Ferrari’s chosen one.
New team principal Mattia Binotto declared he would prioritise the four-time champ ahead of Ferrari newcomer Charles Leclerc in the title chase. After five years of Mercedes domination, it looked like we would finally going get a real fight between F1’s two big-spending titans.
That fight hasn’t materialised. MercedesAMG has creamed the opposition like never before, taking one-twos in the opening five races alone. After eight races, neither Ferrari driver had managed better than second place.
How come? There’s been a little bit of strategic mismanagement on the Ferrari pitwall, but mostly it’s been down to the major technical differences between the cars.
1. Ferrari’s power advantage
The 50 per cent thermal efficiency of the Mercedes power unit is something to be celebrated, but it’s less of an advantage for the team in 2019 than it was last year because the FIA has raised the permitted fuel load by five kilograms. With less stringent limits, Ferrari has made big strides with horsepower.
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