Debate: Will Ferrari surge to the titles?

Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Indianapolis, 2007, 2 | Ferrari MediaMcLaren are ahead in both championships with six races to go.

But Ferrari are expected to have the upper hand in most of the remaining rounds as venues like Istanbul, Spa-Francorchamps and Interlagos play to their chassis’ strengths.

Can either of their drivers win the championship? Is it time they started back one of them over the other? Will McLaren get their constructors’ points back – and if not, can Ferrari take back the title they lost in 2005?

Drivers’ championship standings after Hungary

1. Lewis Hamilton 80
2. Fernando Alonso 73
3. Kimi Raikkonen 60
4. Felipe Massa 59

With six races left Raikkonen is 20 points behind Hamilton and Massa 21 adrift.

If Raikkonen were to win the remaining six rounds, Hamilton would need 41 points to be champion. That would be the same as five second places and one other points finish, or three seconds and three thirds.

Six Ferrari wins may sound like a lot over the final races – but it’s no less than what Luca di Montezemolo demanded of the team last week.

If Ferrari does have a comfortable advantage over McLaren at all the remaining rounds, Raikkonen has a fair chance. but he also needs to consistently beat team mate Massa, have no more of the mechanical failures that took him out at Barcelona and the N??rburgring, and hope that McLaren don’t spring a surprise at the flat-out blast of Monza or the largely unknown Fuji Speedway.

Massa faces exactly the same challenge – except he needs one more point, and has to beat a team mate who’s largely had the beating of him since the French Grand Prix.

If Ferrari is going to put all of its championship efforts behind one driver it needs to pick one sooner rather than later. But that’s hugely difficult when they’re separated in the championship by only one point. It certainly doesn’t need them to start compromising each other, as Hamilton and Alonso did in Hungary.

Constructors’ championship standings after Hungary

1. McLaren 153*
2. Ferrari 119

If McLaren’s appeal against their loss of championship points at Hungary fails, Ferrari will be 19 points behind instead of 34.

A 1-2 finish is worth seven points more than a 3-4, so the constructors’ championship immediately looks a more likely prospect than the drivers’ title.

Once again, maintaining a high finishing rate is crucial – both McLaren have completed all but one racing lap this year.

And what haven’t even touched on whether McLaren might receive a punishment in the espionage appeal hearing.

So, will they do it?

Photo: Ferrari Media

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13 comments on Debate: Will Ferrari surge to the titles?

  1. Ben Goldberg said on 13th August 2007, 7:47

    I can’t say they will, but I think they have a good chance at it. But… but, but, but… they can’t have any more reliability issues this year. The main reason that McLaren is ahead in both championships is because they’ve had barely any problems. The only problems so far is Alonso’s problem in France during qualifying and Lewis’ problem in Germany during qualifying. You can’t ask for much more, especially because those problems occurred in Q3.

    When Ferrari have had their chances, they’ve just blown it. I mean, they didn’t completely collapse, but they didn’t achieve what they should have. Massa’s stall in Britain was just horrible. What would have been an easy 1-2 didn’t turn out to be a 1-2 at all.

    If I knew that Ferrari weren’t going to have any more problems all year long, then I would think they easily have the pace and the drivers to catch up to McLaren. Just have to wait and see I guess.

  2. They still can do it, to loose 20 points only takes races… But as you said, Ferrari will need to pick one driver to lead their champoionship charge. They can’t wait any longer. I am pretty sure, whoever is better off after next race will get the full support. But somehow I think, that this is going to be McLaren year (unless they are penalized for the spy scandal and stripped of some points etc).

  3. Depends on the Stepney/Coughlan case. I can’t see Ferrari consistently beating McLaren on the track, but I can easily see McLaren being stripped of points or the championship on the grounds of Coughlan’s actions. Of course, there is an outside chance that someone at Ferrari might be involved in improper behaviour, in which case Mike Theissen will be smiling…

  4. Robert McKay said on 13th August 2007, 11:53

    I think Ferrari’s problem is that it’s too difficult to go picking one driver over the other yet. They’re only a point apart. Unless one of them DNF’s in the next couple of races and a decent gap between them opens then they are going to struggle to tell, say, Massa to let Kimi through because he is a whole point or two closer to the Mclarens.

  5. To my mind the most likely thing thing to bring Ferrari back into contention is the squabbling over at McLaren! Surely there’s a chance Alonso and Lewis will take each other out at a race between here and the end of the season. And if one tries it at one race, then the other will try and get them back the next. That’s the danger for McLaren.

  6. Dan M said on 13th August 2007, 16:01

    I see Alonso getting the better of Hammy, but I don’t see Kimi winning every race. Alonso for the threepeat.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a McLaren actually fail this year (what a difference from last year!). Preferably the Hamster, hes only a rookie and deserves to be put in his place.

  7. McLaren may have a problem in the competition between their drivers but it is nothing new to them; they’ll cope. Ferrari have much bigger problems in that they too have two drivers with a shot at the title, but their car seems to give more trouble than does the McLaren. Remembering our disbelief when Michael Schumacher’s engine broke last year, thereby more or less handing the title to Alonso, we should also remember that it was so unbelievable because it had been unheard of in the preceding years.

    In 2007 the Ferrari has become fragile in comparison. That may or may not be the result of the loss of team personnel like Ross Brawn and Nigel Stepney; it doesn’t really matter what caused it, the fact is that it is so. And that is why they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of lifting the constructors’ prize without the intervention of the FIA.

    The driver’s championship is a little more possible, however.

  8. Well said Dan M!!

    McLaren seem a bit too far ahead to be caught in the Constructors (famous last words!), unless they are penalised for some off-track behaviour or their penalty from Hungary is upheld and increased by the FIA.

    It would be good if the Driver’s Championship closed up a bit and we had a 3 or even 4 way battle for the title – would be the first time in a while!

  9. Alonso is the one for me, but ironically it will aide Ferrari if he consistently outpoints Lewis.

  10. Wesley said on 13th August 2007, 20:22

    Kimi seems to be adjusting to his Ferrari pretty well but,without Massa’s help(who is obviously having some difficuties lately) not to mention their reliability problems ,I think they may fall a few points short without the help of the FIA.

  11. Anyone who doesn’t see the clear superiority of Kimi over Felipe is looking at the underside of their eyelids.

    Massa is truly a non-racer.

  12. Nicely summed up. Any way you slice it, this is going the be the best season finish for some time!

  13. COME ON FERRARI…you know you can do it..

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