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 Nürburgring, 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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