Two points in it with two to go: It’s Ferrari vs McLaren… for third place

McLaren and Ferrari have rarely featured at the front this year

McLaren and Ferrari have rarely featured at the front this year

It’s the two titans of the sport: Ferrari and McLaren, who between them have won 374 Grands Prix and 24 constructors’ championships.

But not this year. The 2009 constructors’ championship trophy is not destined for Maranello or Woking. The two teams are fighting as hard as ever – but this time it’s for third place.

Although both are clearly having poor years by their lofty standards, the two are have had very different kinds of downfalls.

Ferrari have been generally off the pace, though not drastically so, wherever they’ve been. For McLaren in the first half of the season, aerodynamically critical tracks like Silverstone were a disaster area.

Lewis Hamilton has has brought a mixture of inspiration and desperation to the situation. He ran away with the wins at Hungary and Singapore, and wrung everything there was to get out of the MP4/24 at Suzuka – still the kind of track the car is weak at.

But the same never-say-die attitude cost him a podium finish on the final lap at Monza – and the less said about Melbourne the better.

For Ferrari the season has been more even – with, of course, the notable exception of the disaster that befell Felipe Massa. Happily, as his test yesterday proved, he is well on the way to recovery.

The upshot of this has been the number three F60 hasn’t brought home a point since the Nurburgring. Without Massa’s injury, Ferrari would probably be home and dry in third place already.

Kimi Raikkonen has done a commendable job, racking up a string of podiums in Massa’s absence to single-handedly keep the team in the hunt.

The constructors’ championship may not command the same kind of attention the drivers’ title does, but there is pride at stake here, it’s the fight to be top KERS team, and there’s a considerable difference in prize money. So, which team will prevail?

Ferrari may be ahead but McLaren seem to have form on their side. This weekend’s race should suit their car well and Abu Dhabi looks like it could be much the same.

For Ferrari it is imperative that Giancarlo Fisichella is able to start picking up points as well as Raikkonen. But unless something goes wrong at McLaren it could be too little too late.

Toyota could pip both to third place. But as the Japanese team now faces an injury dilemma of its own and has had to put rookie Kamui Kobayashi in Timo Glock’s car, making their chances that bit slimmer.

Which team do you think will finish ahead? Or is third place in the constructors’ championship just too low to care about?

Constructors' championship third place battle

Constructors' championship third place battle

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115 comments on Two points in it with two to go: It’s Ferrari vs McLaren… for third place

  1. Platine said on 15th October 2009, 0:14

    McLaren will clearly do it, Fisichella isnt settled into an awkward car, even HK more likey to score, LH edges KR, and the McLaren is just a better car than the Ferrari.

  2. super bejo said on 16th October 2009, 3:22

    i heard that Brawn GP start developing 2010 car since 4th series [Bahrain] of 2009 season … does anyone know about this ?

    • Teams usually start work on next years car early in the current year, it is more about how much of their resources they use developing this years car and how much on next years car.

      For example in 2008 McLaren and Ferrari were both still committing a lot of their resources to their 2008 cars right down to the last race as they fought for the championship, which is one of the reasons given for this years below par performance. Whereas Honda realised that their 2008 car was rubbish at the start of the year, and as they knew that the 2009 regulations changes meant everyone would be virtually starting from scratch decided to devote all their resources to their 2009 car, which is why Brawn look set to clinch both titles at the moment.

      Given their early season dominance Brawn may have decided to commit more resources to developing their 2010 car after Bahrain, but as the title fights closed up they probably decided to switch back to the 2009 car.

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