The rivalry between Mercedes and Ferrari in Formula One is the talk of the paddock at most race weekends. ‘How much have Ferrari closed the gap?’, ‘Are Mercedes sandbagging?’ are the questions we have revisited this year, week in and week out.
For a number of years following their acquisition of the Brawn team, Mercedes were forced to play second fiddle to Maranello, but with the advent of the V^ Turbo’s all that changed.
The reality is that the Italian racing marque has been blown away for the past three seasons by their German counterparts. Given the form in the three races before the summer shutdown, it appears Maranello have now fallen behind Red Bull Racing and have the third quickest F1 car at best.
Yet the Mercedes-Ferrari rivalry has continued off track too – where Ferrari hope to at least score some PR points.
They recently released a video of Sebastian Vettel in a ‘job swap’ with a paramedic. The quadruple world champion gets to drive Alex Knapton’s 3 tonne vehicle in a race against a Ferrari 488GTB – driven by the emergency services driver.
Not to be beaten, Mercedes have released a video of their own F1 drivers competing in non-single seater vehicles.
The BIG QUESTION IS? Why is Pascal Wehrlein currently under instruction to gain an heavy goods vehicle license? Maybe his qualifying form against Rio Haryanto has forced him to hedge his bets for next season.
For F1 aficionados – obviously this excludes those obsessed with Bling Bling – come the Belgium GP weekend, Manor F1 will prove to be a source of fascination as we look to see which of the Mercedes boys will best the other?