The obvious setback in Singapore for Ferrari has sent the media into a frenzy during the last few days, many saying it’s made Vettel’s chances of securing the title now nearly impossible.
Indeed with more than a race win in points ahead, Lewis Hamilton is sitting pretty at the top of the leader board but there are still 6 races to go and much to play for. Apart from maybe Suzuka, Ferrari could still be the car to beat with their superior downforce levels over both Mercedes and Red Bull.
“It’s a pity we couldn’t show our pace [in Singapore]; but we have other races ahead of us and I am sure there will be more opportunities for us.” says Raikkonen.
“You [the media] assume that it’s difficult, we don’t,” he says. “We go there, it’s another race, another weekend, and we go there full of fight and we’ll do our best.”
Looking at the next race weekends, Malaysia and Mexico on paper might appear to be power circuits but they are also require high downforce, particularly Mexico. The thin air there, due to high elevation from sea level, means teams run at the highest downforce settings as there is very little drag penalty. Both power and especially downforce are hallmarks of Ferrari’s 2017 car.
“[Singapore] was very disappointing and it was definitely not the result we were expecting,” says team principle Arrivabene. “But it doesn’t mean that the battle is all over, just that it has become more difficult.
“We proved that we have an excellent car and two great drivers. We guarantee that we will be fighting right to the final corner of the very last grand prix of the year.”
“We have Malaysia [where] we should be, I think we should be OK. Then we have Japan, high downforce circuit; could be close, Red Bulls are very very strong at that circuit but I think we might be… it won’t definitely be our strongest circuit.
“Austin, I think we’ll be fine. I think Brazil would be a place where these guys (Red Bull) will be particularly strong. Ferrari will be particularly strong.
“Honestly, I think it’s going to be very close in the next races. It’s hard to predict, as I said, but I think that one particularly and maybe when you go to Mexico.
“You’ve put your maximum downforce on but because it’s so high there’s little drag and maybe the cars that have a little bit more downforce might just have the edge.”