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Ferrari F1 2016 Preview

A look at the Ferrari F1 2016 campaign, and whether this could be the first time in nearly ten years that the Scuderia achieves a Drivers' Championship.

Ferrari are well and truly back. Some significant restructuring from the absolute top downwards has delivered results almost instantly, and it is now time for Ferrari to deliver a serious challenge to Mercedes. There were times where Ferrari had a clear edge over Mercedes in 2015 such as strategy and in mechanical grip. To mount a real challenge this year, the radical new car – the SF16-H will need to hit the ground running. There are supposedly major reliability problems with the Ferrari F1 2016, but the mileage they did in testing does not really support this. For this year, the car needs to be a major step forward in pretty much every area for the team to really challenge the Silver Arrows.

The Drivers

Sebastian Vettel

2006-2007: BMW Sauber (test then race driver)
2007-2008: Toro Rosso
2009-2014: Red Bull
2015-: Ferrari
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 F1 World Champion

Sebastian Vettel’s first season was truly phenomenal: three wins, numerous podiums and all but silencing what critics he had left. He immediately took a number one status within the team and assisted with rebuilding it. With a car which has been designed for him at his disposal now, it will be interesting to see whether he can deliver even stronger performances this year. Should he assert himself in that number one role again, he may be able to challenge the two Silver Arrows, but he may need some assistance from his team mate…

Kimi Raikkonen

2001: Sauber
2002-2006: McLaren
2007-2009: Ferrari
2012-2013: Lotus
2014-: Ferrari
2007 F1 World Champion

Kimi Raikkonen’s second stint at Ferrari has been far from as successful as the first. Despite this, he has been kept on for a third season (his sixth with the Scuderia in total) in this section of his career. The occurrences where he challenged the Mercedes were far too infrequent in 2015, and on a number of occasions where he did challenge, something went wrong. However, given the circumstances and a decent car, we could well see Raikkonen on the top step of the podium for the first time since the opening round of the 2013 season.


Ferrari seemed rapid if a bit unreliable in testing across the eight days of running. Raikkonen seemed to suffer the most from the problems at the Scuderia, but his times were highly impressive. The Finn was the quickest of all the drivers across the eight days in terms of one-lap pace. Although the loss of testing miles compared to Mercedes will almost certainly hurt Ferrari, it is better to have these problems in testing than it is to have them on Sunday afternoon at Melbourne. There was some positivity however as Vettel completed the most laps out of anybody on the final day.


Mercedes are simply just that bit too strong. Based on what we saw last year and based on testing, unless Ferrari has made some sort of incredible step up in performance which has not been predicted, Mercedes should retain the Constructors’ Championship this year. Whether Vettel can challenge the two Silver Arrows for the Drivers’ title is yet to be seen though. However Ferrari will very likely finish in second for the second year running.

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