Suzuka could be 'business as usual' for Mercedes

  • Published on 21 Sep 2015 14:27
  • comments 1
  • By: Rob Veenstra

All eyes are on Mercedes as the team otherwise dominant in the 'power unit' era suffered a mysterious loss of form in Singapore. One might be forgiven for thinking Fernando Alonso would recoil at his old team Ferrari's third win of the season on Sunday.

But the McLaren-Honda driver told Italy's Rai: "It's nice to see people other than Mercedes on the podium. We will have to take a picture and put it on the wall as they have dominated for two years. I'm happy for my friends at Ferrari," Alonso insisted, "and I hope it continues."

Much more than happy, meanwhile, is Ferrari's team boss Maurizio Arrivabene, who according to some promised before the start of the season to walk barefoot up the hills near Maranello if a red car wins three times in 2015. "Actually I said four wins," he grinned, "which is why I want us now to have five wins!"

Ferrari took an undoubted step forward recently with the introduction of another engine specification, but also clearly faster in Singapore was Red Bull. "It is difficult to understand what happened with Mercedes here," said Red Bull's Christian Horner. "I think if it's the same in Japan next weekend, then Ferrari even has a chance at the world championship. But we could get to Suzuka and it's business as usual," he added.

Mercedes will certainly be hoping so. "I don't think we could have lost so much in our car in such a short space of time between the last race (at Monza) and here," boss Toto Wolff said before leaving Singapore.

But he also admitted that the problem in Singapore remains a mystery for now. "We cannot write it off as a one-off," said Wolff. "We need to analyse the situation and find the cause. I would like to go to Suzuka without this headache, then we would only have to worry about a possible typhoon," he half-smiled.

Wolff said early analysis shows that Pirelli's new tyre pressure rules played "no role" in what happened at Suzuka, and eased his pessimism with comfort in Mercedes' record of utter domination to date. "The car has not lost its aerodynamic qualities overnight," he said. "The engine is not suddenly no longer a good engine."

Even Ferrari's Arrivabene knows that, as he was asked if Singapore signalled the potential start of a 'new era' for F1. "Honestly, I don't care about a new era," said the Italian. "I care about winning." (GMM)

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  • Not sure Ferrari has a shot at the constructor's, but Vettel do have a shot at the driver's title, if he can win every race from now on and Hamilton retires from at least one more race. But even then, Vettel has to get past Rosberg, and I dont think Rosberg will give up without a fight.

    Suzuka isnt Singapore, the enviroment is cooler, and its not a street circuit. But Suzuka is at least as unforgiving, one mistake and you've lost a lot of time, and tyre wear can be extreme. The only brand that doesnt seem to suffer there in Super GT are Bridgestone. Add that it has highspeed corners to the mix.. I am pretty sure we can expect Ferrari to be competitive once again, and it would not surprise me if Red Bull could be up there aswell. McLaren do once again have a chance at points, but they need some serious strategy to pull off a double points finish. Another team we probably can expect a lot from is Sauber, with their new aero pack and a Ferrari engine they should be able to challenge for points. If tyre wear was the cause of Mercedes' problems in Singapore, they wont like Suzuka much more.

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    • Sep 21 2015 - 18:04

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