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F1 Mid Season Analysis: Part 3

Tarish Bhatt
Editor's Pick
661   //    20 Jul 2011, 19:51 IST

We are now in the third and final part  of Sportskeeda’s F1 mid-season analysis where we will be talking about the top four cars of the Formula 1 circuit: Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes. Let’s have a look how the latter three teams have challenged the current championship leader Red Bull Racing Team.

Mercedes: Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg

Mercedes has been the best among the rest and are currently placed fourth in the Constructor’s standings behind Ferrari.  It is very unlikely that they will able to challenge  Ferrari for the third spot but currently they are facing a tough competition from the Lotus Renault team.

The two teams are separated by just 3 points as we are the  half way stage of the season.  With the current form of Mercedes, they will have to work very hard to keep the fourth place. It is very clear that the team is struggling as their race pace is not up to the mark.  Ross Brawn’s team will have to make some major tinkering if they are to keep their place in the standings.

With their home Grand Prix just round the corner, it is important that Mercedes will be looking to up the ante and aim for a fresh start.

Till the half way stage Mercedes has performed well in patches. Michael Schumacher came close to scoring his and Mercedes’ maiden podium position for the season but just missed out in Canada.  He finished the race on fourth place and achieved the team’s best result of the season.

On the other hand, Nico Rosberg’s best race finish in this season is fifth which he registered in China and Turkey whereas his best qualifying position is 3rd which he scored in Turkey. Rosberg has extracted the best from the Mercedes car in both the seasons he has spent with them and Mercedes will be hoping that he should keep improving in order to beat Renault in the Constructor’s table.
Best race result: 4th Michael Schumacher (Canadian GP)
Best qualifying position: 3RD Nico Rosberg (Turkish GP)

Ferrari: Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa

Ferrari is currently placed  third in the constructor’s standings behind McLaren and it is clear that the Italian manufacturer has not performed up to expectations. However, Ferrari has shown signs of improvement and their recent win in Silverstone says it all.  Fernando Alonso and Lucas De Montezemolo have already said that they are not going to give up on the championship this season.

Ferrari is eyeing the Constructor’s championship, which is a difficult although not an impossible task.  With the progress Ferrari have shown in the past few races it is clear that Formula 1 will experience a high voltage action in the second half of the season. Alonso has one win and three podium finishes under his belt and he will be looking to add some more.

The Spaniard has been the spearhead of the Ferrari attack and he has driven the car out of its capabilities.  What Ferrari need is for their underperforming No. 2 Felipe Massa, who has just 52 points with no podium finishes so far, to raise his bar.

Ferrari have achieved only 1 win with Fernando Alonso in this season at Silverstone.  They are yet to score a pole position till now and their best result came in the Canadian GP when Alonso qualified second.

As the second half of the season beckons, Ferrari will have to gear up in order to challenge the Red Bulls and the McLaren.  To do that they will require a special effort from both of their drivers in the remaining ten races of the season.
Best race result: 1st Fernando Alonso (British GP)
Best qualifying position: 2nd Fernando Alonso (Monaco)

McLaren: Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton

McLaren is the only team which has challenged the Red Bulls in the first half of the season. They have won a couple of races with Hamilton and Button, but are still a whopping 110 points behind the current leaders. In the last two races, the form of McLaren has dropped quite significantly and the mistakes in the British GP have cost them even more in the season.

Jenson Button has driven quite well  and is currently placed on 6th place with 109 points, equal on points with Hamilton, who might have had some more points under his belt had it not been for his rash driving which cost him via penalties.

The highest grid position obtained by the McLaren team is 2nd which they have scored couple of times with both their drivers in this season. The two wins which have been scored by the McLaren team in the first half of the season are simply not enough for the British outfit to challenge the Red Bull Racing team.   They will be hoping, however, for a better set of performances in the second half of the season.
Best race result: 1st Lewis Hamilton (Chinese GP), Jenson Button (Canadian GP)
Best qualifying position: 2nd Lewis Hamilton (Australian GP, Malaysian GP), Jenson Button (Chinese GP, Monaco GP)

Red Bull Racing Team: Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber

A team which has captured all the pole positions till the half way mark, a team which have won 6 races out of the nine and scored podiums in all the remaining races.  There is no word to describe Red Bull except sheer ‘dominance’.

Red Bull are 108 points ahead of their closest rivals McLaren and the current championship leader Sebastian Vettel is 80 points ahead of his closest rival and teammate Mark Webber.

The Red Bulls are  quick everywhere, in every condition and on every track.  That is the reason they have scored 9 pole positions out of nine races in this season. Sebastian Vettel has scored 7 poles where as Mark Webber have scored 2. Webber has yet to win a race in this season as he is been overshadowed by his teammate Vettel.

It is very much expected that the Red Bull team’s red hot form will continue in the remaining part of the season while others will be struggling to catch up with them.

Best race result: 1st Sebastian Vettel 6 races
Best qualifying position: 1st in every race Sebastian Vettel 7 times, Mark Webber 2 times

To read Part 1 of the Mid Season analysis click here.
To read Part 2 of the Mid Season analysis click here

Tarish Bhatt
A complete sports buff, you name the sport and I am there! A Formula 1 fanatic and big fan of Narain Karthikeyan, Adrian Sutil, Somdev Devvarman and Hugh Jackman!
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