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Vettel like Schumi: In Maranello the bells are ringing

Vettel like Schumi
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F or Sebastian Vettel's dream came true. 'There were several of the same.' First the contract with Ferrari, then third place in the debut, now the first victory in the second race. 'Words fail me. It's a phenomenal day. For Ferrari, for me. It feels incredible.'

Ferrari had to wait 35 races for a win. At Vettel it was 21. 'It's really good to be at the top again, to taste the champagne, to hear the German and Italian anthems.' As with his first victory in the Toro Rosso 2008 in Monza.

Vettel's great role model Michael Schumacher had to wait two Grand Prix for the first podium and seven attempts for the first victory in red. 'He also had the worse car in 1996,' says Vettel.

There was also a superior car 19 years ago. Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve's Williams Renault. Schumacher needed a rain race to beat the overwhelming competition. The deluge came at the Spanish GP. It dampened the first critical voices in Italy. Vettel is better off there. After a good start to the season, Ferrari is carried by a wave of goodwill.

Three advantages for Ferrari: tires, aero, engine

Vettel played the heat a trump card. The Ferrari was able to show its advantages. The car is nicer with the tires. Ferrari had to open the fairing less than the Mercedes. This reduced the aerodynamic advantage of the Silver Arrows. And Mercedes did not dare to use overly aggressive engine settings in the heat. Ferrari risked more on the engine side. At the moment there is at least a tie.

In the end, Ferrari's strategists tacted even better. Mercedes was forced to adopt a three-stop strategy. In a normal race it would have been six seconds faster on paper. But the safety car shook the Melbourne winners' plan.

Instead of splitting tactics, the command post followed Plan A in both cases. Mercedes did not expect that there would be so many cars between them Ferrari and she would push herself. When Hamilton and Rosberg had cleared their way, they were already too far behind. And Vettel's Ferrari had too good a racing speed. The winner's conclusion: 'We made perfect use of our opponent's weakness.'

Shanghai proMercedes, Bahrain pro Ferrari

Melbourne and Sepang represented two extremes. In Australia Mercedes was vastly superior. The extreme heat of Malaysia made them vulnerable. In Shanghai everything can be completely different again. 'The temperatures will be lower. And Shanghai offers different track characteristics. I expect Mercedes to be extremely strong there again,' Vettel fears.

In Shanghai, the front tire is the limiting factor. In the past, that helped Mercedes. Maybe this time too. Williams technical director Pat Symonds had already remarked during the racing simulations in Barcelona: 'As soon as it gets warmer, the Mercedes get problems with their rear tires. That reminds me of their difficulties in the years 2010 to 2014.'

In Bahrain, on the other hand, could swing the pendulum towards red again. Heat is guaranteed in the desert state. Even if, from today's perspective, Ferrari would rather have a race during the day than at night. So that Mercedes suffers more.


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