Formula 1 has a week off after three consecutive races between the French Grand Prix, the Austrian Grand Prix, and the British Grand Prix. Major Scuderia Ferrari news stories to emerge this week are below.
1. Horner: Ferrari engine is the new benchmark
Ferrari have overhauled Mercedes as Formula 1’s benchmark when it comes to engines; that’s according to Red Bull’s Christian Horner. The Scuderia’s form has seen them winning at race tracks where previously they struggled in the V6 era, most recently at the British Grand Prix. Although Sebastian Vettel did not bag pole, he was a mere 0.044s behind Lewis Hamilton in qualifying before going on to win the race: “I think it’s setting the benchmark now,” Horner said of Ferrari’s engine. You can see with Haas and Sauber as well having made good gains.” – Red Bull’s Christian Horner said.
2. Sebastian: We must continue to fight
Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel says if his Italian team continue to improve their SF71H car then it will give him “something to fight with” in the Formula 1 title race. The German is eight points clear of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after securing victory at last weekend’s British Grand Prix. But with 11 races still to go there are many points to be won in the F1 drivers’ and constructors’ title battles. F1.com reports that Seb has “issued a rallying cry to his foot soldiers working in the Ferrari factory back in Maranello”. He said: “I think we need to improve our car until the end of the year. I think our car is very good. I think our car is working well on these [Silverstone] type of tracks. [But developing] will be key, because then you have something to fight [with]. And if you have something to fight [with], something to play with, then you can make it happen.”
3. Ricciardo admits Ferrari no longer an option for 2019
Daniel Ricciardo says he is closing in on a new Red Bull contract now that it has become clear Mercedes and Ferrari will not offer him a deal for 2019. After spending all of his F1 career to date under the Red Bull driver programme, Ricciardo is out of contract at the end of this season. At the start of the year, he was linked with Ferrari, but it is now looking increasingly likely that the Italian team will choose Sauber driver Charles Leclerc to partner Sebastian Vettel in 2019. As a result, Ricciardo says his options are limited and admits Red Bull looks like his best option: “Not every door is closed, but it’s looking more and more likely that the other top teams will probably remain with their lineups,” he said. “I don’t have the facts on that, but you can just kind of read between the lines and you feel that that is probably going to remain.”
4. Robert Kubica confirms he had Ferrari 2012 deal signed
Robert Kubica has revealed that he was set to drive for Ferrari in 2012 alongside Fernando Alonso, prior to his life-threatening rally crash before the 2011 season got underway. Speculation had been rife that Kubica was poised to link up with Alonso at Ferrari, with rumours circulating in the years after, and in an interview with the official F1 podcast, which was released on Wednesday, he confirmed that he had signed a contract: “There were moments I was recovering extraordinarily good and there were then months when surgeries went wrong and I went back six months instead of improving. It was painful not racing in F1 but it was not more painful because I knew I was going to race for Ferrari.”
5. Arrivabene congratulates Ferrari for well-deserved win
Maurizio Arrivabene congratulated his Scuderia Ferrari team on a ‘well-deserved’ victory at Silverstone, with the Italian team coming out on top after a great duel with Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport last Sunday. Arrivabene, the Team principal of the Maranello-based team, was pleased with the result at Silverstone and it confirmed to him further than the SF71H remains strong in 2018, while he also had no complaints about the tyres Pirelli brought to the British Grand Prix, feeling they were perfect for their strategy: “This was a well deserved win, mainly down to a great job from the team at the track and back in Maranello and I congratulate them. Winning here is not easy as England is home to the Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Force India and Williams and others. That makes winning here all the more special.”