Scuderia Ferrari may not have the best car on the grid for the moment, but the Maranello team should be considered in the running for the 2018 world Formula One championship. That is the view of the Italian press after the Melbourne season opener. German driver Sebastian Vettel surprisingly beat Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in Melbourne, at the Australian Grand Prix, after a perfect pit strategy in the virtual safety car period played into Ferrari’s hands.
“Luck is never blind in sport,” – Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport wrote – “If you support luck with brilliant ideas, you can succeed. Sebastian took such a chance and turned it into gold,” the sports daily added.
Corriere dello Sport agreed: “This can be the year of the title. After a winter in which the Silver Arrows terrified with their potential, it is comforting to know that Mercedes is not invincible. The SF71H is not a phenomenal car, but there are several reasons for hope, even if the Scuderia has to work hard for the championship.”
And La Stampa said: “This opening win is like Ferrari getting a good mark on the first day of school, even though Mercedes did its homework better in the holidays. Ferrari has a good car that still needs to be developed.”
Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera agrees that Scuderia Ferrari is in the running this year, but adds that the Maranello team needs to improve its new car quickly as not to lose ground in the fight with Mercedes: “The car must improve and they know that very well, but this beginning shows the quality of the team,” he said, as reported by Rai radio this weeke – “The team is there, the drivers are there, the car has to improve but already last year they proved able to perform the miracle of being closer to Mercedes,” Tronchetti Provera concluded.