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2011 Preview: Ferrari

In the third of our F1 2011 team previews, we examine the chances of Ferrari, where an agonising final round failure to clinch the crown for a second season running will palpably not be tolerated...
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa achieved a one-two finish in the F1 2010 curtain-raiser, despite their Ferrari F10 not being the fastest machine in the field. Don't bet against a not altogether dissimilar scenario unfolding twelve months on...

The general paddock perception is that, once again, the Scuderia has done a pretty damn fine job in the conception of its new baby. The F150° Italia has comfortably completed the most laps of any car during pre-season testing at Valencia, Jerez and Barcelona, and with points from the opening few 'flyaway' races arguably the easiest to attain but the costliest to squander, you would have to say Ferrari is sitting fairly pretty heading Down Under for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne next weekend.

There is a quiet confidence at Maranello, and whilst pace-wise, the F150° Italia does not appear to be quite a match for Red Bull Racing's new RB7, it could well make up for that through greater durability. Double F1 World Champion Alonso is fired-up in the extreme to add a third drivers' crown to his impressive career CV, and the manner in which the Spaniard has galvanised the team around him strongly suggests that he and Ferrari will be a force to be reckoned with indeed over the coming months.

Any pretence that Massa will be given a fair crack of the whip to take on his team-mate on equal terms, however – even if the Brazilian gets close enough to Alonso to challenge, which in all likelihood he probably won't – is just that, pretence. This is to all intents and purposes a one-driver team with one goal, and the Brazilian is merely an accessory to that, a dutiful bit-part player.

As to whether Alonso will succeed in his ambition really depends upon Red Bull's early reliability, for Sebastian Vettel is every bit as happily ensconced and with his feet under the table at Milton Keynes as Fernando is at Ferrari. Should he fall just short for a second consecutive campaign, though, there will be tears before bedtime at Interlagos...

Crash.net World Championship Predictions

Fernando Alonso: 2nd (2010: 2nd)
Felipe Massa: 7th (2010: 6th)

Ferrari: 2nd (2010: 3rd)

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
10.03.2011- Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
10.03.2011- Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
10.03.2011- Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
11.02.2011- Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
11/2/2011- Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
18.02.2011- Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
18.02.2011- Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
13.02.2011- Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F150
19.02.2011- Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF15-T in the pits.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF15-T.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF15-T with lights on the rear diffuser.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 
Max Verstappen (NLD) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10 running sensor equipment.
Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34.
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Ferrari Test and Reserve Driver.

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March 18, 2011 7:48 PM

The article is spot on but the kind of predictions at the end of it find no point at all, as based on merely speculative statistics for bookmakers. The truth is we are running out of numbers and topics as we just can't wait for the F1 championship to start.

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