Four races into the F1 season and already the race for the driver’s world title is looking like a procession.
No one can explain what has happened to Ferrari.
The cars looked good in pre-season tuning, producing fast performances that left Mercedes trailing.
But on the track when points are at risk and performance really matters, Ferrari has failed to impress.
The plan could not have been to allow Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to set a new F1 record for the most first and second finishes in a row.
When Hamilton crossed the finish line in Azerbaijan behind Bottas, they sat neatly in the top places of the driver championship, with Bottas slightly ahead with two wins and 87 points, ahead of Hamilton in second with two wins and 86 points.
Ferrari look a spent force
The extra point was won by Bottas for completing the fastest lap in the season’s opening grand prix in Australia.
Sebastian Vettel is third, already 34 points adrift, with no wins and 52 points. His Ferrari co-driver Charles LeClerc is fifth with 47 points. They are split by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen a single point behind Vettel on 51.
Sadly, Ferrari look a spent force even this early in the season – and the sixth place driver and down are even worse off.
Top of the rest in sixth is Racing Point’s Sergio Perez with a measly 13 points. He would have to win three races while Bottas and Hamilton failed to take a point in any of them just to be even with the Mercedes team.
“Valtteri’s really, clearly stepped up this year and is really happy in the car and really delivering and driving fantastically,” said Hamilton.
“It’s going to take some really great performances from both of us to outperform each other. And that’s how it should be.”
The next F1 race is in Barcelona, Spain, where Ferrari returned great pre-season practise times and would hope to shift up a gear in a performance that matters.
But Bottas and Hamilton were there as well and know the track as much as the Ferrari pair.
Hamilton won in Barcelona last year on the way to his title, with Bottas finishing second.