Emerson Fittipaldi's verdict on Ferrari v Mercedes battle

Carlos Sainz ahead of Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain

Emerson Fittipaldi is siding with Ferrari in the battle with Mercedes for second place in the Formula 1 Constructors’ championship this year.

The Scuderia have actually had a positive year in many respects but there is naturally a sense of what might have been about this year given the way the campaign has actually unfolded.

Many believe that Ferrari have had the quickest car at several circuits this season but they have been unable to capitalise, with mistakes from either the drivers or the team creeping in.

Mercedes v Ferrari

It’s been unfortunate and they now find themselves needing to try and keep Mercedes behind them in the race for second, with Red Bull nearly home and hosed in terms of the Constructors’ championship.

Mercedes have had a difficult season by their high standards but it’s a testament to their hard work and ability to make the best of a bad situation that second in the table is still very much attainable, with them having a far better reliability record than the Prancing Horse.

Who’ll come second in the standings, then? Fittipaldi gave his verdict to Vegas Insider:

“I think Mercedes have showed a lot of improvement. But the Ferraris are still extremely fast and extremely competitive.

“To beat [Charles] Leclerc, it will be very difficult because the Ferraris are very fast and very competitive. They have two great drivers in Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. It could be very difficult.

“Mathematically, they have a chance but I think it will be very hard for Mercedes to finish ahead of Ferrari in the championship. I think Ferrari is going to finish ahead.”

George Russell, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc after Hungary qualifying
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JULY 30: Pole position qualifier George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes (C), Second placed qualifier Carlos Sainz of Spain and Ferrari (R) and Third placed qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari (L) pose for a photo in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 30, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

George Russell actually finds himself ahead of Sainz in the Drivers’ standings which is a top achievement in itself and so Mercedes will be really fancying the feather in the cap of beating Ferrari given the struggles they have had.

Neither team wants to be squabbling over second, of course, because they are racers and only winning is enough but Red Bull look uncatchable now, and second is the best they can get.

A lot of money rides on finishing second, too, so there’s still plenty of incentive there for both teams.

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