Ferrari’s battle in the Formula 1 world constructor championship may very well be for second place, and that has never been more obvious than it is now.
Last Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring was the second consecutive Formula 1 race to produce a victory for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and a double podium for Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
Ferrari’s 2022 season has been characterized by mistakes, and mistakes led to these results in both races.
In the French Grand Prix, it was Charles Leclerc crashing from the lead, giving him an astonishing three retirements while leading races this season.
Then in the Hungarian Grand Prix, it was a massive strategy blunder which knocked Leclerc from a potential race-winning position to sixth place.
It’s no secret that Ferrari still have a top two car, along with Red Bull. With the Scuderia having had twice as many pole positions and quite a few blown potential race wins, whether by driver error, strategy error, or lack of reliability, it’s probably not a stretch to say that they have the fastest package on the grid.
But a resurgent Mercedes continue to capitalize on the Italian outfit’s shortcomings, and they are catching up to them.
Ferrari now trail Red Bull by 97 points in the constructor standings, and Mercedes find themselves just 30 points out of second place.
Mercedes have been nowhere near the top two teams for much of the season. Even now, it’s a stretch to say that they’ve “caught up”. But what they have done all year is pick up the pieces.
Aside from one DNF for Russell in Silverstone and two poor outings from Hamilton in Jeddah and Imola, the Silver Arrows haven’t truly had a bad race all year.
Their car is the most reliable car on the grid, and it finishes where it should finish every race — factoring in, of course, whatever unfortunate circumstances take one or both Ferraris and/or one or both Red Bulls out of the picture.
But here’s where things get even worse for Ferrari.
As if the Tifosi needed any more reason to feel hopeless following two consecutive lost races to close out the season’s pre-summer break stretch, here you go:
If you take the following 11 spans — the most recent race, the last two races, the last three races, the last four races, the last five races, the last six races, the last seven races, the last eight races, the last nine races, the last 10 races, and the last 11 races — Mercedes rank second behind only Red Bull in every single one.
Bottom line? They are indeed catching up.
The good thing for Ferrari? They can absolutely do something about it, simply by not continuing to make unforced errors week in and week out. The bad thing? They’ve yet to show they can do that more than a race at a time — and even then, they almost find new ways to blow it.