Date: 4th June 2017 at 7:57am
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Ferrari hold an already substantial points gap over Mercedes during the first stage of the 2017 Formula One World Championship.

In the drivers standings, four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel is looking to add his fifth title and first for Ferrari this season.

He currently holds a 25 point lead over Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton.

In the constructors title chase, Ferrari hold a 17 point lead.

However, the Mercedes team have been struggling to get their car to perform on certain tracks, due to the behaviour of the Pirelli compounds on low downforce tracks.

Low downforce, means less energy going into the tyres and that affects their performance due to temperature etc.

The next two tracks on the calendar? Montreal and Baku, two low downforce tracks and Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda believes both Vettel and Ferrari are perfectly poised to take advantage.

‘one thing is clear: Vettel needs to retire at least once, otherwise it’s over. Lauda told Kronen Zeitung as quoted by motorsport.com.

‘Ferrari has got a momentum going. If it stays like this the gap will become huge ? alarming.’

Lewis Hamilton however is remaining confident.

One hope that the former three-time Formula One World Champion is holding on to is the fact that Ferrari are likely to suffer grid penalties for exceeding their engine allocations.

Sebastian Vettel has already used up his allocation of turbochargers and is also on his third MGU-H of four allowed per the regulations.

Meanwhile Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen is on his third turbocharger, two changes away from a grid penalty.

Hamilton said: ‘We know that the Ferraris are not bulletproof, they’ve got things potentially coming up, all the totals they’ve used or potentially used, so we’ll see.’

 

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