F1's 'best of the rest' fight too close to call

Force India thinks the battle to be third behind Mercedes and Ferrari in Formula 1 is too close to call right now, and may well fluctuate from race to race.

F1's 'best of the rest' fight too close to call
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-16
Max Verstappen, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09

Although Red Bull came out on top of that fight in Australia, the pace of the Toro Rosso, the points of Williams and the potential of Force India showed that each team has different strengths.

Force India's deputy team principal Bob Fernley says that the indications from Melbourne are that the battle between the midfield squads could be very intense.

"I don't think Williams has moved away from us," he told Motorsport.com. "Toro Rosso has done a great job and Red Bull continue to do a great job. But there is a cigarette paper between us all.

"And track circuit elements specific to certain teams means you will have to leave it a few races to see."

Varying strengths

The different power units being used and the fact that Red Bull and Force India seem to be better than Toro Rosso on tyre management have left Fernley thinking that the pattern may shift regularly.

"Red Bull was very good on tyre management [in Australia] and it was a circuit that didn't really show off its weakness in the power unit," he said.

"I think you will have swings and roundabouts between all those teams. Each will be strong at different circuits, and it will be who can get across the board the most consistency."

shares
comments
Reviewed: Channel 4's Formula 1 TV debut at the Australian Grand Prix

Previous article

Reviewed: Channel 4's Formula 1 TV debut at the Australian Grand Prix

Next article

Analysis: Why F1 should take a page from the NFL's playbook

Analysis: Why F1 should take a page from the NFL's playbook
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams Prime

How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams

OPINION: The Formula 1 cost cap has been billed as a saviour to several teams and helped to guarantee their viability for investors. But there already exists another mechanism that effectively had the same purpose, and serves as a strong deterrent for those with the means to go it alone in setting up a new team

Formula 1
Sep 10, 2021