Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ferrari Making a Big Noise but I Expect Lewis to Run the Show Again in Spain

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ferrari Making a Big Noise but I Expect Lewis to Run the Show Again in Spain

Article excerpt

Byline: Johnny Herbert Former F1 driver and Sky Sports pundit EXCLUSIVE

THERE is the sense, as the Formula One circus converges on Spain, that the battle up front is about to really hot up. The ones that are talking themselves up after this short break in the season, that have a new floor and new wings are Ferrari.

We've already seen their resurgence this season and now they feel that, with the upgrades they've got, they're ready to take the fight to Mercedes.

Barcelona has habitually been the start of the European calendar, the time when teams bring out their upgrades but Ferrari are letting it be known they're very optimistic about the changes they've made to this year's car. Mercedes, in contrast, are keeping their cards very close to their chest.

Now all we can do is sit tight, wait and see what happens on the track. All the talk until that point is rather relative we'll find out this weekend what the various changes have given to the cars and drivers.

I fully expect Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton to dominate qualifying once more. Ferrari have made no secret of the fact that the race remains their focus, it's where the points are and it's where they've been so consistent.

And Ferrari's bosses will be looking to the last race in Bahrain to take heart. Mercedes' brake issue was well documented and there are two issues here: firstly, has it been fixed and, secondly, if it has been fixed, has that been at the detriment of overall performance? I think whatever the case, Mercedes will still have the edge at the Circuit de Catalunya, but I feel very positive about the noises coming from Ferrari technical director James Allison and the rest of the team's hierarchy. Everyone wants a fight for the title between at least two teams and it fully feels like we're getting one.

Have Mercedes plateaued? I just don't know. Is there a sense that Ferrari are the new, up-and-coming force? Yes, very much so it seems they're the new kids on the block in terms of the sport's next dominant force if things continue to go to plan. …

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