become a free member

Last Updated Apr 26, 2022, 19:40 PM

Red Bull is superior now but Ferrari still favorites, says Fittipaldi

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Ferrari’s home grand prix, turned out to be a gold mine for title rivals Red Bull who stormed to a one-two finish. We caught up with F1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi who gave his takeaways from the race.

Sign up to get daily betting columns directly to your inbox!

What did you make of Red Bull’s 1-2 finish at Imola? Max Verstappen especially was dominant and the car looked reliable, in addition to being very quick. How impressed were you by Red Bull’s comeback?

"I think it was extremely good. My forecast was going to be Ferrari to win but when I look at the sprint race and I was looking at the details, it seems to me that the Red Bull has, in my opinion, mechanical and aerodynamic improvement."

"They seem to be a little better than Ferrari. In mechanical, there's been an improvement. Downforce, because when the tires start wearing, you remember Max was very fast, that means he stays with the tires on a much better performance than the Ferraris."

"The Ferraris have an extremely fast engine. Ferrari to me, looking on TV, was porpoising. Was moving up and down a lot. The Ferraris still don't have the same downforce and mechanical grip as a Red Bull car."

"In my opinion, Red Bull is superior now. And that superiority of grip will give much better and consistent tires. They wear less tires than the Ferrari. And that will be very important during the year."

"I was very impressed by their braking, turning the car into the corner - the Red Bull was superior to the Ferrari, for sure."

"Ferrari was porpoising a lot. Moving up and down, on wet tires and dry tires - to my surprise. A little too much."

On a totally different note, Imola was a GP to forget for Ferrari. Do you think Carlos Sainz, particularly, was unlucky? And for LeClerc, does he only have himself to blame for the finish? Did we finally see some issues crop up with the Ferraris? Where do you think there is room for improvement for them?

"They're racing at home. If you think, Modena is half an hour from there. That's their home track. Italy, tremendous pressure - on the team, on the mechanics, the engineers, the team managers, the drivers."

"I can imagine that Ferrari was under what I call tremendous pressure for racing. Incredible."

"Everybody expected them to win - another extra pressure. Not just being there on their home but everybody expecting them to win created that extra pressure."

"I think Carlos tried too hard and LeClerc tried too hard." 

“I think it was a mistake that anybody can do but being in Imola, being in Italy, being in the Ferrari team everybody, you know, makes a big thing about."

"If it was another track, same situation, another country, it was not going to be as big, the reaction of the media, the press, the team and the fans."

"They are fast. My opinion is still the same. Ferrari has a better chance of winning the Championship than Red Bull and we'll see what happens in the next few races."

"Max and Checo Perez did a great job. They won the race on track. Well done."

"It's a shame what happened to Daniel Ricciardo at the start with Carlos Sainz."

"I think it was a racing incident. Possibly Carlos was a little bit more optimistic than Ricciardo, the way he was going outside, it happened."

Lando Norris- another podium - exactly as you said that McLaren will be up there to challenge. Where are you seeing the improvement in McLaren’s cars and Norris himself?

"Lando Norris, another podium! I think McLaren, talking to Zak Brown, McLaren is working hard to develop."

"The new rules, the new car, I think they've improved."

"I think you can see, normally, they're the most consistent Mercedes engine car. They're always ahead in the positions of other Mercedes engines (cars). That means the chassis is not bad, the mechanics are not bad. Mercedes has improved the engine."

"I think working in the same direction, they are going to improve for sure."

"Lando did a very good job in qualifying. Remember he was fast."

"In the race, he was by far the fastest Mercedes engine car (driver). He was consistent and quick."

"What happened to LeClerc gave him (Lando Norris) third place but I always say, he has to be there to get third place. He was there. He was there and he deserved it."

"I think McLaren will be more and more competitive at every new grand prix."

"I would say after Monaco, they should be extremely competitive. This is my personal opinion."

"Norris is driving really well. On the wet he's fast. Always very fast. He's consistent."

"But, you know, McLaren started on the third row of cars. That means they're good, they're fast and they're consistent cars.

In the Mercedes camp, two very different results. Do you think Lewis Hamilton has ‘given up’ on this season? Any reasons why you think George Russell is getting much better results, in the same car, than Lewis?

“It's interesting to see George Russell running ahead of Lewis. You know, at the beginning of the year, Lewis came from the back and made very good results. Also better than George Russell. So he's there, but I think it's just the circumstances that were completely against him this weekend. He'll be back strong.” 

“Like they said in conversation on the radio after the race both Toto Wolf and Lewis were saying ‘well now have to work hard’. They work hard and they'll come back.” 

“If you compare Mercedes to McLaren, they both have the same engine. But McLaren is running much faster than Mercedes. That means it’s not the engine, but also the chassis. There's something there to be improved, for sure. “

“And George Russel is good. I mean, we all know that he's a young talent and very good. And he's going to be running together with Lewis. The speed is there.”

Get the VI Daily Newsletter! Get the VI Daily Newsletter!

The conditions were interesting at Imola during the Grand Prix. How do you think it affected the overall race?

“The conditions before the Grand Prix in Imola were a lot of excitement, because we could see half an hour before was raining very strong. But then suddenly the rain went away. And then it was drizzling the last few laps, but it was one of these races that nobody knew what was going to happen. A lot of excitement for the race, and a lot of pressure on everybody, thinking about what tires they should start and so on. But it was a great race for Red Bull and Formula 1 is very exciting.”

“Now. I'm looking forward to being in Miami. I'm going there, and it will be the first time there will be a Miami Grand Prix in Formula 1.  I think it'll be a great event in Miami for sure.”

“There's so much excitement and high expectations. It will be good for Formula 1 to be in America. I'm looking forward to a great event in Miami for sure. We have to say our thanks to “Ralf Sanchez for working hard many years ago to build the foundation that makes it possible to bring Formula 1 to Miami. He's not with us anymore, but he was the one starting everything. This Grand Prix will be in this memory.”

If you want to place a safe, legal bet on F1 racing, try BetMGM!

Photo by Ferhat Deniz Fors

We may be compensated by the company links provided on this page. Read more

Auto News