Max Verstappen has been given a title race warning by the F1 chief who backs Ferrari and Mercedes
Red Bull have won six races in a row, with Verstappen taking the checkered flag first in five of them to open up a big championship lead, but Stefano Domenicali believes Ferrari and Mercedes remain in the hunt.
The Formula 1 boss believes Max Verstappen is far from successful in defending his title this season as Ferrari are “very close” to spoiling the party.
The Dutchman opened a 46-point lead over his closest rival, Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez. Meanwhile, Charles Leclerc is three points behind after several setbacks including on-track errors and engine reliability issues in his car.
In the Constructors’ Championship the gap is even wider with Red Bull enjoying a cushion of 76 points over Ferrari, while the gap to third-placed Mercedes is a further 40 as they struggle with their own security issues. performance. With 13 races remaining in the 2022 campaign, Red Bull and Verstappen are well placed in their two title bids.
While admitting Verstappen’s trophy defense appears to be in fine form, F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali still believes his former team Ferrari can provide real competition to the title chase. He also believes the fightback could begin as soon as the next race, the British Grand Prix on the first weekend of July.
“If you remember, after three races of the season, Max Verstappen’s comment was that the game was over and Ferrari were leading by around 40 points,” the Italian told the Evening Standard. “Now it’s the other way around, because Max leads the championship with 46 points.
“I would say we have to be careful. The championship is very long and is going to have a lot of ups and downs. It’s too early to say that the championship is over, and I say that not because I hope so, but I think . We’re only a third into the season. There’s a lot of racing and I’m sure the championship will be tight.”
Not only does he feel Ferrari are staying in the chase, but the F1 chief has also backed Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to race up front more often. “[Leclerc] are in great shape and Ferrari are very close,” added Domenicali. “I also see signs that Mercedes are getting faster, so the scenario for the championship will be tight.
“It all depends on how the cars adapt to the circuits and how, with that budget cap, the teams relay the improvements to the car. That’s the beauty of the situation we find ourselves in. I’m sure Mercedes are going to be closer because they’re an incredible team and all the titles they’ve won in the past – eight in a row They’re going to be there – they won’t give up – and that will help make the situation a little more mixed.