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McLaren Ferrari Battle Rages On

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  McLaren, Ferrari

McLaren Ferrari Battle Rages On

Anthony Fontanelle
July 13, 2007

In Formula One, the most famous rivalry is that of McLaren’s and Ferrari’s. This season, the two teams are going head to head although McLaren is ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship standing. McLaren’s rookie, Lewis Hamilton, is also leading the championship contest for drivers.

Early in the season, it was Ferrari who drew the first blood when Kimi Raikkonen took the first win of the season at the Australian Grand Prix. Kimi did it in fashion by taking pole position in the qualifying session, setting the fastest lap in the race and finally taking the win.

At the second round, in the Malaysian Grand Prix, McLaren took its first win of the season. Double world champion Fernando Alonso, who jumped from Renault to McLaren this year, gave the British team its first win.

After Alonso’s win, Ferrari once again showed why they are the most popular Formula One team. Felipe Massa recorded back-to-back wins for the Italian team. At the Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix, Massa recorded back-to-back hat trick after taking pole, recording the fastest lap and winning at both races.

After that, it was McLaren that showed dominance by winning three consecutive wins with the first coming at the Monaco Grand Prix from Alonso and the two others came from the rookie sensation Hamilton. The rookie’s wins came at the Canadian and United States Grands Prix.

Going back to Europe for the French Grand Prix, Hamilton was favored to take his third consecutive win but Ferrari’s Raikkonen has other plans. The Finn Formula One driver took the win at Magny-Cours in France and then repeated his good performance at the recently concluded British Grand Prix.

Although Ferrari has five wins to McLaren’s four, the Italian team only has 103 points compared to McLaren’s 128. McLaren’s lead is the result of the consistent good performance of the rookie Hamilton. In all of his nine races, the British Formula One rookie managed to finish in the top three. That is also the reason why he is on top of the leader board after nine races.

The good performance of Ferrari at the French and British Grands Prix though would surely light a fire under McLaren’s seat. The team has not won a championship for a long time and they would surely do everything the best they can to protect their lead. McLaren drivers Alonso and Hamilton use the MP4-22 with Mercedes-Benz engine and possibly the Mercedes-Benz AC condenser as well.

Hamilton is already proving to be a worthy adversary not only for the duo of Ferrari but to his teammate as well. Hamilton has already broken record after record in only his first season in the sport. His nine straight podium finishes is the most for any rookie in the sport. On the all-time list, he is tied for third. Seven-time world champion and now retired Michael ‘Schumi’ Schumacher holds the record for the most number of consecutive podium finishes at 19. Hamilton’s teammate Fernando Alonso meanwhile holds the second best record at 15 consecutive rostrum finishes.

Whether Hamilton will continue breaking record and continue to defend his position in the standings as well as McLaren’s will be determined at the succeeding races of the season. The next race will be held at the Nürburgring in Nurburg, Germany. At the test sessions conducted in preparation for the European Grand Prix, Hamilton posted the fastest lap time on the first day while Massa dominated in the second day.

Source:  Amazines.com

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