So the season is halfway through and the standings are beginning to take shape. Some teams have far exceeded their expectations, others have fallen flat on their faces. After Mercedes, here's our mid-term report of Ferrari.
Scuderia Ferrari - A*
It was always clear that the team to close the gap to Mercedes and give them a true, season-long challenge for the first time since 2013 will be given many plaudits, but how many of you expected it to be Ferrari? Gone are the days of poor development and falling off the pace (or so it seems so far at least) and this year could be the straw that breaks Mercedes' back.
While a constructors title is a bridge too far for Ferrari this year, a drivers title is clearly on. Sebastian Vettel is leading the way and looking like getting a finger on the trophy. This doesn't mean the Scuderia can relax though. Tyre failures in Silverstone make us question the tyre life of the car compared to its rivals or even the strategists who famously cost the team race wins last season. So for the final three months let the battle commence.
Sebastian Vettel - A+
German-Ferrari combinations has provided five of the six titles Scuderia have won since 1980. The way this year is going Vettel looks like making it six. While his one lap pace on the higher-speed tracks is lower than that of Mercedes, Seb has found a way to counteract this and maximise his points tally. Furthermore he has managed to capitalise on all the bad luck of his rivals, if he can do this for the final few months of the season then he could maybe just maybe take Ferrari's first drivers title in a decade.
Kimi Raikkonen - C+
While the Finn is a fair way behind his team mate in the current standings, he has proven in Monaco and Hungary he can play a credible number two role to Vettel. Furthermore he took his first pole position since 2008 this year in Monaco. The problem for Raikkonen is these moments are few and far between and they are only getting more and more sporadic as he ages. It is undeniable that he brings in good merchandising revenue and as the last Ferrari champion he is highly regarded by all F1 fans. But how long can a team desiring to be at the top of the sport employ a driver who will not bring the results in at the same level as the alternatives, especially since we would believe he would demand a larger salary than these alternatives. But only time will tell whether 2018 will be with or without the beloved Kimi.
by Matthew Gannon