Fittipaldi: I never expected Red Bull to come back so strong

1-mexico city grand prix verstappen perez fans surprised fittipaldi

Emerson Fittipaldi has put his hand up and admitted he overestimated Ferrari’s strong start to the season and underestimated Red Bull’s capacity to bounce back.

The Brazilian Formula 1 legend who has this yer provided insights into the Formula 1 season, highlighted by the battle between Red Bull and Ferrari, and their respective aces Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

While the Reds began the season with a bang, Red Bull were caught out with two DNFs for Verstappen which has put them on the back foot, needing to attack for the rest of the season or at least until the Dutchman’s points deficit to Leclerc is substantially smaller than the current 19 points that separate the top two drivers of this season.

However, the favourite to win the 2022 F1 title has now become Verstappen as he has momentum on his side according to Betwinner bonus offer latest odds.

Speaking to VegasInsider, Fittipaldi admitted: “I think I had the wrong opinion previously. I have to accept that my vision was wrong. I never expected Red Bull to come back so strong after Jeddah.”

“But with new engine power, they are much more reliable than for the first few Grands Prix. I’m sure is the new car is working well within the new rules package, with both the aerodynamical and mechanical package and that’s showing now.”

While it would be fair to say Ferrari had the edge with the fabulous F1-75, Red Bull have bounced back with two wins in the last two races, emphatic ones too largely due to Verstappen maximising the RB18 like Sergio Perez is unable to do.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 05: Max Verstappen and sergio perez surprise fittipaldi

Sainz is struggling to match Leclerc in qualifying mainly but also on race pace in the Ferrari

After a spate of crashes that have cost his team, Charles Sainz could be accused of overdriving to try to match teammate Verstappen, hence the incidents that have cost him.

But there will come a point, perhaps even after Spain, as Leclerc’s title chase gathers a head of steam, when Sainz will have to play the team game to support his teammate’s bid for the title. The free to race mantra will change for the pair, as the priorities shift to the winning side of the garage.

But Sainz did not go to Ferrari to play second fiddle to Leclerc as he showed last year by beating the Maranello-bred Monegasque in the final championship standings. But this year, Leclerc has ramped up his game with a winning car at his disposal; Sainz is playing catch up.

Nevertheless, it is clearly a Red versus Blue tussle for this year’s crown – Verstappen and Leclerc at the fore; Sainz and Sergio Perez their respective wingmen – at this stage of the game, both teams are leaps and bounds ahead of their rivals, Mercedes included, buried in the chasing pack.

Fittipaldi continued: “It was a big surprise for me. I think it’s going to be a beautiful championship to watch for the racing fans globally. Seeing Ferrari fighting with Red Bull, Red Bull fighting Ferrari. Like it was last year with Mercedes, now it’s Ferrari.

“I think that’s great for motorsports because Ferrari has fanatic fans all over the world. I have to respect Red Bull a lot, they have come back very strong,” emphasised the Brazilian double F1 World Champion.

Fittipaldi: McLaren already know what they have to do

lando norris first pole position 20231 Russian Grand Prix qualifying Sochi

Angling for Best of the Rest, ahead of an ultra-compact midfield, is Fittipaldi’s former McLaren team who have endured a so-so season thus far but will be smarting from a below-par showing at the Miami Grand Prix last time out.

The Brazilian legend said: “First, going back to Miami, it was a racing incident that caused Lando [Norris] not to finish around the points.”

“Now they go back to the continent where they have their factory. They have more time in Europe and they can make big modifications on the car. They can make big improvements.”

“I think McLaren already know what they have to do. They have more time to prepare the cars and I think McLaren is going to go much faster now. “They just have to do improvements. Work on the aerodynamical package and mechanical suspension.

“They know what to do. Zak Brown told me in Jeddah that they have a five Grand Prix program. They are working hard,” added Fittipaldi of the team with which he won his second F1 title, in 1974.