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Battling for ‘The Second Best’ in the Championship, Mercedes Admits Being Threatened by Ferrari’s New Upgrades

Sabyasachi Biswas

Battling for ‘The Second Best’ in the Championship, Mercedes Admits Being Threatened by Ferrari’s New Upgrades

Despite having a lot of expectations on their shoulders heading into 2023, Ferrari failed to deliver yet again. However, the recent upgrades saw the Maranello-based team make massive improvements. Currently, they are eyeing Mercedes’ P2 spot in the constructors’ standings. Now, after the Japanese GP, the Silver Arrows admitted to being threatened by the Italian team, as reported by

After starting the season behind Red Bull, Aston Martin and Mercedes, Charles Leclerc and Co. made slow but effective progress which is now delivering results. At first, they overtook Aston Martin to take P3. Now they’re right behind the Silver Arrows for P2.

Admittedly, the race in Japan saw the duo of Leclerc and Sainz overcome their tire degradation problem by a huge margin. In doing so, they were able to salvage four points of their championship rivals. This has come as a big step forward for the team that has suffered from tire degradation all season long.

How did Suzuka Circuit pave the way for Ferrari to overtake Mercedes?

The race at the difficult and demanding track of Suzuka gave Ferrari a better understanding of their car. Despite seeing predictions of poor results due to their tire-eating SF-23, they finished the race ahead of Mercedes.

Ferrari brought in a new floor for the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix. Therefore, their tire degradation was relatively better as they lasted five laps more than predicted. This is added to the pace advantage they already have on straight lines. Therefore, they now hold an edge over their German rivals.

As Ferrari made such progress, Andrew Shovlin said, as per Italian, “We discovered that we were slightly behind Ferrari who brought a new fund. And, therefore, they moved ahead of us. Given that the advantage we had in controlling tire degradation in the last few races is no longer visible.”

What are the changes Ferrari brought to fight Mercedes?

According to the report, Scuderia Ferrari brought in a new floor in the Japan race from the new funds they were allotted by the team. The height of the floor was a little higher, which resulted in more aerodynamic load.

The combination of these led to less tire wear which favoured both Leclerc and Sainz finished ahead of Hamilton and Russell, respectively.

On this, Fred Vasseur, the Ferrari team principal said, “Arriving at Suzuka with the high temperature of the track we were a bit at risk, but in the end, I think we did a good job compared to the first part of the championship”.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Sabyasachi Biswas

Sabyasachi Biswas


Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush. With over one and a half decades of love for the sport and five years of experience in the field, he dreams to be a regular at the paddock when the lights go out. A Red Bull fan and F1 fan in general over the years, he enjoyed watching Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, and Max Verstappen dominate the track. Apart from F1, he's also a big-time Madridista and Federer fanatic. He was a sub-junior level footballer, won inter-district quizzes and debate competitions back in school. A travel freak throughout, he tries different cuisines and learns new cultures whenever he's away from the keyboard.

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