The strong start of the season by Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari increases belief in the end of the Mercedes era in formula 1. This is the turning point,”former World Champion Damon Hill said on Saturday at the British channel”Sky Sports”:”We have seen Mercedes dominate for so long. But world empires rise and fall. Perhaps a new Ferrari era is just beginning.”
Hill referred to the qualifying for the Great Prize of China, where Vettel and his teammate Kimi Vrikkunen took the first line for Ferrari. The duo had already done the same in the last race in Bahrain, two “red” starting lines had been completed last year 2006.
Vettel has also won the first two seasonal races, which record world champion Michael Schumacher had done last 2004 for the Scuderia. Before the race on Sunday (8:10 o’clock), Vettel leads in the World Cup classification with 50-points in front of title defender Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes.
“It certainly looks like the leaf has turned for the first time in the Turbo hybrid era,” Hill said. Mercedes has won all the titles in the Driver and Manufacturer Championships since the introduction of the new Motor Regulations to the 2014 season. In China, the silver arrows have been particularly strong in the past four years, but now Vettel and Ferrari are winning the Shanghai International Circuit.
For Hill, the current results are also relevant with regard to Hamilton’s pending contract renewal at Mercedes. “The latest results are also relevant for Hill.” If this is the beginning of a new era, Hamilton should think twice about signing a long-term contract,”said the 57-year-old. The contract extension has been expected for some time, but Mercedes has not announced anything yet.