Domenicali: 2007 comeback proof Ferrari still has F1 title chance

Formula 1 chief Stefano Domenicali believes Kimi Raikkonen’s championship comeback in 2007 acts as proof Ferrari should “never say never” in this year’s title fight.

Domenicali: 2007 comeback proof Ferrari still has F1 title chance

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen sits 80 points clear at the top of the drivers’ standings ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix after winning eight of the 13 races before the summer break.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has lost ground on Verstappen due to reliability issues that caused him to retire while leading in both Spain and Azerbaijan, as well as spinning out from the lead in France.

The large gap at the top of the championship offers a different proposition to 2021, when Verstappen clinched the title by overtaking Lewis Hamilton on the last lap of the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Domenicali said it would be “fantastic” from a commercial standpoint for F1 to "arrive at the last lap of the last race” again with the title up for grabs, albeit “with a less confrontational point” given the controversy of Verstappen’s title win.

Although he acknowledged the 80-point gap was “a lot” for Leclerc and Ferrari to make up, Domenicali reflected on Raikkonen’s title win in 2007, where a 17-point deficit was overturned with 20 available to beat McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso to the title.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Ferrari

“From my previous experience, you have to never say never,” Domenicali said, having served as Ferrari’s sporting director when Raikkonen won the championship.

Read Also:

“Because remember in 2007, two races to go, we were behind by 17 points, and Kimi was able to win the championship in Brazil. No-one was expecting that.

“I know it's a big number, but I don’t see why Ferrari shouldn’t be getting back again in the fight with Red Bull.

“Red Bull is a very strong team, Mercedes will grow, but really, the only thing I can say, because of my position, is that they shouldn’t give up at all up to the last moment.”

Domenicali was confident the second half of the F1 season would feature “a lot of surprises” that he hoped would delight the fans who have made the remaining races this year sell-out events.

“Mistakes, reliability, weather conditions, who knows? The only thing that is important that, and I’m sure they will be, [Ferrari] have to stay focused,” Domenicali said.

“From Belgium up to the end, all of the grands prix are sold out, so a lot of people have already booked the tickets to come.

"So Belgium, every day will be more than 120,000 people. Zandvoort you can imagine the same. Monza, more than 250,000 tickets sold. Singapore, sold out.

“That’s really something that is already reserved. So I hope we’re going to have a great race and a great second part of the season.”

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren: Ricciardo helped Norris to “step up” in F1
Previous article

McLaren: Ricciardo helped Norris to “step up” in F1

Next article

Aston Martin does not share Alpine’s concerns over Alonso’s age

Aston Martin does not share Alpine’s concerns over Alonso’s age
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023