As we look at the race result in the recently concluded Belgian Grand Prix, the names Verstappen, Perez and Sainz flash before our eyes. We immediately make the association – Red Bull Racing, Red Bull Racing and Ferrari, helming the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, respectively. George Russell of Mercedes almost makes it to the podium, narrowly missing out to Ferrari by 3 seconds.
It’s a neck-to-neck battle between Ferrari and Mercedes. In the Prix in Budapest, the race right before Belgium, it was Mercedes that stole the show and the podium, with Hamilton and Russell snagging 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.
But as we all know, in Formula One, the tables turn every race – and this year, beyond just seeing which racer claims the grand title, fans are particularly keeping an eye on the cat and mouse chase between Ferrari and Mercedes for the second place for the Constructors Cup.
For those who might be new to the racing world and squinting your eyes at the term ‘Constructors Cup’ – fret not. Here is a quick explanation of the Constructors Cup and why it might even matter more than the winning title.
In Formula One, two competitions are held every season: the championship held between the drivers and the championship held between the constructors. The winner of the Constructors Championship is the team with the most points at the end of the season. The Championship is held by awarding points to the constructor based on the points won by the drivers who race their cars in the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Each constructor has two drivers, and their total combined points won at every race are awarded to the constructor.
The constructor with the largest point total at the end of the season wins the World Championship. This creates an unusual and therefore interesting scenario in the world of motorsport, where the drivers of the teams that win the Constructors Championship might not be the drivers who win the Driver’s Championship.
Currently for the Constructors, Red Bull has secured a comfortable lead of 475 points. Ferrari is trailing at 357 points while Mercedes is at 316 points. Second place may not traditionally be the finish everyone is looking for. Still, considering the stature of the two names and with 7 more races to the finish line, this is looking to be a tight and exhilarating battle that fans are eager to conclude.
What makes the rivalry between Mercedes and Ferrari even more nail-biting this season is the fact that Mercedes struggled for pace in the opening races of the year as the team had difficulty with porpoising and other bouncing phenomena. But the Silver Arrows bounced back strongly and slowly by gathering momentum with six consecutive podium appearances ahead of the summer shutdown, including double-podiums in France and Hungary and a maiden pole position for Rusell at the latter.
The results mean that both Mercedes and Ferrari are now tied on 11 podiums for the season so far. With both teams giving stellar performances, it makes it a risky bet to see who will eventually win second place at Constructors.
2019 was the last time Formula One racing was held in Singapore, and even back then, the two powerhouse Constructors were in fierce competition. Ferrari had the bragging rights that year, with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc nabbing first and second place on the podium. However, while Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas may have only gotten fourth and fifth place at the Singapore GP respectively, they had the last laugh as Mercedes clinched the Constructors Championship, with Hamilton himself winning the Drivers’ Championship as well.
Before the drivers make their way to the little red dot for the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix, there are still more races in the form of the Dutch Grand Prix and the 2022 Italian Grand Prix. So, could the gap be reduced or spread further apart before they arrive in Singapore? Mercedes was certainly on a roll before Ferrari made its presence known in the Belgian Grand Prix.
But isn’t that the spirit of Formula One? Not knowing when a driver at 14th position races his way to the first, witnessing a leading car crash on its final few laps, or seeing the bestest of teams lose their momentum and steam mid-way through the season.
Beyond racing, Formula One is a spectacle of unpredictability, and I cannot wait to see how the Mercedes-Ferrari rivalry takes shape this season. I guess we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for the Prix in Singapore, happening on 30 September 2022. This is a race you’ll definitely want to keep your eyes glued to the screen for.
To find out more about the upcoming 2022 Singapore GP, visit their website. Also, a lineup of entertainment acts will be part of the Singapore GP; check out which acts will be making an appearance in our roundup article.
Visuals courtesy of Singapore GP Pte Ltd.