No. 5 Sebastian Vettel
No. 7 Kimi Raikkonen
First Race: 1950 Monaco Grand Prix Grands Prix: 890
Pole Positions: 207
Fastest Laps: 230
Race Wins: 221
Constructors’ Championships: 16
2014 Championship Result: 4th (216 points)
The Ferrari that enters the 2015 F1 season is a very different team to the one that ended 2014. Gone is the old regime under Luca di Montezemolo; gone is Marco Mattiacci; gone is star driver Fernando Alonso. In their places, three men tasked with reviving the marque’s F1 fortunes: Sergio Marchionne, Maurizio Arrivabene and Sebastian Vettel. A new era needed to be ushered in at Maranello following its worst season in over 20 years.
Vettel’s arrival has already invigorated the team, with Kimi Raikkonen – a man many consider lucky to still be in F1 – noting that people are enjoying their work at Ferrari once again in 2015. Testing has been encouraging for the Italian team, with the SF15-T appearing to be a step up from its predecessor. A scrap with Williams and Red Bull for second place in the constructors’ championship appears to be on the cards this year, but the main goal will be to lay the groundwork for a revival of the Schumacher era in the early 2000s. After all, that’s exactly why Vettel has moved to Ferrari: to emulate his hero and establish himself as one of the all-time greats.
SEBASTIAN VETTEL No. 5
After storming to four consecutive titles between 2010 and 2013, Sebastian Vettel had a shock to the system in 2014 when he lagged to fifth place in the championship, failing to win a single race. With teammate Daniel Ricciardo overshadowing him, he decided to exercise a clause in his contract to secure a move to Ferrari for 2015. His critics will argue that without the right car, he isn’t a top driver, and 2014 would appear to act as proof of that. However, he now has the perfect opportunity to prove them wrong and rebuild Ferrari around him.
KIMI RAIKKONEN No. 7
Raikkonen struggled with the front end of the Ferrari chassis a year ago but has counted himself happier with the new chassis throughout this year’s preseason testing. He doesn’t have much to lose going into this year since whatever he does in 2015 is almost certainly going to be an improvement upon a career-worst 2014, and if he beats new teammate Sebastian Vettel on a regular basis, it will have showcased his ability once over. He’s done well in odd-numbered years too for whatever reason; he nearly won the 2003 and 2005 titles, won the 2007 title, and took Ferrari and Lotus to their only wins of 2009 and 2013, respectively. Here’s an early candidate for comeback driver of the year, even at age 35.
The focus of the Detroit Monster Energy Supercross round was on the mid-pack battle while Aaron Plessinger pulled away from the field, but when he crashed after hooking his foot in the dirt, the results once more looked like we’ve come to expect, with Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac sharing the podium for the fifth time in 10 rounds.
For Sexton, Plessinger’s late-race crash was a vindication of sorts. Several times already this season, Sexton has crashed while battling for the lead and the points that has cost him keeps him sporting the red plate. He lost points in Detroit for a different reason, however.
Sexton was allowed to keep the win, but was penalized seven points for jumping in a red cross section of the course. As a result, he dropped four points to Webb and two to Tomac. Sexton is now 17 points behind Webb in the championship hunt.
One week after snatching the red plate from Tomac for the first time in 2023, Webb stretched his advantage by two. With his second-place finish, Webb holds a three-point lead over Tomac, which essentially means both riders control their fate in the coming weeks. Webb continues to have a sweep of the top five this season with his sixth consecutive podium.
Coming off his worst finish of the season, Tomac rebounded to finish third. His eighth-place result last week was partially attributed to a stiff neck that hindered him in traffic and he still suffered some of those same effects in Detroit. Before Plessinger’s crash, he was destined to be the only rider in the three-man title scrum to finish off the podium in Detroit.
It is surprising what one position can do for one’s confidence.
Justin Barcia scored his fourth top-five of the season. He was part of the exciting four-man battle that dominated the middle stages of the race before Sexton and Webb gained a little separation. Finishing less than three seconds behind Tomac, he kept that rider honest for the entire race.
Coming off his first win of the season, Ken Roczen finished fifth. It was his seventh top-five of the season and it elevated him to fifth in the standings.
Hunter Lawrence tied his brother Jett Lawrence with 10 wins each after another dominating ride in the Detroit Supercross race and the results in the points continue to widen. With his fifth win in six rounds and a worst finish of third, Lawrence now has a 35-point advantage over Nate Thrasher with four rounds remaining. Finishes of 14th or better in the final four mains will give him his first 250 championship.
Jett will have an opportunity to retake his wins’ lead as Supercross heads west for the next two rounds in Seattle and Glendale, Arizona.
Nate Thrasher earned his third second-place finish of the season with a gap of 7.6 seconds to Lawrence. He won the overall in Arlington earlier this season, but a 15th-place finish in the opening round in Houston and 10th in Daytona hurts his championship chances.
Haiden Deegan scored his second podium and fourth top-five in six rounds of his young career. On his way to that finish, he rode aggressively against his teammate Jordon Smith in the heat race. Fans are getting a glimpse of what his on-track personality might be.
Jeremy Martin continues to be the model of consistency. He has not finished worse than sixth or better than fourth in six rounds now and that has allowed him to close to within two points of third in the 250 East championship standings.
Max Anstie entered the race weekend second in the points, but a hard crash in heavy traffic early in the main forced him to retire after two laps. Earning only one point for the round, he plummeted to fifth in the standings.
The news was worse for Smith, who was dropped out of the top nine in his heat after the altercation with Deegan and failed to advance through the LCQ. In the last chance race, he stalled his engine and had to mount a determined charge. He got only as high as seventh in that race after crashing while attempting to make a pass on fourth-place Jack Chambers.