MONACO (AP) â Having closed the gap to dominant Mercedes in an incredibly close-fought Formula One season, Ferrari has another burning ambition: Winning the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Italian manufacturer’s barren spell in Monaco dates to Michael Schumacher’s win in 2001, and four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel is determined to put that right.
“I would say it is about time that Ferrari wins again here,” said Vettel, who has 44 career wins.
“If you could have the freedom to choose any race on the calendar that you would want to win, it would without doubt be Monaco. Ask up and down the paddock and you would get the same answer.”
Schumacher, who won a record seven world titles and 91 races, also won at Monaco driving for Ferrari in 1997 and ’99.
Vettel’s Monaco win was in 2011, when driving for Red Bull. He was fourth here for Ferrari last year while teammate Kimi Raikkonen did not finish the race. In 2015, the year he joined Ferrari, Vettel was second and Raikkonen was sixth.
Ferrari has stepped up the pace this year and, with increased reliability, is matching Mercedes, which has won the last three drivers’ and constructors’ titles.
After five races, Vettel leads the championship by six points from Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton; while Mercedes is eight ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ race.
But Ferrari may be a bit quicker than Mercedes this year, and the increased pressure has forced some uncharacteristic errors.
During the second practice on Thursday, Mercedes made a sloppy mistake when misjudging a tire switch onto the quicker ultra-soft compound. That allowed Ferrari to top the charts in P2, with Vettel fastest and…