So, here’s your starter for ten this week. Is it just me or are we falling in love with Fratelli d’Italia once again? You don’t know the song? Trust me you do. It goes something like this Da da da daaa, da da da daaa, da da da daaa, da da da daaa. You’ve got it, it’s the national anthem, one of the most jolly happy national anthems you could ever wish for and one that, for the 226th time in Formula 1 history, was played out in Bahrain on Sunday night.
After the fireworks had left their red stains on the night sky, Sebastian Vettel stepped out, dancing his way onto the podium – note to Seb here, the Egyptian Walk isn’t really a local dance in this part of the Middle East, but it was a nice try. The trophy he said, “is really special here, one of the best of the season”, and he should know, it’s the third time he’s held it aloft.
But it’s the first time he’s done so as a Ferrari driver and you can tell that it means so much to him. The Scuderia is back, ladies and gentlemen, and all is right with the world. After a long period of expectation, followed by exasperation, the most famous team of them all has appeared on the track in 2017, taken two of the first three races, backed up their winter testing form and look like genuine championship contenders.
Now, come on Crofty you say, there’s a long way to go this season and anything could happen. Which is true, it could, but that’s not the point. The point is that they look like contenders rather than flattering to deceive, and after three years where Mercedes have lead the way to the extent that you felt they could have beaten the rest with one wheel tied behind their backs, isn’t it great not only to see a challenger emerge, but for that challenger to be Ferrari.