Ferrari has been accused of a lack of innovation of late for costing the Scuderia
its competitive edge in F1, with the testing ban similarly speculated to have played a part in the team's present malaise
Since clinching both the drivers' and constructors' crowns in 2007 and the constructors' laurels again the following year, there has been no end-of-season silverware for Ferrari in the top flight, with a distant fourth place in the title standings in 2009 and only one spot better in 2010.
Worse still, the F150° Italia has yet to set the world alight in F1 2011 either, with Fernando Alonso lapping the best part of a second-and-a-half slower than early pace-setters Red Bull Racing in qualifying in Australia and China, no starting position higher than the third row of the grid and no finish better than fourth.
Not only is Ferrari's new baby slower than Red Bull's RB7, but it also palpably pales in comparison with the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-26 and has been alternately outpaced by the Lotus Renault GP R31 and Mercedes Grand Prix MGP W02.
Fears were already expressed during pre-season testing that the F150° Italia was too conservative a design in a sport so famous for pushing back the boundaries [see separate story – click here
] – and the notoriously impatient and unsympathetic Italian media has been quick to pounce on the problems, with Autosprint
denigrating an absence of imagination from the Prancing Horse.
With aerodynamics known to be the principal Achilles' heel, the magazine even muses about a temporary relocation of development activities to Toyota's disused wind tunnel in Cologne to allow for the Maranello facility to be recalibrated – whilst pointing to Ferrari suffering from no longer being able to make use of its two private test tracks following the abolition of in-season testing in F1's new expenditure-conscious era.
'When was the last time another team took advantage of a Ferrari development?' Autosprint
asks. 'It was 2008, when the Ferrari had the hole in the nose. Since then, no-one has even tried to emulate Ferrari's ideas.'