This weekend at the Tuscan GP, Ferrari will be celebrating its 1000th race in Formula 1, from the midfield most likely….

It’s been a nightmare of a season for the team so far, compounded by a disastrous home race at Monza last weekend when they endured their second double DNF of the season. 

So, where has it all gone wrong for the famous Italian team?

 

 

Despite a competitive 2019 season in which the Scuderia achieved three race wins, the hotly-debated engine settlement that came into play from Austin last year onwards has seen the team slump back into the midfield. 

However, a stroke of luck would see Charles Leclerc salvage a podium at the opening Austrian Grand Prix thanks to a crazy first race, and a podium in Silverstone thanks to tyre attrition. 

Following on from the first race, the Styrian Grand Prix brought reality back to the team as both Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel collided on the opening lap, resulting in their first double DNF of the season. 

If you thought it was painful witnessing the double DNF in Styria, the Belgian Grand Prix brought on a whole new world of doom and gloom, with the Scuderia being the eighth fastest team on the famed Spa circuit. 

For the first time in 10 years, Ferrari would take their worst finishing positions in Belgium with a 13th and 14th respectively for Vettel and Leclerc. 

Monza? Well, let’s not even go there. 

So, why is Ferrari stuck in the midfield? 

The Maranello-based squad’s biggest issue has been the loss of straight-line speed, emphasized at tracks such as Belgium where Leclerc was seen to be 10km/h slower through the speed trap in qualifying this year in comparison to the last, when he was on pole. 

The huge drop in engine performance has also been further emphasized by the struggles faced by both Ferrari customer teams Alfa Romeo and Haas. 

In conjunction with this, other areas such as aerodynamics have also slumped, having been previously developed around the pre-Austin power unit. 

The team’s struggles have even resulted in chairman John Elkann going as far to admit that the team cannot expect to be competitive in F1 before the major regulation changes coming in 2022. 

Sebastian Vettel will be thanking his lucky stars to be making his escape at the end of the season then - Carlos Sainz Jr not so much. 

“This year we are not competitive because of car design errors,” Elkann said. 

“We have had a series of structural weaknesses that have existed for some time in the aerodynamics and dynamics of the vehicle. We have also lost in engine power. 

“The reality is that our car is not competitive. You saw it on the track and you will see it again. 

“Today we are laying the foundations for being competitive and returning to winning when the rules change in 2022. I am convinced of it.” 

Despite Ferrari’s open door revolving policy surrounding Team Principals in the past, it seems for now that Mattia Binotto’s job is safe. 

However, questions have been raised about the team being “too Italian” in its management lines, could this be another issue Ferrari needs to look into? 

Either way, Ferrari will be hoping this season & the next will fly by and be as painless as possible. 

As the team looks forward to celebrating their storied past in Mugello, can Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc pull off a top-10 finish at the “new for 2020” track? 

Whilst 1950s celebrations have proven disastrous in the past (hint Mercedes), maybe just maybe the burgundy livery, the presence of some Tifosi and the motivation of the two drivers can achieve a decent finish. 

Words by Jordy Gray

Should Mattia Binotto be replaced? What do you think is going wrong at Ferrari? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and subscribe to Crash F1.

 

 

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