After a hot start, Ferrari’s « sadly funny » season

But what will the Scuderia Ferrari be able to invent to attract the mockery of the Formula 1 world for its national Grand Prix this weekend? A slice of pizza forgotten in the brake scoops? Too much Spritz spilled in the tank? Or a Vespa wheel mounted instead of 18 inches? The thousands of Tifosi who will converge in Monza, near Milan, for the Italian Grand Prix, fear in any case a new dumpling from their favorite team as the cons performances are linked after a promising start to the season for Ferrari.

To the point of becoming the laughingstock of the paddocks. Charles, host of the Scuderia Ferrari F1 France page has never gained so many followers on Twitter. “I can’t really tell if they are detractors or fans in distress, but indeed there are more and more of them. As soon as the Scuderia does anything, people react, laugh, there is a grotesque side. It doesn’t bother me because I created this page to share emotions, good or negative. Or sadly funny,” he smiles.

Carlos Sainz pit stop

Latest event, more symbolic than symptomatic, the brakes of a Ferrari truck transporting parts from Zandvoort, where Max Verstappen (RedBull) won the Dutch Grand Prix, caught fire during the trip to Italy at the start week. As if the setbacks on the track were not enough, the day after Carlos Sainz’s terrible pit stop during the Dutch Grand Prix, which could in itself sum up Ferrari’s season. The Spaniard had to wait more than 12 seconds to get new hard tires mounted, when a classic stop is dispatched in 2.5 seconds. The reason ? Only three tires were ready. An unimaginable mistake in Formula 1, which earned the team’s engineers a lot of ridicule.

Strategic mistakes

But what really drives the millions of Ferrari supporters crazy are the cumulative bad strategic choices of the so-called masterminds of Maranello. Take Hungary, at the start of August, when victory was reaching out to Charles Leclerc, with a Max Verstappen starting from 10th place on the grid. “We have a more efficient car, by six or seven tenths per lap. But on Saturday we collapse and Sunday is a disaster. The strategists did anything by bringing in Leclerc to put on hard rubber, not at all efficient. 15 laps later, they brought him back in to put on soft tyres,” laments Charles. Results ? Max Verstappen won quietly when Leclerc whipped to climb to a sad 6th place.

After the summer break, in Spa in Belgium at the end of August, there’s another go. Ferrari brought in Leclerc to put him on soft tires two laps from the end to try to pocket the point for the fastest lap in the race. Missed, the Monegasque driver leaves behind Alonso. He was forced to overtake the Spaniard to recover his 5th place. No best time in his pocket, and worse, a 5 second penalty for speeding in the pit lane, which finally sends him back to 6th place. A penalty that the driver will learn from the mouths of journalists at the end of the race.

« Latin Pride »

Mattia Binotto, the boss of Scuderia Ferrari is more and more vilified, at least as much for his inability to question himself as for the mistakes made in themselves. “What bothers me is to see Toto Wolff, the boss of Mercedes, take the floor to say we missed this and that. At Ferrari, there is no such culture. You shouldn’t criticize because it’s a team that has great self-esteem. There is also a bit of the cliché of Latin pride, but what is certain is that the criticism there is very complex, ”says Charles.

Still, this atmosphere is far from giving the pilots confidence. After Carlos Sainz’s mistakes at the start of the season, Charles Leclerc took over. First at Imola, at the end of April, then during the French Grand Prix, at the end of July, when he crashed his Ferrari alone while he was quietly in the lead. A few minutes earlier, Jean Alesi confided to us that to hope to beat Verstappen, Ferrari had to achieve a « faultless ». Missed. Worse, it is Mercedes which is gradually catching up in the constructor standings by dint of dumplings.

To ward off fate, or rather honor its long history, the Italian team will wear yellow for the outfits of its two drivers and its single-seaters this weekend at Monza. Will the brand’s original color bring luck to Ferrari? This special livery of the F1-75 and its yellow stripes on the engine cover does not seem to live up to the expectations of the Tifosi in any case. If Ferrari also manages to get stuck on the design, the end of the season could be very long.

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