The F1 car launch season is now fully underway and fans are in a state of high anticipation whipped up by the promise from Christian Horner et al of a new breed of racing beasts.
So will the season ahead live up to its premier billing?
Well, the signs so far are not good.
After yet another ‘transitional year’ for the great Red Team, 2017 brings once again great hope for the Tifosi. But, mutterings from Maranello via the Italian media are not promising.
Age old Ferrari issues are again resurfacing as engineers scratch their heads over the significant differences between simulated aerodynamic performance and the actual numbers. If this discrepancy becomes evident to us all when the car hits the track in Barcelona, the season long prognosis will be bleak indeed.
James Allison leaving Ferrari HQ is now being seen by some disgruntled souls as a good thing. Thus the blame is already being apportioned for the new Ferrari ‘truck’ masquerading as Sebastian Vettel’s racing chariot.
Mercedes have a different impression of Allison’s abilities.
All this chaos meant that by stealth – the eminent but ageing Rory Byrne was recalled from his umpteenth retirement from F1 to solve Maranello’s woes. Yet no one knows whether this has in fact helped and even the bravado of the irrepressible Sergio Marchionne remains surprisingly silent for now.
In an attempt to distract us from the car named code 668 – which is 666 plus 2 – Ferrari PR have been wooing us with talk of an all new 1000 HP power unit with an excess of 750 KW available due to new increased fuel allowances.
As a lover of bigger and better, may I be the first to congratulate the ‘A’ division at Ferrari HQ – but posit the thought,that this is all for nought – unless of course Brackley’s engineers en masse were tricked into pricking their fingers and drew blood at the Christmas bash. Only this Sleeping Beauty scenario will surely see Ferrari catch the Silver Arrows on power this season.
That said, the sheer desperation to push on with more power, may produce the delicious retro sight of many broken Ferrari’s stranded against the race barrier with plumes of fire rising from the engine cover. This for many of us ‘old uns’ will conjure up visions of the golden era of Formula One.
If the Italian media sources close to Maranello are to be believed, Mercedes will have nothing to fear from Ferrari this year – other than being caught in the back draught of a withering expulsion from Sebastian Vettel’s potty mouth, when he realises by the start of the European season that it’s all over for yet another year.