Ferrari have become the laughing stock of the paddock this season. Having built a competitive car for 2022 and starting the season with two wins for Charles LeClerc by round 3, the team has since imploded with a combination of reliability issues, driver error and general disorganisation over operational issues and strategy.
During qualifying in Brazil, the team failed to have the Monegasque drivers tyres ready in Q1 for his second run the fitted the intermediate tyre in Q3 when the other 9 cars were on slick tyres.
Ferrari hour show for Brazil qualifying
By the time the team realised their mistake, 8 drivers had set dry lap times and the rain was falling with an ever increasing intensity.
Prior to today’s GP Ralf Schumacher is incredulous of the red team’s performance.
“This year they manage to make mistakes again and again in situations in which they could perform brilliantly,” he told Sky Deutschland.
“I’m not convinced by the excuse – all the others were on slicks. Ferrari needs a change,” the German ex-F1 driver continues.
“If everything remains as it is, I have doubts about them. Ferrari had a fast car this year, but they always managed to squeeze the bare minimum out of it.
“I see them needing a change in leadership, otherwise it remain difficult for them. They need to change something.”
Italian media build pressure on Binotto
Ralf is clearly referring to team principal Mattia Binottowho has come under increasing pressure from the Italian media in the past two weeks.
Ferrari are now just 36 points ahead of Mercedes in the constructors’ race with two races remaining and with both silver arrows cars starting from the front row in Brazil that gap could be cut big time before the teams arrive next week in Abu Dhabi.
The Mercedes car has definitely improved since its previous upgrade in Austin and Ferrari have clearly lost ground to them given the pace of both their drivers’ during the Saturday sprint in Interlagos.
Carlos Sainz struggled to hold off a charging Hamilton for P2 in the final few laps and Charles LeClerc failed to challenge Red Bull’s Sergio Perez for the entire 24 laps.
Ferrari stopped developing their 2022 car
“Mercedes is very strong,” Binotto told Sky Italy in Interlagos.
“But it doesn’t surprise because we’ve already been focused on developing the 2023 car for some time while they’ve brought updates to both the US and Mexico.
“I think next year it won’t be a two-way battle for the world championship,” Binotto added despite Toto Wolff recently claiming they were 8-10 months behind Red Bull in car development.
The 2500 feet of altitude in Sau Paulo will aid the drag Mercedes car though not as much as in Mexico.
Binotto appears to shrug off the criticism from the Italian media and Ralf Schumacher concluding, “A lot has been said. Everyone is always ready to criticise.”
Kevin Magnussen got off to a fantastic start in the Sprint 🙌
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