Engine in difficulty, drivers out of the race, breach of regulations: nothing is going well in the Italian team at the start of the season.
The two red cars that hit each other on the first lap and gave up: the pitiful image offered by Ferrari at the Styria Grand Prix on Sunday is unfortunately only the symptom of deeper ills.
The analysis is from the boss of the Scuderia, Mattia Binotto, himself. "When you start in the middle of the grid, things happen, but that’s no excuse, he reacted after the race. Above all, it was a very disappointing weekend, which ended in the worst possible way. There is no point in accusing anyone, you have to react and move quickly. "
Indeed, the unexpected second place for Monegasque Charles Leclerc during an inaugural GP in Austria on July 5 punctuated by withdrawals should not hide the fact that performance is simply not on the track.
The sharp observation fell in pre-season testing in February. This decline, even though few regulatory changes have taken place, calls into question all the more since it is concomitant with a confidential agreement between the International Automobile Federation (FIA), regulator of sport, and Ferrari following "a thorough technical investigation" on the functioning of its engines in 2019. Engines of which a number of competitors doubted compliance with the regulations.
In the meantime, the coronavirus has passed through, the season started more than three months late, during which the stables remained closed, and the Scuderia was unable to work as much as it wanted to rebuild itself. health.
Result, only seventh place for Leclerc in the qualifying of the inaugural 2020 GP on the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, an 11th for the German Sebastian Vettel, behind not only the usual opponents, Mercedes and Red Bull, but also McLaren, Racing Point and Renault.
Same punishment on the same circuit the following week, when qualifying for the GP of Styria. Despite a battery of changes made to the cars a week earlier than expected, Vettel is 10th, Leclerc 11th and penalized by three places on the starting grid for hampering an opponent on the track!
Light years from the almost perfect performance that had allowed him to grab the podium the previous week, the 22-year-old Monegasque again made a mistake from the third corner on Sunday, trying to overtake his teammate when he wasn’t had no place.
Leclerc admitted to having "fuck up" and apologized to Vettel who accepted them. Still remains an image "disastrous". One more. The revelation by Vettel, on the eve of the Austrian GP, that his divorce from Ferrari in 2021 was not declared by mutual consent but unilaterally by Scuderia had already been blemished.
As the FIA reminders to the attention of the two drivers for breaches of the sanitary protocol against the Covid-19.