But what will Scuderia Ferrari be able to come up with to attract the derision of the F1 world for its domestic Grand Prix this weekend? A slice of pizza left in the brake pads? Spilled too much Spritz in the tank? Or fitted Vespa wheel instead of 18 inch? The thousands of Tifosi who will gather in Monza, near Milan, for the Italian Grand Prix, in any case fear another dumpling from their favorite team, as the shortcomings 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 had so many followers on Twitter. “I can’t tell if they are detractors or worried fans, but there really are more and more of them. As soon as the Scuderia does something, people react, they laugh, there is a grotesque side. It doesn’t bother me because I created this page to share emotions, good or bad. Or sad funny,” he smiles.
Carlos Sainz pit stop
In the latest event, more symbolic than symptomatic, the brakes on a Ferrari truck carrying parts from Zandvoort, where Max Verstappen (RedBull) won the Dutch Grand Prix, caught fire during the trip to Italy earlier in the week. As if the on-track setbacks weren’t enough, the day after Carlos Sainz’s horrific pit stop at the Dutch Grand Prix, which in itself could have summed up Ferrari’s season. The Spaniard had to wait more than 12 seconds to fit new solid tires when the classic braking is done in 2.5 seconds. The reason ? Only three tires were ready. An unimaginable F1 mistake that earned the team’s engineers much ridicule.
But what really drives the millions of Ferrari fans crazy are the cumulative poor strategic choices of the so-called Maranello executives. Take Hungary at the start of August, when victory went to Charles Leclerc, with Max Verstappen starting 10th 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 everything by bringing in Leclerc to put on a hard tyre, not effective at all. 15 laps later they brought him back to put on soft tyres,” laments Charles. Results? Max Verstappen took a quiet win as Leclerc climbed to a dismal 6th place.
After the summer vacation, in Spa in Belgium at the end of August, there is another outing. Ferrari brought in Leclerc to put him on soft tires with two laps to go to try and take the point for fastest lap of the race. Skipped, the Monegasque driver leaves behind Alonso. He was forced to overtake the Spaniard to reclaim 5th place. No best time in his pocket and to make matters worse a 5 second speeding penalty in the pits which eventually dropped him back to 6th. A punishment that the pilot will learn from the journalists at the end of the race.
Mattia Binoto, the boss of Scuderia Ferrari, is increasingly reviled, at least as much for his inability to doubt as for the mistakes made within themselves. “What worries me is to see Toto Wolff, the boss of Mercedes, take the floor to say we missed this and that. There is no such culture at Ferrari. You should not criticize because this is a team with high self-esteem. There’s a bit of the cliché of Latin pride, but what’s certain is that the criticism there is very sophisticated,” says Charles.
However, 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 at the French Grand Prix at the end of July when he crashed his Ferrari alone while quietly leading. A few minutes earlier, Jean Alesi had confided in us that if they were to hope to beat Verstappen, Ferrari needed to go ‘flawless’. Skipped. What’s worse is that Mercedes is gradually catching up in the standings with dumpling constructors.
To avert fate, or rather to honor its long history, the Italian team will wear yellow for its two-driver teams and 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 did not seem to meet the expectations of the Tifosi in any case. If Ferrari can also stick to the design, the end of the season could be very long.