Wanted: A Competitive Ferrari, One That Can Fight At The Front Of The Grid. But What Does Team’s Chairman Have To Say?

Ferrari in 2020
Ferrari in 2020

Of the many things that struck a chord with the public that went to vote for Donald Trump in the 2017 elections was perhaps a peculiar prop that was used extensively in the entirety of the political campaign! Remember the blue and red colored caps that bore the important lines (read key political message), “Make America Great Again!”

When you attempt to stoke an interest in a genuinely promising and great idea that’s gone sour, you resonate with the wider masses; the thinking public. Right? That’s what made the quote so larger than life and relatable.

But the thing is, if you were to borrow one of Trump’s campaign lines and use it in the context of the fastest sport on the face of the earth, you’d realize that it makes great sense.

So how about, “Make Ferrari great again?”

Honestly, where the team are at the moment, there’s nothing but great disgruntlement. One simply cannot believe that the very team that often came mighty close to battling Mercedes, successfully curtailing the Silver Arrows storm in several contests in 2017 and 2018 are currently a mid-field team, effectively.

Ferrari in 2020
GP AUSTRIA F1/2020 – DOMENICA 05/07/2020 credit: @Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Truth be told, Ferrari are more than just a team; they are a big emotion. It’s a grandiose idea that represents and stands for outstanding success and massive accomplishment. Of his seven world titles, Michael Schumacher won five with Ferrari. They are not called the most famous Formula 1 team for nothing; there’s this great statistical majesty that the famous Italian name garnered in conjunction with their massive image.

They have against their name 15 driver’s championships and 16 constructor’s championships! And even in the turbo-powered era of F1, Ferrari have, more often than not, been at the fighting front of the action; at the frontend of the grid, instead of lagging behind.

But you come to understand that despite their recent prowess, even as the Scuderia emerged second best only to champions Mercedes, all that’s taken to spoil their plans and damage their reputation is one season. And it’s the one we are amid.

It’s common knowledge by now that Ferrari in 2020 are anything but a fighting force: they are already stuck in the midfield toil, where they are often seen lagging in raw pace and downforce vis-a-vis a McLaren, Racing Point, and even Renault as seen at Austria.

The SF 1000 is anything but a strong car; it’s a machine that’s low on horsepower, a car that lacks the downforce you need to add blazing speed to put a belter of a lap, just the kind of power that other teams like Racing Point and McLaren have entertained fans with.

And what’s worse is that even as in recent times Ferrari, understanding their current plight, announced an entire change at the technical department at Maranello; the beating heart of the team, the current Chairman has offered some telling revelations that may not please fans who desire seeing the scarlet red cars on the very top.

The fact that the Ferrari chairman John Elkann didn’t stop at : “This year, we are not competitive mainly because of a series of design errors in the car,” offers scope to pose an important question.

While it’s clear the car is down on horsepower and that we’ve clearly seen better days for drivers suited in red overalls, the thing really is- when do we see Ferrari competitive again?

In that regard, the pertinent question is- when can we see Ferrari clinch the race wins that are usually gobbled by Mercedes, their strongest rivals and actually, bullies on the track, where recent performances stand?

And truth is, at the very heart of this question rests the heartbreaking response as issued by Mr. Elkonn, who happened to suggest:

“We are laying down the basis to be competitive and start winning again when the (technical) regulations change in 2022!”

Interestingly, in the recent past, there was a glimmer of hope for the team and fans after evidencing the disappointment at Austria in the form of the upgrades the team brought at Hungaroring. It was a race where Vettel finished sixth, with Leclerc, not crashing this time, gathered eleventh.

And that was that! But for now, the only thing one may hold as a realistic expectation is to witness accident-free races from the Scuderia drivers. We know the car isn’t fast; but nothing can be more damaging than seeing drivers self-obliterate- right?

The end goal, of course, at Maranello, would be to see Ferrari become great again.


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