Eleven years without a world title and ‘only’ 29 wins in the last 215 races. These are the very cold numbers that photograph Ferrari’s rough and often descending path in Formula 1, from 2009 up to date. The last drivers ‘title was in fact that of Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, followed the next year by the manufacturers’ title. What was missing and what is missing from the Maranello team to return to the top in at least one of the two world championships: money? drivers? engineers? managers? race strategy? luck? political power?
First let’s think for a moment and let’s quickly review the main aspects and phases that the Italian side has put in place to win, in more or less recent times.
In these eleven years Ferrari has had drivers such as Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Charles Leclerc and also Felipe Massa who, after all, is the only one who really got close to the title in 2008. Among his valuable technicians was Aldo Costa, James Allison (later victorious in Mercedes) Mattia Binotto (father of the excellent SF71H), while Domenicali, Mattiacci, Arrivabene and Binotto himself followed in the role of team manager. With the energetic presence and presidency on them of Sergio Marchionne who, in September 2014, took over the role of Luca Di Montezemolo without many compliments, after 23 years of reign.
Yet in the last ten years the team has seemed to rejuvenate rather than mature! But in the negative sense of the term. One of the very few negative things that youth has is the inexperience that leads to avoidable errors. Avoidable with experience.
Incredibly the problems of managing the race strategies, managing the relationship between drivers, interpreting the technical regulations, reliability and performance of the car, political authority within the Circus seem to increase with the passing of the seasons. As if precisely the Ferrari team, due to some strange spell, was excessively rejuvenating, putting us back into experience and therefore, inevitably, in the possibility of reaching the final success.
After all, it was the last two team principals who admitted publicly to directing a “young team”. The first was Maurizio Arrivabene after the mess with rain tires during the Suzuka ’18 qualifying, followed by Mattia Binotto who on several occasions called his Ferrari “a young team, which must acquire experience”, obviously speaking of many figures new in the role in his team.
One can make a case that Scuderia Ferrari, in Formula 1 since the first GP of 1950, is getting younger. Like the protagonist of the film and novel “The curious case of Benjamin Button”.
Is it really like this? Or something else has been missing from Ferrari. So what do you think are the areas in which the Maranello team should work to recover an absolute and constant competitiveness that has been lacking since the faded times, but of “total competitive maturity” of Michael Schumacher?