As we are half way through the three-week long summer break, now is a good time to have a hard and long look at the man running our beloved Scuderia Ferrari. As by some of the betting apps, Charles Leclerc’s odds were right on par with Max’s 1/1 odds, now, it has fallen to 13/4. This may be an unconventional metric, but it goes to show how Ferrari has fallen from a place of certainty.
How did it all start?
The start of the season was so hopeful and bright. Charles Leclerc started off with the hat trick of performances, pole position, fastest lap and race win. It felt too good to be true. Sure, the Red Bulls gifted Carlos Sainz his P2 spot, but at the end of the day, that is racing and, more importantly, the first Ferrari one, two finish in many years. Fast forward to Imola. Carlos and Charles have both shown some signs of cracking under the immense pressure that comes with fighting for a world driver’s championship against the likes of Max Verstappen and Red Bull. However, Charles Leclerc had a notable lead in the drivers’ championship, and Ferrari had the lead in the constructors’ championship. Could this be it? Could this be the end of the fifteen-year drought of trophies we Tifosi have suffered through?
Where Did It Start To Go Wrong?
One week later, we find ourselves in Monaco, the jewel in the crown of formula one. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have a front grid lockout at a track that is notoriously impossible to pass on; what on earth could go wrong? Well, leaving Charles Leclerc to sit out in front of the pack on full wet tyres for far too long to prevent the undercut from Checo Perez and too short of a stint to let him just make the straight change to slick tyres, as Carlos Sainz did when he took his strategy into own hands, was what could and did go wrong. Jump to The British Grand Prix. A golden opportunity with Super Max’s car being, well, less than super. Charles had yet another opportunity to make a big change in the championship, but Ferrari chose to leave him out on track on old hard tyres while giving both Mercedes drivers the chance to pit for shiny new soft tyres. Both Carlos and Charles had more than enough pace to pit for softs and pass Hamilton out on track. Then we have last week at the Hungaroring. The Alpines of both Fernando Alonso and Ocon plummeted through the field after putting on the hard tyres. Lap after lap of seeing both Alpine Drivers lose pace against the rest of the grid, Ferrari still chose to bring Charles in for those dreaded tyres gifting a race win to Max and podium positions to the Mercedes drivers.
Where are we now?
It is worth mentioning that both Ferrari drivers have made critical mistakes, so not all the blame can fall on the shoulders of Scuderia Ferrari’s management team. However, it can not be a coincidence that if hypothetically the only points lost by Charles Leclerc were by his own mistakes, such as Imola and France, he would be dead level with Max Verstappen on points. The truly worrying part is that Mattia Binotto feels nothing is wrong with the team or that anything requires fixing.
How does Ferrari fix it?
Calling for someone’s head on a spike will not solve anything. Still, it is high time that Mattia and the rest of his team look introspectively and take this summer break as a chance to iron out these wrinkles and bring the fight back to Max Verstappen and Red Bull because if they don’t, Ferrari will find itself finishing behind the rising Mercedes team.