It is summer break in Formula 1 and the first opportunity for Scuderia Ferrari to look back and analyse its performance and overall results from the first half of the 2021 Formula 1 season. A championship that right from the start was seen just as a transition year for the Maranello team, who was well aware of the fact that it would have been difficult to get back on top after the extremely disappointing outcome of the previous season. In fact, in 2020 Ferrari recorded its worst result in the last four decades, with a sixth place finish in the championship: the worst result for the Maranello team since 1980!
In a modern Formula 1 which is hindered by restrictions and development limitations, Ferrari tried its best to improve last year’s poor SF1000 car and started the 2020 season with an evolution version of it, the SF21. The car had several changes especially in the rear area, but unfortunately for the Maranello team, the limited token system for updates did not allow them to bring any changes to the nose and front wing area, which therefore proved to still be a major issue during the current championship.
Yet the start of the season was at times better than expected, so much so that Ferrari was able to score an impressive pole position with Charles Leclerc on the streets of Monte Carlo. Unfortunately, the Monegasque driver was not able to capitalize on this great opportunity, as Charles would eventually not start the Monaco race in front of his own fans, as a result of an issue with the left drive shaft, caused by a late crash in the qualifying session. Just one race later, Charles Leclerc once again scored an impressive pole postion, this time in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which was rather surprisingly and for a short time fueled the hopes of Ferrari fans in the entire world. However, the SF21 car did not have the necessary pace to challenge Mercedes and Red Bull during the race at the Baku City Circuit. Reality definitely hit Scuderia Ferrari in the following round, the French Grand Prix, as the Italian side finished outside the points with both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at the Paul Ricard circuit.
The odds to win the Drivers Championship are fading away for Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in what has become a 1-1 fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
But for Ferrari the focus is now entirely on the 2022 Formula 1 season, when the new rules and regulations will give every team the opportunity to start over and hope to challenge at the top of the grid. Aware that 2020 would be a difficult championship, the Maranello team has already shifted focus and resources on next year’s project for some time now and Team Principal Mattia Binotto will have no excuses at the start of the 2022 season: Ferrari will have to come back strong and show the potential to fight for the world title with an improved power unit and innovative solutions to reduce the downforce losses which will inevitably happen as a result of the new aerodynamic regulations for 2022.