Revealed: Five reasons why F1 fans find it easy to hate Ferrari

Michelle Foster
查尔斯·勒克莱尔研磨在嗨s team-mate Carlos Sainz with both drivers running the medium Pirelli tyres.

As Ferrari’s wait for a title continues, blighted by false promises and shattered dreams, this team once synonymous with Formula 1 success has become an almost constant source of frustration to their Tifosi.

Like the boy who cried wolf, the vow of ‘this year will be our year’ has stopped ringing true. And yet the want to believe, to trust, to hope still lingers every February.

Alas, this season it took all of one race for the shine to dim, and by race two the dream had already imploded.

SF-23: Promised so much, delivered so little

Promised a “single-seater that will be unprecedented in terms of speed” by Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna, it’s clear that one team delivered just that. It’s also safe to say it wasn’t Ferrari.

The Scuderia, as always, went into pre-season testing talking up their expectations. And, as witnessed all too often in recent years, failed to deliver.

Instead of a car of unprecedented speeds, Ferrari produced a temperamental, unpredictable, and inconsistent SF-23. A car that seemingly hates Pirelli’s tyres, just to add to the drama.

Interestingly, Charles Leclerc recently revealed to Corriere dello Sport they knew all this after the very first laps on the track. “In the first laps of the tests there was a strange feeling, something didn’t add up,” admitted the five-time grand prix winner (none of those wins coming this season).

He added that “at the beginning of this season we had to almost reset our expectations because the car was not at the expected level.”

From unprecedented to average, that was a big reset, and along with it went the dream of a World title.

With three podiums, Leclerc is 215 points behind Max Verstappen, while Sainz, yet to feature in the top three, is a further seven off the pace. Ferrari are fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, 312 points behind Red Bull.

Reliability: From positive feedback to R1 DNF

Another promise was made, and another promise was broken. Ferrari claimed in the off-season that the engine reliability issues they faced in 2022 had been resolved and there was “positive feedback” from the dyno work carried out on their 2023 power unit.

Reliability was a major issue for the Scuderia and its customers last season, even forcing all three to turn down the power units in the second part of the championship.

Having identified the cause of the problem back in July last season, Ferrari’s engine department under Enrico Gualtieri set about resolving the issue and in February he told us “we’ve had some positive feedback on the test bench” while the team boss Fred Vasseur said, “it’s all OK”.

It wasn’t. Charles Leclerc’s season began with a “no power, no power” anguished cry as he retired while running third at the Bahrain Grand Prix. That it was his second Energy Store and Control Electronics power unit elements of the race weekend, weekend number one of 22, meant at the second race of the season he became the first driver hit by a power unit penalty.

And while it can be said that has been the biggest engine-related drama in Ferrari’s season, Haas and Alfa Romeo are going through engine parts at a rate of knots with every one of their drivers on the cusp of a penalty or three.

With that in mind, it is safe to say Leclerc and Carlos Sainz won’t be too far behind, a repeat of last year’s troubles. recommends

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Strategy: One confident call does not a championship make

Speaking of repeats, Ferrari’s strategies. To be fair the calls have been a bit better this season with Ferrari swapping out Inaki Rueda for Ravin Jain back in February.

Under Jain’s leadership, there have been some inspired strategy calls, such as in Canada where both drivers were told to stay out under a Safety Car, a move that elevated them up the order to bring home a solid points-haul.

But Charles Leclerc especially wouldn’t have needed to put in such a big recovery job had Ferrari not burned him by a misjudgement of the conditions which left him stranded on intermediate tyres on a drying track in qualifying.

Leclerc, despite pleading with his team to come in for dry tyres, was told to stay out and get in a ‘banker’ lap on the inters. He didn’t make it out of Q2.

Then there was Carlos Sainz arguing with Ferrari in Monaco, and Spain, and Austria, and so on…

It’s clear the drivers don’t have trust in Ferrari’s pit wall and the decisions affecting their races. Bitten once too often in the last two seasons, it seems even those making the calls aren’t too confident anymore either.

Drivers: Crashing should never be ‘normal’

Last season it was Carlos Sainz who began his campaign with a spate of crashes, this year it is Charles Leclerc.

Suffering, at times self-induced, four crashes between Australia, Azerbaijan, and Miami, the latter was a two-fer with the driver into the Turn 7 barrier in practice and again in qualifying.

He claims it is “normal”, just a driver pushing the “limits”, but you don’t see Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, or Lewis Hamilton crashing that often.

Sainz has had a moment or three himself as well, Monaco, Canada, and Belgium the latest with that a costly one as he wasn’t able to complete the race.

In a season in which Ferrari need every lap to learn and every point to save face, Senior Performance Engineer Jock Clear may not be telling his drivers they need to “calm down”, but someone should.

Ferrari: From legends to fantasies

Throw a pebble onto the grid and you are very likely to hit a driver who does, or at least once did, dream of racing for Ferrari.

It’s the myth, the legend, the fable that has been inspired by hero drivers and, of course, that first red toy car we all played with.

From José Froilán González, who won the first F1 race for Ferrari at the 1951 British Grand Prix, to Alberto Ascari with his two World titles and Michael Schumacher with five, the names in Ferrari’s history annuals inspire.

The only team to have contested every single season of the official F1 World Championship since 1950, and the team with the most Drivers’ titles, 15, and the most Constructors’, 16, success and the Ferrari name go hand-in-hand. Or they used to.

Sadly today it is more a story of false notions, fairy tales, and fantasies.

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