Ferrari’s performance, both on the track and in strategizing, has been a regular topic of debate this Formula 1 season, in which the team has been making numerous mistakes that have always drawn criticism.
Former Renault boss Flavio Briatore was the latest to join the list of critics, declaring after the Italian GP: “It’s amazing how Ferrari manages to do everything right on Saturdays. And it’s amazing how Ferrari manages to spoil every race.”
Last weekend, Ferrari called Leclerc into the pits when a virtual safety car period was instituted following Sebastian Vettel’s retirement. However, before the Monegasque driver left the pitlane, the green flag had already been reactivated and the race restarted. Therefore, although in theory the stop might seem opportune, in practice it was not entirely correct, since the pilot could not use all the advantage that he could have by stopping during the neutralization.
As if that were not enough, having stopped earlier, on lap 13, with 40 seconds to go, Charles Leclerc would have to stop again later. On the other hand, his rival, Max Verstappen, only made one pitstop.
So far, after 16 races completed of the 22 that will be held, Ferrari has only won four: Leclerc three and Carlos Sainz one. They have only converted three poles into victories, Leclerc twice (once in Bahrain and once in Australia) and Sainz once, in Great Britain.
Those types of strategic errors and mechanical failures have left the team that started the season with title hopes, motivated by Charles Leclerc’s victory in the first round, in Bahrain, at a loss. With so many problems, Ferrari lost the lead in the drivers’ and teams’ championships and saw their chances disappear.
With six races remaining in the season, Red Bull leads the constructors’ championship with a 139-point lead over Ferrari. Meanwhile, Verstappen leads Leclerc by 116 points in the drivers’ championship. As the table currently stands, Ferrari should even keep an eye on third-placed Mercedes, which has 371 points, just 35 behind the Italian team.