Ferrari: ‘Crazy Situation’ Compounded 2020 F1 Season Struggles

Published 12/16/2020, 12:30 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – November 1, 2020 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during the race Pool via Reuters/Davide Gennari


Ferrari just had a year from hell. The Italian team ended the 2020 F1 season, placed sixth in the Constructor’s Championship, making it the worst finish for them in the table since 1980, when they finished 11th.

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However, this came as no surprise to them. Internally, they knew that they were going to have a bad year, the cause of which was apparently the problems they encountered with the car in pre-season testing.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 19: Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto reacts during day one of Formula 1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 19, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Ferrari’s sporting director, Laurent Mekies, who was standing in as the Team Principal for Mattia Binotto in Abu Dhabi, could foresee their struggles this season.

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“In Barcelona, we quickly realized that we had serious concerns about some aspects of the performance of the car. We knew it was going to be very difficult. We didn’t know yet at that time how long it was going to be for us to understand that fully and even less to fix it,” Mekies said.

To compound their miseries, FIA postponed the season because of a global pandemic. “Then we went to that crazy situation where we all jumped into Covid at that stage and couldn’t touch or run the car for a few months,” Mekies said further.

Ferrari taking positives from this season

Despite their struggles, Ferrari is still trying to look at the brighter side. The team is undergoing wholesome changes in personnel both at the factory and the garage. And even during this season, they improved the performance of their cars.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 15: Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari talks with Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto in the garage during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 15, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Pleased with their response, Mekies said, “It’s certainly a good example of what you learn in a time of crisis. It’s in this sort of situation that you learn the most. And I think what we take away is the way the team has been able to stay united during this time.”

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Can they get out of this rut?

The ‘Tifosi’ won’t accept consistently poor performances for long. Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel came to the team with a lot of hope and fanfare. Hence, it is a failure on both ends that he is leaving without a world title to his name.

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Ferrari is banking on Charles Leclerc now. The real question is, can the Monegasque bring back their glory days? Only time will tell.

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Bharat Aggarwal

753 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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