An exciting race in general, but not so much for Scuderia Ferrari. Amidst fans in the grandstands, it was not the way Ferrari wanted to celebrate their 1000th Grand Prix at Mugello.
The ‘Prancing Horse’ had to be satisfied with a points finish from both drivers. Charles Leclerc, who got off to a great start, secured P9. Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, landed a P10.
The former was particularly disappointed with the pace of the car, and Team Principal Mattia Binotto concured.
In a short interview with Sky Sport, he said, “Leclerc is right, we are disappointed. We had no race pace. After a few laps we lose pace, the result is the consequence. There is no explanation. We suffer from a marked deterioration of the tires. It is a difficult project.” (translated from Google Translate)
“The basic situation is profound, we must certainly make progress, it will already be there from the next race, but it won’t make a difference”
It is not so much as ‘marked deterioration of the tires’ than the engine which has been Ferrari’s Achilles heel this season. Ever since the Circuit of The Americas race in 2019 and the FIA-Ferrari settlement, there has been an observable drop in qualifying and race pace with Ferrari.
Often slow on the track, yesterday’s drop from P3 to P8 for Leclerc was a testament to their struggles. The Monegasque driver had started brilliantly in the race. But a mixture of incidents and pit stop strategies from Renault and Racing Point cars affected the young driver. The lack of power in the car saw him overtaken by Ricciardo, Stroll, Albon, and then Perez.
The prevailing opinion in the Ferrari camp is that minor updates on the car will not get them the results. It is a case of waiting out the season and looking forward to winter testing in 2021. But given recent regulations have stated that constructors will not be allowed to modify most car components.
It could potentially mean that Ferrari’s struggles are set to continue. They have often played second fiddle to Mercedes over the course of this decade. But with rivals having a better car, they could further slip down to the bottom half in the Constructors’ Championship.
At the moment, they are pinning all their hopes on Leclerc to extract as much as he can from the car and get good results.