Ferrari have always been one of the most dominant teams in Formula 1. But in recent seasons they have slipped way beyond their usual winning standard.
Ferrari have always been one of the most dominant teams in Formula 1. But in recent seasons they have slipped way beyond their usual winning standard. And after Red Bull’s annihilation for the past four seasons Ferrari seem to be falling by the wayside even further as each season progresses.
A Great Team
Once a great team, Scuderia Ferrari was founded by the eponymous Enzo Ferrari in 1929. The team have 16 constructors’ championship titles to their name, as well as 15 drivers’ titles, and have had some large names attributed to their team with the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Niki Lauda, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Räikkönen all having won a title under the Ferrari name.
Their current team consists of Räikkönen himself and two time world champion Fernando Alonso. So, with such a dream team what is it that has seemingly left Ferrari on such a downward spiral?
Ferrari’s recent heyday certainly seems to be the 2007 and 2008 seasons where the Italian team finished 1st in the championship standings. By looking at the statistics it isn’t hard to see that the team have dropped a fair way since then.
2009 was a poor year for the team with a finish of just fourth but since then the team have achieved a second place finish and three third places in the championship standings.
For any other team this would surely be an outstanding job. But Ferrari are expected to dominate the sport and being the runner up just isn’t enough.
Since the arrival of Sebastian Vettel to Red Bull Racing in 2009 Ferrari have had some problems. For four seasons in a row Vettel was crowned world champion and despite every effort from the Ferrari team both Vettel and Red Bull remained unstoppable. With Christian Horner and Adrian Newey working for the opposition maybe Ferrari just don’t have the ability that they used to.
With the new 2014 season came new rules and an engine change that could destroy or make a car’s reputation. As Red Bull failed to set the benchmark, as they had for four consecutive seasons, a Ferrari sized gap was left. But once again Ferrari could do nothing more than watch on as the Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg fight it out at the top spot.
What is it about Ferrari that has made them so unable to compete? Recently team principal Stefano Domenicali resigned from his post but is it really the fault of the team principal if a car cannot contend? And what is Ferrari’s failure really down to?
Struggles at Silverstone
As the British Grand Prix commenced, with some sun for once, Ferrari had a disaster of a weekend. Both cars were knocked out in Q1, positioning them just above the Caterham’s of Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi who don’t have a point to share between them. Even the Marussia’s of Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi made it through to the next stage of qualifying.
For Ferrari this was abysmal news. On lap one Räikkönen crashed into the barriers before clipping Felipe Massa, leaving them both out of the race. Alonso worked tirelessly to move himself into a sixth place finish but this says more about Alonso’s work ethic and desire for the win than it does of the 2014 Ferrari car.
It’s hard to remember that for the past two seasons Räikkönen excelled in his Lotus; in 2012 he secured the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix win and he went on to win the first race of the 2013 season in Australia. Payment problems with the team led to Kimi running back into the arms of old team Ferrari. But for what?
The Finn has done little of note so far this season and is often scraping his way into the top ten. Alonso has fared better than his teammate, even managing a podium finish of 3rd, but it just proves how incredible a driver the Spaniard is to reclaim such finishes with the car he’s been given.
The dream team of Räikkönen and Alonso serves only to show that a driver is nothing without a good car. Unless Ferrari are capable of producing the equivalent of the Mercedes or the Red Bull then no matter how hard their driver’s work podiums and wins will not come easily, if they come at all. Questions remain to be answered though.
Do Ferrari have what it takes to compete with the top teams at the moment or have they had their time in the spotlight? And with Williams closing in on them in the championship standings Ferrari are going to need to seriously up their game if they stand a chance of finishing even third this season.
What do you think? Are Ferrari finished? Have your say in the comments section below.