Apr.16 (GMM) Just three races into yet another promising season for Ferrari, the Italian press has declared that the great Maranello team is once again in crisis.
In China, most had expected Ferrari to bounce back after Charles Leclerc’s near-win of Bahrain.
Instead, the team is now fending off a team orders controversy and claims the 2019 car is fundamentally flawed.
“Ferrari’s aerodynamics do not work,” 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg is quoted by Corriere della Sera.
“There’s a lot of work for them now but they need time, there is no quick solution.”
Corriere della Sera said Ferrari appeared “slow, confused and chaotic” in Shanghai.
“All of Ferrari’s problems came to light on a complex track like China, and internal problems between the drivers threaten to break out completely.”
La Gazzetta dello Sport says Ferrari’s winter test promise “has disappeared, sunk by controversial decisions such as the one giving preference to Vettel”.
Tuttosport also railed against Sebastian Vettel, saying the German’s “performances are well below Maranello’s expectations”.
“It cannot go on like this,” the sports newspaper added.
And La Repubblica said teammate Charles Leclerc is “increasingly becoming a leader, even if he is sacrificed by the team”.
Vettel does at least have his defenders, such as Formula E championship leader Jerome d’Ambrosio who told tuttomotoriweb.com: “It’s easy to question a driver’s quality when you watch TV on the couch”.
Vettel, meanwhile, defended his red car, denying there is something fundamentally wrong with it.
“I have to answer that with no,” he is quoted by Auto Bild.
“We have a strong car, but we are seeing a bit of a pattern. We can be very happy with our engine, it’s just about getting the performance of the whole package right.”
F1 Changes Starting in 2021 - After many months of discussions and deliberations, Formula 1’s ten teams have now agreed to the terms of the “Concorde Agreement” that binds them to the world championship for another five years.
This agreement is a contract between Formula 1, the FIA governing body and the teams which wish to compete in the F1 World Championship from 2021 to 2025 and defines how F1’s television revenues and prize money will be distributed.
Formula 1 bosses have been keen to build a strong foundation on which to secure the long-term future for the championship. As such a revolutionary new budget cap will be introduced next year, along with new technical regulations and a new set of sporting rules coming in 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for everyone in 2020, and has served as another reminder that something needed to change. Once the championship restarted, so too could the commercial agreement talks.
By changing the way the prize money is distributed, it was inevitable that some teams would be happy – as they would receive a greater share – and others less so, as they would have a smaller slice.
But ultimately, as they have increasingly done in recent months, all the stakeholders found a way to come together and compromise on the document, which they agreed to in time for the early deadline of August 18th – which brought a small financial incentive.
With the 10 teams signed up for the next five years, and the regulations and cost cap defined, Formula 1 can finally embark on a new era. The new agreement also squashes any speculation that teams like Mercedes or Haas might not be around for the long term.
The hope now is that all F1 teams can develop themselves into robust operations financially while also closing the pack in terms of competitiveness that can in turn improve the racing spectacle.
Roll on 2021!