‘Shocking’ Ferrari are doomed without commanding figure like Michael Schumacher

Jamie Woodhouse
The Ferrari cars in Montreal. Canada, June 2023.

The Ferrari cars in Montreal. Canada, June 2023.

Ex-F1 team boss Eddie Jordan did not hold back with his criticism of Ferrari, claiming they have been “shocking” minus the Michael Schumacher era.

Ferrari have won titles outside of their time with Schumacher at the wheel, but it was that union which created record-breaking dominance at the time, as between 1999-2004 Ferrari collected six Constructors’ titles and five Drivers’ crowns.

In modern times it is Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz attempting to take Ferrari back to the promise land, but they are so far having no joy, a strong start to 2022 which gave real hope of a title challenge fading away as Red Bull became the dominant force.

F1 2023 has seen Red Bull only further pull away at the front, while Ferrari have fallen behind Mercedes and Aston Martin in the standings.

And Jordan believes it is only a Schumacher-type figure who is capable of pulling together a victorious Ferrari.

“Apart from the Michael Schumacher era, they have been shocking,” Jordan said of Ferrari on the Formula For Success podcast.

“Now, what was significant about Michael Schumacher? He brought a team of people with him because he knew who they were. He brought Rory Byrne, Pat Simmons, a couple of other guys.

“I’m sorry, but at the moment, do not expect anyone, no matter who it is, to get Ferrari up there winning again without the likes of the control that Michael Schumacher had, and the ability that he had to bring those people inside Ferrari.”

Ferrari have been on a recent recruitment drive to shake-up their workforce, a push which is continuing, and a key signing made ahead of the F1 2023 campaign was Fred Vasseur, who departed the team boss role at Alfa Romeo to replace Mattia Binotto as Ferrari team principal.

Jordan though has seen no benefit from this appointment, saying the team has gone backwards if anything since, while he also drew attention to Leclerc’s scathing criticism of Ferrari last time out in Canada when he was eliminated in Q2, the team having missed the window to switch him to dry tyres before the rain returned.

“I really thought he would make a difference, he has not,” said Jordan of Vasseur. “If anything it’s gone backwards.

“And I’ve never heard Charles Leclerc be so critical of the team as he was this weekend.”

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Jordan’s podcast co-star, former McLaren and Red Bull driver David Coulthard, said he will give Vasseur more time before making a judgement, though stressed that a “strong” Ferrari is important for Formula 1.

“I’m going to give Fred the benefit of the doubt because the old expression Rome wasn’t built in a day,” said Coulthard, “he’s only been there for a few months.

“We’re only a third of the way through the season and Fred I trust and I think a strong Formula 1 needs a strong Ferrari.”

Ferrari head into the next round of the F1 2023 season in Austria P4 in the Constructors’ standings, 32 points behind Aston Martin and 45 adrift of Mercedes.

The Red Bull Ring was though the scene of Ferrari’s and Leclerc’s most recent victory as he took the chequered flag to win the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix.