Ferrari ‘hit by a rapidly spinning downward spiral’

Date published: June 13 2022 - Jon Wilde

Carlos Sainz trudges back to the paddock. Baku June 2022.

Ferrari’s latest “fiasco” in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix showed they are on an alarming downward spiral that must be quickly reversed.

Those are the words of Sky Sport Germany editor Udo Hutflotz following the Scuderia’s double DNF in Baku, which followed on from their other disappointing recent races.

Charles Leclerc has now started on pole position for the last four grands prix but won none of them. In two of those, the Monegasque 24-year-old had to retire with engine problems, while in his home race a potential victory was scuppered by a team strategy blunder and he finished fourth.

In Azerbaijan, Leclerc’s team-mate, Carlos Sainz, was already out of the race due to a hydraulic issue, becoming the first driver to retire, when a power-unit failure for the No 16 car meant Ferrari’s senior personnel could abandon the pit wall and their colleagues start packing up in the garage.

From a position of strength in both World Championships after the first three races of the campaign, the Italian giants are now falling well behind Red Bull collectively and Max Verstappen individually.

Even Verstappen’s team-mate, Sergio Perez, who has one 2022 victory to his colleague’s five, is now ahead of Leclerc in the standings.

“The Monegasque and Scuderia Ferrari experienced a fiasco in Baku,” wrote Hutflotz in his Sky Germany column.

“Three grands prix ago, Ferrari were still leading the Constructors’ Championship ahead of Red Bull. Now the Scuderia are 80 points behind Verstappen & co.

“Ferrari have been hit by a rapidly spinning downward spiral that must be ended as soon as possible.

“Otherwise, the Scuderia are in danger of losing the championship in the coming weeks. Accordingly, the players are also tense.”

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is then quoted as having told Sky about his team’s reliability issues: “That definitely worries us. We talked about it before we came to Baku, that reliability is a key factor.

“We pushed a lot in the winter to improve the car, now it shows us we still don’t have 100% reliability.”

Sainz, meanwhile, added: “We know we need to improve in terms of reliability. I’ve had a lot of bad luck so far. It’s difficult to get going when you lack consistency. I need to do laps and races to gain experience.”

Ferrari will hope their luck changes when Formula 1 pays its first visit to Montreal since 2019 for the Canadian Grand Prix, the second leg of a double-header initiated by Azerbaijan.