How do you solve a problem like Ferrari?

Mark Scott
Charles Leclerc

More arguments are put forward for driver of the year, plus thoughts on Ferrari’s problems and the classy message received by them from McLaren.

Here’s the latest edition of the mailbox for your perusal…

Driver of the Year candidates

Christian Sonier: [I don’t know] how anyone could rank Lewis [Hamilton] as driver of the year, car of the year yes, driver no way.

Dark Energy: Erm… Turkey GP 2020. Go watch.

A car needs a driver. This driver won by over 100 points over his next rival and did it in 16 races.

If it’s the car, why such a huge gap? If this car is so magical that anyone can drive it then why isn’t Bottas sharing the wins?

He’s part of that ‘anyone’ group. Unless we make a special exception for Bottas and say, he’s the only one not good enough. Handy seeing as how he’s the only who’s driven against Hamilton in the same car these last few years.

Of course, Lewis is the driver of the year.

Aab Linkon: Max [Verstappen’s] third place by just nine points to Bottas in a clearly inferior car should give him driver of the season. Or at least make him a very strong candidate. Max’s Silverstone and Abu Dhabi drives alone should have also given him the driver of the season.

Armando Bautista: Im going to have to go with Checo [Sergio Perez] for driver of the year, he battled his team, COVID, bad luck, bad pit stops, getting sacked unceremoniously, bad calls that took his podium away twice, rain, a blown engine, the whole field for the win, no upgrades for three races and still beats Stroll, won personal on track battles with Max, Ricciardo, Albon, Ocon, Sainz, Lando, wiped the floor with his teammate, won the Albon/Checo battle, pretty much single handedly won forth place for his team on the standings (would have been 3rd if not for the upgrade snub and bad pit stop strategies) and finally a DNF and still won 4th place in the driver standings.

Ferrari must resist the temptation to look back


Gordo Sixtytwo: Montezemolo would be good to run the road car division but not the F1 team. That is a problem for Ferrari today, if the Ferrari CEO calls the shots for the F1 team, as it has always been.

F1 is different today. It’s not the same as when Montezemolo ran Ferrari in 1975. Montezemolo succeeded in 1996 to 2006 because he had a dream team consisting of Schumacher, Brawn, Todt, Martinelli, Byrne. The dream team is gone.

Its remnants all but disappeared except for Rory Byrne, who is only there now as an emergency recall for the 2022 car instead of full time.

At the end of 2006, Schumacher and Brawn left Ferrari. The residual team got them the 2007 title and was still competitive in 2008. But as more of the dream team departed Ferrari, Byrne (semi-retired), Martinelli (transferred to another division), Todt (went to the FIA), Stepney (a central figure in Spygate), the Ferrari team fell apart. 2009 was the begging of the decline.

They were ok in 2010 & 2012 but only because of the brilliance of Alonso.

Montezemolo and Domenicali were not able to succeed. They were not good enough. The aerodynamics were becoming too complex in F1 and Ferrari fell behind. By 2013 Montezemolo and Domenicali were lost.

In 2014 it came to a final conclusion. Sergio Marchionne had seen enough and got rid of Montezemolo. Domenicali had seen the writing on the wall and had resigned earlier. He was smart. That’s why he isn’t going back, despite the rumours. Domenicali has a good job with F1 working with Ross Brawn.

Montezemolo is not the man to turn around the F1 team. He is very good for the road car division but not the F1 team. That’s the problem Ferrari has today.

They need someone who understands both the road car operations as well as the technical aspects of modern F1 racing. Ferrari is an integrated company. They are structured as one entity.

The racing team answers to the same CEO and board of directors. Unless Ferrari changes their structure, they need a guy who can run both F1 and the road car division. If Montezemolo was to return and succeed, he would need a better team principal than Binotto.

Sebee: That’s the only way Ferrari can win! Hire proven winners, top to bottom though, not just drivers like they’ve been doing last decade.

Ferrari has sat on their veto and allowed the sport to become over 90% car less than 10% driver. Then they hire drivers thinking they will magically overcome this ratio and Ferrari car deficits.

So to come back to Montezemolo – he knows well, that for Ferrari to win, someone else has to do the work, while simply wearing a red polo shirt, instead of a silver one for example.

McLaren and Ferrari love-in

GoMcLaren: To see the Manchester United and Real Madrid of F1 exchange this sort of respect between each other is beautiful. I had never thought I’d see this between McLaren and Ferrari. Rival, ok, but friend? Wow!

If it was Ron Dennis and Jean Todt in charge back in the Mosley era days, this kind of exchange would have been most unlikely.

Arjun: “You were, and you are among our oldest and fiercest rivals. We respect your history and legacy, as we do our own.

“We relish every battle with the red team. McLaren and Ferrari are like two opposite poles that attract each other. You are both opponent and friend, and we have respect for the Scuderia and the Tifosi.”

That line says it all.

These two have defined Formula 1 as it is now and hope they continue doing it for years to come. Loved it! Absolutely.

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