There is a lot of doom and gloom at Ferrari but there is not much sympathy coming their way from some quarters of the Formula 1 paddock.
The Scuderia has taken quite a sizeable step backwards over the winter and suffered the heartache of seeing both their drivers, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, lapped by Mercedes at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Ferrari currently sit in fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship with just 27 points to their once mighty name. Their drop-off has been so significant that the likes of Racing Point and McLaren are threatening to draw them into the ever-congested midfield battle.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has made his thoughts very clear of late when asked for his take on Ferrari’s downfall, he does sympathise with the team but clearly does not have sympathy for team principal Mattia Binotto.
Meanwhile, in his Hungarian Grand Prix post-race column, Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle has said he is not feeling too sorry for the team as he feels a little cheated by the Ferrari power unit of 2019.
“Observing Ferrari sitting fifth in the Constructors’ Championship is just painful,” Brundle said.
“I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for them as I feel misled by their performances last year when they were clearly pushing the regulations way too hard, at the same time as we cheered hard and celebrated to finally have a serious challenger for Mercedes.
“And given this is largely their 2021 package too, albeit with a few ‘tokens’ available to improve performance like everybody else, then it’s likely to be a while before they are at the front again.
“They were lapped last year here too but it was still a powerful image when Seb Vettel had to move his Ferrari to one side heading up to turn 4 in order to be lapped by Hamilton.”
While Brundle was full of praise for Mercedes as they seemingly stroll towards yet another World Championship double, the Silver Arrows’ domination is not always a complete joy to watch given just how one-sided Formula 1 is.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) July 20, 2020
“The incredible pace of the Mercedes-Benz ensures many other drivers had their season’s ambitions and hopes thoroughly realigned in Budapest, and not in a good way,” he added.
“I’ve never seen an F1 car stick to the track like that, especially in challenging corners like Hungary’s turns 4 and 11. Arrive and drive, a couple of gears higher than you’d ever imagine, and barely a lift of the throttle. And seemingly never needing to counter steer into any significant slide.
“We should of course be celebrating the excellence of this team creating such a device which is so fit for purpose, but my heart sinks a little.
“The fact that they are a barely believable 10 seconds per lap faster than their own dominant cars from the early hybrid era just six years ago can only really be fully appreciated from the side of the track, or behind the whee
“Ferrari have given up a lot of power and straight-line speed due to tightening of the regulations, and Red Bull appear to have stepped on their own tail with aero set-up, hopefully temporarily.”