In many ways, Max Verstappen saved Ferrari’s blushes last weekend. As has been thematic of this year’s racing, Ferrari have shown decent one-lap pace on Saturday just to disappoint fans with either a lack of race pace or poor strategy on Sunday.
The team head to Monza, the Tifosi, the home of Ferrari with a big question mark shadowing what can be achieved. The passion and patience of the Ferrari faithful isn’t so fickle that the team should worry about mass abandon and outrage after a half-season of misery, but Ferrari haven’t looked as far from the top-spot of the podium as their current crisis implies.
Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne put pressure on the team earlier this week by stating,
“But anyone who doesn’t bring results should leave. That is a rule that applies to everyone – even me.”
– Sergio Marchionne
A stark warning and slice of dissatisfaction from the watcher beyond the pit-wall. He doesn’t sound like a leader reluctant to make heads roll if it comes to it. Why Marchionne doesn’t make these statements behind closed doors is beyond belief, he must feel a sense of duty to chip in with motivational aggression. Maybe he should step down? Talk about setting in a sense of panic, a greater proneness to mistakes.
There have been changes at Ferrari since the statement, with a reshuffle in the Aero department the most significant change. It’s handy that Monza is a low-downforce circuit if the Ferrari’s weakness is in the cornering. Mauricio Arrivabene said,
“Our role is to show the target, and to make sure that the objectives are to be achieved. If the concepts are clear, I think we don’t need to look outside Maranello for new engineers. We are not looking for the mega-talent.
When there is a figure like a mega-talent, it is normal for all the technical team to follow what he says. But we have not this kind of man. We are working on a new horizontal structure and the coordinator is [technical chief] Mattia Binotto.”
– Maurizio Arrivabene
How this horizontal, McLaren-like technical structure will translate to performance on track this year is unclear. The team could do with a smooth weekend in terms of reliability and strategy. Nothing would be better for uplifting the team than a podium finish here in Monza and hopefully this will happen.