By Daniel Wilson.
When you speak of Formula One, it’s likely the first team to spring to mind would be Ferrari. Their history is brighter than the red of their Scuderia cars, but recently, the team haven’t converted their huge potential into success.
They have had a golden chance to win three of the first seven races this season, but as yet have faled to stand on the top step of the podium in 2016.
At the first race in Australia, a strategic error from the pit wall ensured Sebastian Vettel lost a likely victory because the team fitted the wrong tyres during the red flag period after Fernando Alonso’s huge accident. He came home third behind the two Mercedes.
In Spain, Ferrari could and should have had a one-two finish after the Silver Arrows dramatically crashed out on the first lap. However, an extra pit stop for Vettel took him out of contention and a charging Kimi Raikkonen could not make a move on a newly-promoted Max Verstappen, who became the youngest ever Grand Prix winner. I can’t help but feel had Vettel or another driver been in Kimi’s Ferrari, they would’ve passed the Red Bull.
And then comes this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix. After a disappointing result in Monaco, Ferrari looked to be back on form, qualifying within two tenths of a second off pole position in third. At lights out, Sebastian Vettel powered past the two Merc’s to lead into turn one, just as he did in Australia. And during the first stint, he was able to keep Lewis Hamilton behind.
But then came another risky strategy call. Vettel pitted on lap 11, committing to a two-stop strategy because they believed the tyres wouldn’t last as long as they have in previous races in Montreal.
They were wrong. Lewis Hamilton stayed out and pitted thirteen laps later to fit the soft tyres, which would go to the end. Vettel pitted on lap 37 and set about catching his rival, but Hamilton’s tyres held up and it was the German who made mistakes, missing the last chicane twice on his way to a disappointing second place.
Things need to change at Maranello. Maurizio Arrivabene is certainly full of passion and guided Ferrari to three victories in 2015. But this season, with a car that’s more than a match for Mercedes, they simply haven’t delivered, and under the management running the team in the early 2000’s, those races would’ve been won.