Ferrari Chairman John Elkann has warned anyone against expecting success from the Scuderia in the coming years, but has expressed his belief in the potential of the current team organisation and structure.
Ferrari has started the 2020 F1 season in a disappointing form, slipping down the pecking order behind its usual rivals Mercedes and Red Bull. In fact, the Scuderia was not even able to keep up with the pace of the Mercedes-inspired Racing Point, McLaren and Renault in the opening two grands prix before it made slight improvement in the third round of the season at the Hungaroring.
The fabled Italian outfit has been hampered by new technical directives regarding the power units that have been introduced at the end of last season. Due to the new directives, the Scuderia has lost its position as the field-leading engine manufacturer while Mercedes has made a sudden jump to the field among the power unit suppliers.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, John Elkann has revealed that Ferrari has to prepare itself for a long time without success. "The fans are suffering as much as we are, but we know they are close to us. This is why it is important to be clear and honest with them. A long path awaits us."
The Italian American industrialist has „total trust” in Mattia Binotto, believing that the Swiss-Italian „has taken the helm of the Scuderia for a year, has all the skills and characteristics to start a new winning cycle. He was in Ferrari with Todt and Schumi. He knows how to win and from next year he will work with two drivers who are young and ambitious like us."
The 44-year-old businessman thinks that Ferrari’s current struggles are down to issues with its structural setup that has been highlighted when Formula One introduced the hybrid power units in 2014.
"We must be realistic and aware of the structural weaknesses with which we have been living for a decade, and which the transition to hybrid [power units] has underlined."
The sport is set to introduce a radically new set of technical regulation in 2022 while the controversial cost cap will make its debut next year. Formula One wants to create a more competitive field by placing a financial ceiling that also might entice new racing organisations or carmakers into the sport. While the sport’s current top-players Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull need to make adjustments to their structures to adapt to the new financial regulations, Elkann is sure Ferrari will be able to make the transition successfully.
"We do not see the limitation of budget caps as a constraint on our ability to win. We take it as a challenge. Our engineers, our mechanics and our drivers will find strength and creativity within those bonds to bring Ferrari back up. Personally I have never seen in the last 10 years such a cohesive and strong spirit.
„We have given the okay to the new rules that will start from 2022, because we believe it is right that there is greater competitiveness within F1. When [Jean] Todt opened that historic cycle in 2000, we came from a fast that had lasted for over 20 years from 1979. It took time from him landing in Maranello in 1993 to Ferrari's return to success,” Elkann concluded.