Ferrari Managing Director and Team Principal Mattia Binotto has acknowledged that the current F1 season is turning into a nightmare for the Scuderia after the team failed to score a single point at the second consecutive grand prix.
Ferrari’s woes continued on home soil at the Italian Grand Prix. The team was unable to keep up with its direct rivals at Spa after struggling with its ’draggy’ aerodynamic package and underpowered engine. The situation has not improved for first home race with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel both failing to get themselves through into the final segment of yesterday’s qualifying session.
Today’s Italian Grand Prix saw the team bring a dreadful end to its horrible race weekend at Monza. Sebastian Vettel was forced to retire from the action with brake problems while Charles Leclerc lost the rear end of its unstable SF1000 at the Parabolica, crashing into the tyre barriers at high speed.
Mattia Binotto said that the performance level was not unexpected after the struggles experienced in Belgium just a week ago, but the retirements made the results even worse.
"Retirement for both cars is the worst possible end to a very difficult weekend. After Belgium, we knew that here too we would struggle a lot and so it turned out. That was clear in yesterday’s qualifying but failing to get either car to the chequered flag really hurts. It’s even more disappointing that Sebastian’s retirement was down to a lack of reliability on the car. Problems like that, in this case with the brake system, should not happen.
The Swiss-Italian has acknowledged that the coronavirus-delayed 2020 F1 season is „a very hard season but it’s by facing up to difficulties like these that you get stronger. We must look ahead and there are useful lessons for all of us to take away from this to build for the future. Having said that, we must absolutely not give up and we will be giving our all next weekend at Mugello which is a special event for us, being our one thousandth Formula 1 Grand Prix,” he said.
The 22-year-old Monegasque who scored his second F1 victory at Monza a year ago said that he was not delighted with the balance of his car in the race.
"It was a very difficult race and I struggled quite a lot with the balance. I thought at first we were unlucky when the safety car came out, but due to the fact the pit-lane remained closed, we were actually pretty lucky. We were in a very good place at that point, but I was struggling a lot on the hard tyres. I tried to push but then I made a mistake, lost the rear and crashed at Parabolica.
Despite crashing at high speed into the tyre barriers at the famous Parabolica corner, the two-time F1 race winner said that „the crash was quite a big one but I am ok. A bit of pain here and there, which is quite normal. We have had two difficult weekends for the team, but it’s like this at the moment and I hope we can bounce back, so I am looking forward to Mugello,” Leclerc said.
The four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has conceded that he can feel the pain because of the current situation, but he thinks that Ferrari has no other choice than trying to squeeze out the best possible result of this very difficult season.
"This is a very difficult moment for the whole team and as part of it, I am suffering along with everyone else. But this is our reality right now and we need to try and do the best we can, to have a worthwhile final part of the season with still plenty of races to go. We have a lot of work to do and we have to be focused on that.
„As for my race it was very short as almost immediately I had an issue with brakes. I went on the brakes in the first chicane but the car didn’t slow and I had to drive through the run-off area. Actually it was the best possible spot to have the issue.”
Speaking after his short race at Monza, Vettel looks adamant to get the best out of the situation despite leaving the team at the end of the current season. He said: „We have to keep our heads up, even if it is difficult. Now we head to Mugello, a completely different track and maybe there we could be in a bit of a better place. Hopefully we can have a clean weekend."