Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Shanghai, 2008

Ferrari fears decade-long title drought

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne says it would be a “tragedy” if it took Ferrari ten years to win another F1 championship.

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Ferrari fans, Monza, 2015
Ferrari fans will follow the red cars wherever they go
Is it more important to keep Monza or keep the Italian Grand Prix?

It’s the Italian Grand Prix that really matters, not as much Monza. Not having an Italian Grand Prix is beyond belief – in my opinion not having a German Grand Prix this year was bad enough – but no Italian Grand Prix? God almighty.

Sure, Monza’s special – it’s hosted nearly every Italian Grand Prix since 1922 and so much has happened there over the decades – but quite honestly I think that there would be a similar atmosphere if the Italian Grand Prix started hosting at another circuit in Italy, namely Imola or Mugello.

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On this day in F1

Jim Clark won the fifth race of the Tasman Series at Warwick Farm in Australia on this day 50 years ago in a Lotus 39.

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  • 53 comments on “Ferrari fears decade-long title drought”

    1. On this day 50 years ago I was there, Jim Clark was dominating, part of the reason I wanted to go.

      1. @hohum You were there? I used to think that I’m not one of the “new” or young guys watching F1, but this site has really opened my eyes

    2. There’s just something about Joe Saward I can’t abide. I know I’m bitchy but to be honest he’s worse than me…

      1. I think that’s a succinct accurate description of Saward.

        In Arai’s defence, the man was often misquoted, for instances on Arai’s claim that Honda’s ICE was running as strong as Renault’s, this coincided with Monza and ICE was misinterpreted for PU. The journos often made a mockery of Arai and have never apologized for their childish behaviour.

      2. Pious and bigoted.

      3. Charlie, there have been a number of criticisms that have been raised in the past over Joe Saward – asides from his rather arrogant and high handed manner, along with frequent attacks on other sections of the motorsport press whilst simultaneously rejecting any criticism of his own reporting, there have also been a number of complaints that he has failed to maintain an adequate separation between his business dealings and his journalistic activities.

        A number of people thought that it was unprofessional for Saward to not acknowledge that he had a potential conflict in interest in his reporting. He failed to disclose that he had been appointed to the board of Caterham Cars by Tony Fernandes – although Caterham Cars was a separate entity from the racing team, there were those who felt that accepting a job from a team boss who sat on the same board as Saward raised questions over whether he could truly report neutrally about Caterham.

        Incidentally, at the time that he was employed by Caterham Cars, Caterham F1 were involved in a legal dispute with Force India after accusations that Aerolab had transferred information from Force India to Caterham, with the High Court eventually finding in Force India’s behaviour.

        Around that period in time, there were complaints that Joe was running a large number of articles which personally criticised Mallya and his leader ship of Force India and circulated rumours of Force India defaulting on their debts, leading some to wonder if Joe really was acting neutrally or was biased by Fernandes and Gascoyne (the latter was also the Chief Technical Officer of Caterham Cars, and therefore would have been working pretty much on a daily basis with Saward).

        Asides from that, there was also the dispute over the way in which he reported on events in Bahrain in the build up to the 2012 race. A number of independent journalists pointed out that the guides that Saward had were both employed by the government of Bahrain, and many felt that Saward’s articles were clearly biased in favour of the authorities by unquestionably repeating their claims that the rising was being fuelled by a small number of third party agitators. When contrasted against his more strident tone against the likes of Azerbaijan and Russia, his rather flattering commentary on Bahrain comes across as rather questionable.

        1. Wow I remember reading the Bahrain thing and thinking he was being silly but I didn’t know about the Caterham connection.

    3. Not content with a B team in Haas, Marchionne wants a C team as well.

      Sauber looks ripe for a takeover. Alfa Romeo F1 can be based at Hinwil.

      Why stop there? Why not bring Lancia back into the mix as well? I’m sure if the price is right Dietrich would mind offloading Torro Rosso.

      Do you really need to buy/build a team to market your product? Oh wait.. That’s what Haas just did!

      1. @jaymenon10 Don’t forget Maserati! I always thought Sauber-Maserati had a nice ring to it.. alongside Haas-Alfa Romeo, and Scuderia Toro Rosso-Lancia ;).

      2. well, if you were born in Italy, you wouldn’t be that jealous of having so many glorious, winning legendary brands. Any of them would instantly make the circus more attractive just by their presence. Get over it

        1. True. Hope the grid is filled with Italian teams. As Fiat own them all unlimited testing can come back and we do not have to have compromises to all for a few poor little teams. The majority of the grid being based in Italy would be most welcome.

    4. From COTD-

      but quite honestly I think that there would be a similar atmosphere if the Italian Grand Prix started hosting at another circuit in Italy, namely Imola or Mugello.

      When F1 went to Imola the atmosphere was never the same as it was at Monza & that it why Imola was/is never looked at in the same way that Monza is.

      Look for instance at what happened when F1 moved from Suzuka to Fuji in 2007/2008, It was the same country with the same fans cheering for the same teams/drivers yet it never felt anywhere near as fun a place to be at & the same is true if you look at Germany, The atmosphere was always far better at Hockenheim compared to the Nurburgring even when Nurburgring was the only race in Germany.
      I think you can also look at the various venues that have held a USGP over the years. Indy felt special, By all accounts Watkins Glen felt special but the rest of the places to hold a USGP not so much. COTA is a good venue & a good circuit but the atmosphere is nothing like as good as the races at Indy through the 2000s.

      I think another example outside of F1 is when Indycar went through the split & that 1st year on memorial day weekend you had 2 competing 500 mile races. The IRL ran the Indy 500 as normal & CART went to Michigan & ran the US 500 as their Indy replacement. I was at Indy that year & even with a different bunch of teams/drivers that in many ways were seen as been not as good at CART’s field the atmosphere at Indy was just as special as it always had been.
      At Michigan however with what were looked at as the best teams/drivers & what many considered the ‘real 500’ by all accounts the atmosphere at that event was non existent & just didn’t feel special because it wasn’t Indy & didn’t have any of the history that the Indy 500 has.

      Some venues are simply more special to be at than others & Monza by far was always one of the best races to be at because the atmosphere around that venue is by far the best of any F1 race i’ve ever been at.

      1. It’s better to have an Italian Grand Prix at Imola or Mugello than no Italian GP at all- this anybody who follows F1 would agree with. Sure, Monza is special- but any GP in Italy I think would be lots of fun to go to with a great atmosphere, particularly at either of those two venues- but it probably wouldn’t be the kind of atmosphere you would get at the Italian GP at Monza. Imola is not far from Maranello, and Mugello is near Florence- one of the most amazing cities in Europe, IMO.

      2. @gt-racer interesting point about COTA, indeed when I went there everyone was very friendly, lots of fans and nice people but never felt that kind of football atmosphere or level of passion that you see in other venues.

        I’ll be going to the Mexico race either this or next year so it will be interesting to compare the two, but from what we’ve all seen it’s pretty much the same as Monza.

    5. They narrowly lost 2008, 2010, and 2012. In fact, they came so close that 10 extra points spread correctly across these 3 seasons would have won them the WDC in all 3

      Even in the 80’s and 90’s, which is largely regarded as the worst drought in Ferrari’s history, they were still regularly competing for WDC’s (1982, 1983, 1985, 1990, 1997, 1998, 1999).

      Even when Ferrari are terrible, they are still pretty good.

      1. Yep. They’ve definitely been the best team over the past 20 years. There were just a handful of seasons since 1996 where they didn’t have a car capable of fighting for the WDC -> 1996, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014,2015

        Unfortunately, most of their dip in form has happened over the past 5 seasons, so they now appear as the underdog

      2. Where would opera be without tragedy?

    6. Winning championshis can’t be that hard, I mean teams that have been in the sport less than ten years have won 8 of the last 10 double championships….Go figure Ferrari

      1. Even with a totally unlevel playing field Ferrari don’t think they can win! And they expect us to think that is a bad thing! Do ferrari have an automatic right to win? No more than Red Bull. The mind sets of these people need some serious examination. You are only as good as your next race.

      2. @skibomax
        Why can Ferrari not win a championship without a level playing field? What was so inherited unequal about F1 in 2000-2004, or 2007? Unless of course you are talking about budgets, in which case, Red Bull are Mercedes are more than a match for Ferrari.

        Whether we like it or not, Ferrari has been by far the most consistently competitive team of the last 20 years, no other even comes close.

        1. @kingshark

          It was unlimited testing that Ferrari always relied on. Having a team work on a real car 24/7 at Fiorano was the only way they knew how to make fast cars. Since the days of limited testing, they haven’t been able to produce a championship winning car.

          1. @todfod
            Testing became limited after 2002, but Ferrari were still hands down the best team from 2003 to 2008. They didn’t fall back until 2009, when Montezemolo did not approve of Ferrari upgrading their windtunnel when the regulations clearly indicated that the windtunnel was going to be ever more important.

            Even then, it’s not as if Ferrari have been a disaster since 2009 either, they’ve always finished from 2nd to 4th in the WCC.

            I know that this is a British site so it might not be a popular opinion, but Ferrari has always and will always be the best team of F1. No other team can compare in longevity of success and consistency.

            1. @kingshark, in reference to your earlier post, there were other regulation changes in that period which were felt to have favoured Ferrari in the period from 2000-2004.

              The ban on beryllium alloys that kicked in at the beginning of 2001 was ostensibly on health grounds, but many felt it was intended to hinder McLaren because Mercedes were the only engine supplier to use beryllium alloys and Ferrari were the only outfit to raise a formal complaint.

              There were also the controversial late season changes in 2003 to the tyre regulations after Ferrari submitted a formal protest to the FIA, which were felt to have effectively tipped the championship battle away from Williams and McLaren and into Ferrari’s lap.

            2. I know that this is a British site so it might not be a popular opinion, but Ferrari has always and will always be the best team of F1. No other team can compare in longevity of success and consistency.

              I don’t think the nationalism card flies at all @kingshark. Ferrari has always had massive support in the UK.

              The reason some people don’t support Ferrari is more likely that Bernie uses them as a cash cow, and together with Max and Charlie he’s always made sure they’re up there irrespective of merit.

              The great Enzo is long gone and who are they now? Part of FIAT, promoting smoking and CVC. Even their heyday was more like being taken over by a little gang of smart operators who’ve since moved on. What is there to admire? There are lots of great people there obviously, but how do we distinguish their performances among the 2.5%$$$, the veto, the Marlboro money, the rule fixes, blind eye and even Mercedes giving them a helping hand?

              Then there’s how they behave – betraying FOTA, spygate, the blame culture, and now another top guy who insists he’s owed results for his brand so his staff should be afraid because they’re doing something wrong if he doesn’t get them.

              So who are Ferrari? And what’s admirable about them? Why can’t they compete on an equal basis? Please explain.

            3. @lockup, one important correction – Ferrari are no longer part of the Fiat-Chrysler Group. Marchionne announced that Ferrari would be separated from FCA back in mid 2014 and the flotation of Ferrari’s shares took place over 5 months ago, so you’re behind the times with regards to their ownership.

              Asides from that, to be honest Ferrari were no worse than most of the other teams in FOTA – Red Bull were actually the first party to cut a deal with FOM, not Ferrari, and other teams like McLaren were also quick to follow suit.

            4. @kingshark

              I know that this is a British site

              No it isn’t.

              This is a site for all F1 fans regardless of their nationality. As has been pointed out countless times before, only around a third of users on the site are British:


            5. Oh yes okay @anon now Ferrari are independent, though only from last month to be fair. I suppose that might make it slightly more likely that I’d support them, but it’s not huge is it? It was Ferrari who broke up the GPMA, and according to Horner when Bob Fernley challenged him it was Ferrari who sold out FOTA first. Once two teams did their separate deals the others had to follow suit, that’s the whole Bernie idea. We’re still left with Ferrari trying to win off-track, accumulating advantages that have nothing to do with what we admire and making their racing achievements less meaningful.

            6. @lockup, it has to be said that Horner is unlikely to want to admit to another team that they were cutting a deal with FOM, particularly given that Fernley happened to represent a team that has taken a rather critical line to FOM’s payment structure and had criticised Red Bull’s relationship with FOM.

              In that sense, I don’t necessarily agree that Ferrari are any more self centred than many of the other teams in the sport (not that it makes that behaviour palatable). Whilst Ferrari might get additional revenue from their deals with FOM, Red Bull managed to negotiate themselves a position on the executive board of FOM and therefore gave themselves an avenue to influence the future direction of the sport.

            7. Well I agree @anon it’s maybe a close call whether Red Bull or Ferrari are more the disloyal and self-centred team, but I don’t think that really helps Ferrari tbh. Red Bull are stunningly unpopular considering their achievements, and that’s down to their behaviour too.

            8. @kingshark, 20 years, selective timing ? Try the stats for 50 years, Ferrari have had plenty of droughts before, that’s why they signed MSC at the enormous (then) salary of $12m. pa and followed up with Brawn etc.

            9. @hohum
              It doesn’t matter what time scale you use. Ferrari is almost always the most successful.

          2. produce a championship winning car.

            It didn’t won but it came convincingly close on several occasions. Which is more than McLaren can say if we’re talking about ‘old’ teams.

      3. The poison holding them back the last 10 years is long gone.

        They also have this guy called Vettel…

      4. I take it as a joke, otherwise… you don’t really believe that the same guys who work for RBR-Drinks designed the RBR-F1 cars too, don’t you?

    7. Oh I forgot that the Ferrari is going to have a lot of white on it this year, a la mid 70s (and 1993). I pray it isn’t as bad as the image shown above!

    8. I think Monza should stay because of many reasons but also simply because there is no track like Monza on the calender now. Imola and Mugello are fun tracks but we’ve got comparable ones across the calender. Monza is the one time they really go with almost zero wing and it is part of a good variety of tracks a Formula One car should race on. That being said, if Germany cannot host a race I’m very happy to welcome F1 at Mugello, but not at the expense of Monza.

      I hope Monza is at least there for the future generations to enjoy and I still owe it a visit. One can only wonder how it will look like when they unlock the full power of these engines but then no longer have a track like Monza to really test them.

      That being said I think I agree with above comment of @gt-racer that the atmosphere would not be the same if F1 travelled to Mugello or Imola.

    9. If Ferrari does not win any titles in either 2016 or 2017, it’ll be a tragedy, but a tragedy completely of their own doing.

      Ferrari and McLaren threw so much weight at the 2008 season, both struggled in 2009. Not the first time Ferrari had a slow start in new regulations. In 2010, they didn’t have the best car, but if it won the title nobody would have been surprised. Then they manage to mess up for 2011 once again, not to mention the odd performances from the 2012 car. That car wasn’t bad, but it went from winning races to qualifying 8th, so it wasn’t a properly amazing car. 2013 started off better than it ended, uniquely for Ferrari in recent years. 2014 was once again a year to forget because they got the engine wrong and the car wasn’t much better.

      I’ve been a Ferrari fan the day I first saw F1 (I bought a Ferrari scale model as recent as yesterday), so perhaps my vision of Ferrari is skewed by their continuous improvement from 1998 through 2002, hitting a bump in performance in 2003, then coming back stronger in 2004. Even after a disastrous 2005 season (which should be the season before 2014 they last did not win any races, but alas) they bounced back into contention for 2006 through 2008.

      My personal hypothesis is that, on top of Todt, Brawn, Byrne, Schumacher and Badoer/unlimited testing being gone, Ferrari have also lost a lot of their edge. Ferrari was the first team in 1998 to have their exhaust exit the engine cover rather than the rear of the car. Ferrari utilized instant data transmission like no other team (maybe McLaren) and often was at least at the forefront of aerodynamic development and their engines were at least close to Mercedes/Renault. After the dream team left, Ferrari seem to have fallen behind in everything, car development, simulator development (Pedro de la Rosa said in 2012 that Ferrari’s simulator was years behind McLaren’s) and engine development. They are by no means a bad team now, but there seems to be an inherit difference in effectiveness and wit in the current Ferrari team. From firing staff every year starting 2010 to getting windtunnel calibration wrong for years, it just seems like a different mentality and morale than the team had between 1996 and 2008. To be honest, getting rid of Domenicali and Montezemolo has done only a little to improve my idea that Ferrari now is a sluggish version of their peak the previous decade.

    10. I heard yesterday it’s become very political… they’ll get on with it. Or not. Nothing we can do about it.

      As the old saying goes, “Where there is money there is politics”. If it has become political, then maybe there is a problem regarding how much someone has been asked to pay.

    11. If a 10-year drought is unacceptable and WCC is the most important for the team, then they should be smarter with their driver line-up.
      Ferrari seems to choose a #1 driver and either a side-kick or a popular also-run. Why not do like Mercedes, or even McLaren, and get the 2 best available drivers in your car and focus on that WCC. It should be easy for the team in red (and white) as they still seem to have the biggest want-to-race-for appeal.
      2018 is here before you know it, Mr Marchionne!

      1. @coldfly

        Ferrari seems to choose a #1 driver and either a side-kick or a popular also-run. Why not do like Mercedes, or even McLaren, and get the 2 best available drivers in your car and focus on that WCC.

        One could argue that Alonso and Hamilton also are their teams respective number 1 drivers. And talking about drivers available, I’m not sure there was any better driver available then Raikkonen last year, at least not better to the extent that it was worth destabilizing the team.

        That said, there is a good chance they replace him for 2017. (Ricciardo, Rosberg, Grosjean, Perez could all potentially be available)

      2. This. Kimi is given a benefit of a doubt.. Because front suspenssion layout was all wrong, and car was designed all Alonso style. Vettel somehow coped. This year the car will have more Lotus 2013 like design at front, James Alison style. No excuses, he will either deliver or be out the door.

        There will be good drivers avaliable in 2017… Most prized might be Nico Rosberg, then Grosejean… But Grosejean was epicly beaten by Kimi.. Hulkenberg is to Tall… Maybe they can suck in. Verstapen.. But honestly I do not remember the last time Ferrari had a driver that young.

        So that being said…. Kimi was not ideal choice… Just best possible choice.

      3. If a 10-year drought is unacceptable and WCC is the most important for the team, then they should be smarter with their driver line-up.

        I believe WDC is Ferrari’s priority and explains why they go for a no. 1 and 2 driver setup.

        1. I read in the F1 mag that the Drivers champ was the important goal to Ferrari, whereas the TV commentators are always telling us that the Constructors is the one the teams are aiming for. Maybe it’s different for Ferrari because they’ve got plenty of money and it’s prestige they are after, hence the No. 1 driver to win, backed up by No 2.

    12. Fantastic to see the F2008 on the front page, and two of them to boot! What a car! As for Ferrari’s title drought; they could have won in 2012 if they hadn’t fixated on keeping Massa around as long as they did. His contribution to the campaign was pretty much non-existent.

    13. Yeah for many of the same reasons pointed out above about Ferrari, I could write a novel about how I feel about the heavily skewed MS/Ferrari era, so I won’t bother. Suffice it to say them not winning would not be a tragedy. They will keep on competing year after year and simply repeat the verbiage every time. And go out year after year and compete. With all the extras they get. It’s more ‘tragic’ (since they’re throwing that word around so easily) that the other teams have to compete in an apples to oranges atmosphere, and extra kudos go to any team and driver that beat skewed Ferrari.

    14. Arai, who earned a somewhat dubious reputation for over-confidence last season given his penchant for bold predictions that never materialised, has claimed that deployment deficit to the top teams will be ‘non-existent’ this year.

      I was reading that Autosport article and found this:

      Honda began its development of this season’s PU last year, focusing primarily on the deployment of the MGU-H part of the ERS that was so lacking in performance it left its drivers “like a sitting duck” on the straights, as Button remarked in Russia.

      My thinking has been the electrical generator used in the MGU-H has been the wrong sort. There are different sorts of generators and alternators. I think they were using one that got to its maximum power output capability to early when compared to what the engine was doing. What they wanted was a generator / alternator that produces power more or less in a linear fashion when compared to the engine, and reaches its maximum power output about the same time the engine does. I don’t know enough to know whether this simply means a much bigger alternator, or some specific type, but I think that is essentially the problem, so I’m hopeful Honda have made a big step forward when compared to last year.

    15. I guess Ferrari wouldn’t be Ferrari without a loud-mouthed blow hard at the helm. At least Luca had the self-control to not eat constantly. Marchionne can’t even fit in a Ferrari or the bloated Guila.

      1. About as mature a comment as saying at least he can stand on his own 2 feet unlike some Brit team principles.

    16. Ha imagine how fun team orders could get if they bring another brand in.
      I have this picture in my head of Vettel being followed by an Alfa and team principal coming on the radio, going “Sebastian, Alfa Romeo sales are down 2% this month, please confirm, please confirm”.

    17. Why is certain Renault will catch up? There is a history of manufacturers entering the sport and throwing money at it then hoping for the best.

      Toyota, BMW and Jaguar are a good example of this.

      Money has to be aligned to system, process and design. Money in itself solves very little.

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