Ferrari’s ongoing difficulties in the 2023 season are attracting ridicule, even from the Italian media, known for its passionate support of the Maranello-based team.
In the recent Hungarian Grand Prix, poor car performance combined with team and driver errors resulted in the cars finishing just seventh and eighth at the chequered flag.
Corriere della Sera, a prominent Italian newspaper, rated Ferrari’s weekend showing with a disappointing 4 out of 10.
“The red is no longer a symbol of glorious victories, but rather reminiscent of a shrimp retreating,” the newspaper quipped.
Charles Leclerc received a slightly higher score than his teammate Carlos Sainz, but even he managed only a modest 5 out of 10. Leclerc tried to deny any sense of demotivation despite his struggles.
However, the weekend was marked by another penalty for Leclerc, this time for speeding in the pitlane, leading to a drop from sixth to seventh place in the race. Additionally, a malfunctioning wheel gun during the first pitstop further compounded his challenges.
Leo Turrini, an experienced and respected Italian journalist, highlighted the stark contrast between Ferrari’s current performance and the back-to-back wins they achieved in July of the previous year.
“It seemed like the start of a red era,” Turrini wrote in his column for Quotidiano Nazionale. “But now, 12 months later, the backward steps are all too evident.”
Turrini expressed concern over the negative trends, saying, “This Ferrari inflicts harsh blows on the passion of those who love it, as we don’t see any sign of a turning point.”
He questioned the actions of key figures within Ferrari, asking, “What are John Elkann, Benedetto Vigna, and Fred Vasseur doing about it?”
Former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov shared similar sentiments with Turrini, expressing doubts about Ferrari’s plans and activities. Petrov remarked that no one seems to know what Ferrari is doing or what their future strategies entail.
“All of them seem to complain about different issues – from the tires to updates that don’t deliver as expected. It’s possible that Ferrari is already looking ahead to next year,” Petrov added, noting the lack of openness in discussions about the team’s current situation.
“What plans they have, what they are doing, no one knows,” the Russian said via the SMP Racing press service.
“What is clearer is that no one will talk about it openly,” Petrov added.