Ferrari’s implosion has the once-proud team at breaking point following a qualifying disaster at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Fury and disbelief has turned to meek acceptance inside the Ferrari garage as both drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc brushed off the team’s worst day of qualifying since 2014.
Watch the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship™ on KAYO. Every practice, qualifying session and race LIVE. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >
On a day when Aussie star Daniel Ricciardo equalled his best qualifying result for Renault with a tremendous fourth placed finish in qualifying, both the Scuderia Ferrari cars failed to progress to the final stage of qualifying, finishing 13th and 14th.
Even worse, the team has no explanation for the spectacular flop — and in a sign of how truly beaten they are, didn’t even act surprised at the result.
It was only the eighth time since Formula 1’s three-stage qualifying system was introduced in 2006 that both Ferrari cars failed to make Q3, according to Skysports.com.
The 2014 British Grand Prix was the last time both Ferrari drivers didn’t make the final shootout, when Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were knocked out in Q1. At least there was rain that day that they could blame.
There was no such blame available to them on Saturday night (AEST) in Spa.
At the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix Vettel and Leclerc put their Ferraris on the front row of the grid.
12 months later, the team is a rabble.
Leclerc warned Ferrari’s passionate fans not to expect any miracles — suggesting the qualifying debacle is an accurate reflection of where the team is at.
Leclerc, who claimed his maiden victory from pole position in last year’s Belgian race, admitted he and the team had no explanation for the team’s slump in form this season — ahead of the next two races which are scheduled to take place on home ground in Italy.
“It’s very difficult to find any explanation,” said Leclerc.
“It’s a big step back to the others.
“We need to find the issue and address it. It’s not a good day, but it’s like this at the moment.
“We have got to work hard and we have to keep our heads up in tough times like this.
“We can understand the fans are disappointed, but we can’t expect any miracles.” Four-time champion world Vettel who is in his final season with the team said: “This is the true picture of what our car can do. We tried everything.
“We are not where we want to be, but that’s not the first qualifying and first race where that has been the case.
“For myself, it’s my job and I still like driving. P13 and P14 is not as exciting as P1, but this morning it looked like we wouldn’t get out of Q1.
“So, obviously, it was not a success, but its what we could do.”
The team’s struggles appear certain to continue next weekend in their home race at Monza, the Italian Grand Prix, where raw power and speed is essential for success.
One week later, they could be embarrassed again at their own 1000th race celebrations at the Tuscany Grand Prix.
Ferrari haven’t won a world drivers title since 2007 when Kimi Raikkonen was crowned champion.
— with AFP