‘No crisis’ at Ferrari but the pressure is on ahead of F1 double-header in Italy

It was a shocking weekend at Spa for the under-performing Scuderia

Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc race in the 2020 F1 Belgium Grand Prix
It was a shocking weekend at Spa for the under-performing Scuderia
(Image credit: Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images )

Mattia Binotto insists there’s no “crisis” at Ferrari despite another terrible weekend on the track for the Italian Formula 1 team.

While rivals Mercedes celebrated a one-two at the Belgium Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton winning ahead of Valtteri Bottas, Ferrari were miles off the pace. Sebastian Vettel finished 13th and team-mate Charles Leclerc was 14th as Ferrari failed to win a point for the second time this season.

The poor performance at Spa-Francorchamps means Ferrari are only fifth in the constructors’ championship with 61 points from the opening seven races of the 2020 season. They are a massive 200 points behind leaders Mercedes and Formula1.com reports that the Scuderia are on course for their “worst season in 40 years”.

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Binotto: we must stand firm

The Guardian says the slump in performance has been “directly attributed to a reduction in engine power after questions over its legality last season led to an investigation and subsequent rule clarification from the FIA”.

Despite having been angered by the result in Belgium, Ferrari team principal Binotto played down any crisis at Maranello.

“We are disappointed and angry, as indeed are our fans and with good reason,” he said. “It’s a difficult moment in a season that we knew from the start would be a tough one, but it’s at times like this that we need to stand firm and look ahead in order to get over this difficult period. It’s the only way we will get out of this situation.

“It is wrong to use the word ‘crisis’ for the moment we are going through. We all take responsibility for this situation. I take that as team principal as well as all those who work in Maranello.

“We are all in the same boat but although the team is in the middle of a storm we are very united. There is no crisis, no tension.”

Italian papers slam Spa shocker

GP Blog reports that the Italian media was critical of Ferrari’s display in Belgium. La Repubblica described the weekend as “slow, poor and unreliable” while La Gazzetta dello Sport said there was a “lack of ideas and guts”.

Pressure is now on Ferrari ahead of the home F1 double-header. The Italian GP takes place next Sunday at Monza followed by the Tuscan GP at Mugello on 13 September. The Mugello circuit is owned by Ferrari and the race will be their 1,000th grand prix.

Vettel says the team are focussed on putting things right in the two races in Italy - but warned fans not to expect “miracles”.

The German driver said: “We have two important races coming up for the team in the next two weeks so that is where we focus, but we also have to be realistic as we cannot expect miracles.

“The package is what it is, we are not as strong as we would like to be, so we need to stay optimistic and see the good things, even if at the minute there are not many.”

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Mike Starling is the digital features editor at The Week, where he writes content and edits the Arts & Life and Sport website sections and the Food & Drink and Travel newsletters. He started his career in 2001 in Gloucestershire as a sports reporter and sub-editor and has held various roles as a writer and editor at news, travel and B2B publications. He has spoken at a number of sports business conferences and also worked as a consultant creating sports travel content for tourism boards. International experience includes spells living and working in Dubai, UAE; Brisbane, Australia; and Beirut, Lebanon.