Ferrari, forced to recovery in September

The Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, in Hungary. / CHRISTIAN BRUNA / efe

Analysis

The disaster of the Hungarian GP culminates a first half of the year in the Scuderia in which they have gone from being great favorites to being out of the pools with ten races to play

Max Verstappen can already make room for the 2022 world champion in the trophy case, because he has it to egg. He has a whopping 80-point lead, which is more than a three-race margin, over which it seemed that he was going to sweep this year but which is already so far away that he needs a miracle worthy of being studied in the Holy See in case of achieve it.

Charles Leclerc was the big loser of the Hungarian GP, ​​if you stick to the expectations-results relationship. He started third, became the outstanding leader, had no notable fault in his driving... and still finished sixth and can give thanks. Behind this result are all the problems that Ferrari has been suffering not since this year, but for some time now, and the big loser is Leclerc, who will have to continue suffering from the general ineptitude of those responsible for the squad.

No one who has followed Formula 1 can be surprised that Ferrari looks like a bunch of mechanics just out of a FP school come to life when they have to manage a race. It becomes very difficult to understand how each entry into the pits of its drivers can lead to an increase in blood pressure, not only because of the moment that by pure statistics will be the wrong one, but also because the processes have not been achieved. Carlos Sainz is the one who has suffered the most in this regard: in Hungary none of his two stops worked because the desynchronization of the mechanics to put the wheels was absolute.

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The feeling that this year they have given away the title is very present. What was seen in Hungary is the latest example and the two pilots are obliged to continue assuming the official discourse, although they are well aware that they are lying. "We had no rhythm," said Sainz after the race, a statement that is at most a half-truth: Verstappen, who started tenth, had more than them, but they could have alleviated that deficit with strategic management that was not good but simply decent. It is very poorly explained that they forced the Spaniard to ride 23 laps with the soft tires or that they mounted the hard ones that did not work at all (Alpine had shown it a few moments before) in the car of their main candidate for victory, the aforementioned Leclerc.

Will heads roll?

Few environments are more complex to manage than Ferrari's. For months now many eyes have been on Mattia Binotto, who has saved his neck more times than many expected since he was placed in charge of the Scuderia.

Now action and decision-making are called for. Perhaps not immediately under the argument of internal peace in the team, that there is still a long season left and they must begin to finish off the 2023 project, but in the medium term. Many fingers point to the Spaniard Iñaki Rueda, Ferrari's chief strategy officer, who has had many more failures than successes so far this season. In the Scuderia the pulse has never trembled to change this position: the case of Chrys Dyer was very notorious, since he lasted in his seat just a few hours after the infamous 2010 Abu Dhabi GP in which they made Fernando lose the World Cup Alonzo.

For now, the decisions are postponed and Binotto closes ranks with his director of strategy. «The strategy depends on a team of people, not just Iñaki. So many mistakes have not been made during the year, so the team has all the support", the Italian leader told 'Sky F1'. If the problem is not identified, it will be difficult to find the solution.

The summer break will serve for the waters to calm down... or stagnant and rot. The ones who will appreciate it the most will be the drivers themselves, who will release a little of the accumulated pressure, and Ferrari's own flat workers, who are singled out because of the decisions made from the wall. As in so many other professions, those who wear ties are usually the last to bear the consequences of a bad job and the first to wear the medals when they win.

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