Create

Ferrari's transformed approach is revealing a potent title contender

Ferrari's transformed approach could pay dividends to the team's prospects
Ferrari's transformed approach could pay dividends to the team's prospects

At the start of the season, many pundits discounted Ferrari's early-season form as a false dawn. Despite bagging multiple wins at the start of the season and having a clear advantage in the championship standings, pundits still picked Red Bull as the team to beat this season.

Why?

Well, one of the reasons is the team itself. The Italian team is infamous for self-sabotaging itself. It did this quite spectacularly in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, where it completely lost the plot during the championship fight.

However, this year's Ferrari seems completely different to that of 2017 and 2018's, which lost to Mercedes. The team's new approach might just have transformed it into a potent title contender.


#1 No more singular focus on one driver

Team spirit 💯@Carlossainz55, @Charles_Leclerc and Mattia Binotto can't wait to get back on track!#F1 @ScuderiaFerrari https://t.co/WCg1DUzbjR

Ferrari is well known for being a single driver team. Over the decades, it has been unafraid of having a clear No. 1 and No. 2 driver dynamic. This has on several occasions earned the team the championship.

However, things started to go wrong during the Fernando Alonso era. The team's desire to completely support the Spanish driver to the title left its other driver Felipe Massa in the shadows. It has to be said, though, that Alonso thoroughly outperformed Massa over the years. As a result, the team became a single driver team, where Massa's only role was to help Alonso become the champion.

A similar attitude prevailed when Sebastian Vettel took over and partnered Kimi Raikkonen. Things would have continued this way at Ferrari had Charles Leclerc not come in and immediately outperformed the four-time world champion. Ferrari made some questionable decisions throughout the course of the 2019 season, which led to both of its drivers being frustrated with it and a widespread negative working atmosphere in the team.

This seems to have thankfully changed after Carlos Sainz's arrival. Sainz and Leclerc know that they will get equal machinery to fight for the top spots and that both will have a fair crack at it.

As a result of this, both the drivers push each other forward and, in turn, help the team to grow as well. The decision to switch from focussing on a single driver to both the drivers by Mattia Binotto has helped the team have a much more positive relationship with both the drivers, and it has resulted in better results for the team on track.


#2 Lack of anxiety and desperation after a loss

🗣 I Mattia Binotto on Ferrari's performance at the Miami Grand Prix "If you consider how many points we are taking home from here, we can’t be too disappointed, given that we are leading both championships, but it’s clear we now need to respond."#F1 #MiamiGP https://t.co/orILJ0QLsc

One of the most noticeable changes in the attitude of the Italian team this year compared to before is its understanding of the fact that you cannot win at every race all year round. Some days, you win and other days, you do your best at damage limitation.

However, Ferrari during the 2017 and 2018 seasons was ruled by the iron fist of Sergio Marchionne, who wanted the team to get back to its winning ways as soon as possible. Binotto has even mentioned how tough it was to perform under the stress Marchionne put on the team. Back in 2017 and 2018, the Italian squad always looked anxious when it didn't win a race. This is no longer the case under Binotto's reign.

At the Miami GP, during the post-race media scrum, Binotto did not look alarmed by the consecutive wins scored by Red Bull. Instead, he gave a pragmatic perspective on the title battle and the way Ferrari was approaching it.

The needless desperation to win every race was what led to the constant pressure within the team and ultimately led to Ferrari making mistakes in the past. With a calmer ecosystem in place, the scope of mistakes has reduced drastically.


#3 Ferrari's calculated approach to upgrades in 2022

🚨| Ferrari are expected to bring the definitive version of the floor that was briefly seen at the Pirelli test after the Emilia Romagna GP, with clear changes to the side edge profile.According to sources, it will also feature new 'skids'.#F1 [racingnews365.com]

The championship leader has stood out as one of the few teams on the grid that is yet to bring any sort of upgrades to the car. While multiple teams up and down the grid have been bringing in new parts at the races, the Scuderia has opted for an approach that gives the team the opportunity to use the budget cap in the most efficient way.

Ferrari is on the front foot as compared to its competitors, since it has been able to lead the championship despite not bringing any major upgrades to the car. Red Bull, on the other hand, has reportedly already exhausted around one-fifth of its budget in a bid to get close to the Maranello-based team in the pecking order. It is this calculated approach that gives the team the edge on its rival and makes it a potent title threat this season.

Quick Links

Edited by Anmol Gandhi
Be the first one to comment