Ferrari’s name is almost synonymous with Formula 1, and the introduction of the two is not complete without the other. It is hence heartening to see Ferrari suffer so badly in the sport that epitomises its existence.
The Red Scarlet team has been off colour for the past two seasons and a predicted third is on the cards. The team had such an abysmal performance in 2011 that the team’s president Luca di Montezemolo requested the team to pick itself up from the rubble and come back strongly in the 2012 season.
The team’s disarray in the 2011 season allowed the management to start working on the 2012 car and focus on the challenges ahead. The move suggested that the Scuderia camp had accepted their defeat even before the season had ended, though ironically it was a step forward towards making amends and yearning for a winning season ahead.
News of Ferrari going for an aggressive car in design and mechanics were rife. Fernando Alonso admitted the team took its inspiration from the leading Red Bull team that dominated the season with aplomb thanks to the fantastic RB7 and the brilliant German driver Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari laid down the right idea and inspiration but execution is a whole different ball game.
The pre-season tests were going to be the showcase for all that the teams have worked on and show off their new challenger’s pace and abilities. Ferrari along with Mercedes, Red Bull, and McLaren (the top four teams of 2011) were tipped to be the strongest cars on the tracks.
Ferrari endured a poor first pre-season test as Felipe Massa suggested that the new car needs a lot of understanding and hard work to be ready. The team soon realised that they have missed a trick or two in the making of the car.
Ferrari’s technical director Pat Fry after much concealing and tweaking admitted that the car is not what the management expected it to be. Adding to the woes, he suggested that the car might not be able to claim any podiums a revelation that the president Montezemolo hopes does not realise.
Ferrari will start the season in danger or coming up with another listless performance, but such is their determination best personified by their driver Alonso that they will find ways to come back into the fray.
The aftermath though will not a pretty one, the management might look into firing a few personnel or even look to hire a few, but that bit needs to be looked into after the season. One thing although seems most certain is the Brazilian losing his Ferrari race seat that he has held for the last six seasons.
The question then will be where does Ferrari go from there, do they go back to the drawing board and come up with a completely new design for the 2013 season? Who will partner up Fernando Alonso? All good questions that need to be answered, so the Ferrari fans will have to sit back relax and play the waiting game as Ferrari finds a new way to save its face and secure a top five slot in the constructors’ championship.
The season begins on March 2012 with the opening race to be held in Melbourne and Ferrari starting as hopeful underdogs.