Ferrari drivers will start from the seventh row of the grid for the start of the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix after a dismal qualifying afternoon for Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel at Spa-Francorchamps, the duo will line-up 13th and 14th respectively.
On the opposite side of the coin, Mercedes will be starting one-two yet again with Lewis Hamilton on pole and Valtteri Bottas beside him. Ferrari, on the other hand, are running the gauntlet of mockery and jokes on social media triggered by this demise.
Despite racking up their seventh pole in as many races, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is concerned about the form of their once arch-rivals, “Ferrari’s an iconic brand and they should be racing at the very front.
“It’s not good for Formula 1, it’s not good for the competition at the front. I very much feel with all the Tifosi and employees of Ferrari for this lack of performance.”
He then threw a cryptic grenade into the interview, “And again, one must question the priorities that have been set in recent times, and where the lack of performance comes from. But overall nobody from the fans to the Ferrari people deserve such a result.”
Asked to clarify his observations, the Mercedes boss declined, “I don’t want to speak, actually it’s wrong to say ‘Ferrari’ priorities because that drags Ferrari and everybody at Ferrari into this.
“It’s maybe the decisions that have been made within the team, from certain members of the team,” Wolff added to further confuse the issue and, inadvertently or not, stir up the situation.
Whatever the case, Ferrari – the people’s team – in such a state is not what Formula 1 needs at a time when Mercedes dominance, and invincibility for that matter, are making the sport harder to sell as a contest and fans tend to react by switching off.
Formula 1 needs the Scuderia to be strong, but under Mattia Binotto’s watch, the team has sunk beyond imagination let alone expectations, to the detriment of the sport at the highest level.