Former Formula 1 driver turned pundit, Martin Brundle was bewildered, as were just about every fan of the sport, of by the incredible demise of Ferrari since their power unit was turned legal ahead of this season.
Last year the Reds started the Belgian Grand Prix from the front row of the grid, Charles Leclerc in top spot and Sebastian Vettel in second. A day later Leclerc beat the Mercedes.
This year the best he could do was 13th in quality and 14th in the race; Seb was 14th on Saturday and 13th on Sunday. Kimi Raikkonen beat them both!
Brundle said in his weekend review for Sky F1, “73-seconds behind the winner was the first works Ferrari in 13th place of the 17 finishers. That would likely have been 14th had Carlos Sainz’s McLaren not failed going to the grid. And that is the kind of pace Ferrari truly had all weekend, having won the race from pole position last year.
“Whatever they were doing with the power unit last year which had to be stopped, and we are not allowed to know about, has decimated their performance. But that does not explain how Kimi Raikkonen, similarly powered in an Alfa Romeo run on a much smaller budget, passed and stayed ahead of Sebastian Vettel.
“It is as if Ferrari have been sent to the back of the class for bad behaviour, but their car should still be faster than Alfa.”
“Leclerc has been outperforming his Ferrari of late but not on this particular Sunday. It was painful to watch and not at all what F1 needs.
“There’s enough money in F1, and hopefully structure with the new running budget cost caps in 2021 and new cars in 2022, to have a grid of 20 cars covered by less than a second. We have to close the pack for our healthy future in F1.
“The next two races in Monza and Mugello could well be purgatory for Ferrari,” predicted Brundle.