Whoever wrote the script for the 2020 Formula 1 season clearly had a loathing for Ferrari, the audacity to pen a tale that sees the sport’s most famous and mightiest team self destruct on home soil like never before, the weekend at the beloved Pista Magica a nightmare of titanic proportions.
But this was not fiction, history will show that on the occasion of their 999th Grand Prix at Monza was an unmitigated disaster for the home team, thankfully the misery witnessed by few live in the empty temple that the place was on Sunday.
By lap six the Reds were forced to retire Sebastian Vettel’s car, which had alarmingly run out of brakes so early in proceedings.
In the other car, as expected, Charles Leclerc gave it his all running as high as sixth until he overdid it exiting Parabolica and slammed the wall hard, making it double DNF on the day for his team.
The worst display by Ferrari at their home circuit in 70 years of Grand Prix racing.
Scary was the brake failure Seb experienced at high-speed, at the end of the start/finish straight. Forced to abort his turn-in the German shot down the escape road and disintegrated the styrofoam chevron boards as no stopping was happening for the passenger in the hapless SF1000.
Team principal Mattia Binotto will thank his lucky stars that the race on Sunday was held behind closed doors, there might have been a riot despite the fact that an Italian team triumphed sensationally on the day with Pierre Gasly.
AlphaTauri started its F1 life as Minardi, the much-loved minnows from Faenza, which was acquired by the Red Bull F1 programme to serve as the junior team – Scuderia Toro Rosso – which became the breeding ground for young drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen to name a few.
It was a massive occasion for the small Italian team, as it was back in 2008 when equally sensationally Vettel triumphed with the little team; key difference: the Toro Rosso was powered by Ferrari that day!
In contrast, this Sunday evening pain was all Binotto could describe in his post-mortem from the Temple of Speed, “Retirement for both cars is the worst possible end to a very difficult weekend.
“After Belgium, we knew that here too we would struggle a lot and so it turned out. That was clear in yesterday’s qualifying but failing to get either car to the chequered flag really hurts.
“It’s even more disappointing that Sebastian’s retirement was down to a lack of reliability on the car. Problems like that, in this case with the brake system, should not happen.”
Clearly the SF1000 is grossly inadequate, forcing its drivers to go over the limit and, perhaps, even to go over-aggressive on setup to compensate for a woefully inadequate package.
Coupled to the imposed castration of their horses, the Ferrari crisis has no end in sight despite the self-professed two-year plan in place assuring Tifosi a return by the great team to winning ways in 2022; as if the opposition will be standing still between now and then.
Binotto continued, “It’s a very hard season but it’s by facing up to difficulties like these that you get stronger. We must look ahead and there are useful lessons for all of us to take away from this to build for the future.
“Having said that, we must absolutely not give up and we will be giving our all next weekend at Mugello which is a special event for us, being our 100th Formula 1 Grand Prix,” added the Ferrari team boss.
The Scuderia lie sixth in the constructors’ standings on 61 points, with Mercedes topping the table on 281. This time last year they were comfortably in second place.
The last time Ferrari finished lower than fifth as a constructor was in 1980.