Red Mist has not been floating about of late to add to the gossip and general casino regarding our Scuderia Ferrari over the past few weeks. Rightly so, it seems… they may be getting their act together if Baku is anything to go by.
Formula 1 has changed so much in this new digital era where woke new ‘fans’ with little to no real understanding of the sport, but a mobile device with connectivity to some social audience, have so much to say about anything. Add a poor Ferrari performance or three and it immediately becomes a misguided shit show of epic proportion.
True, Ferrari’s start wasn’t great this year. It’s not the first time. And it won’t be the last. Of course there was major tumult at Maranello in the off-season. Sure, that contributed. But all the signs were there that it should have been better at the first three GPs. Fred said it was just a matter of unlocking potential. The drivers echoed him. Red Mist took note. Kept still. Amid a barrage of censure.
Then we scored that splendid double pole at Baku. Brilliant. There’s no doubt that our SF-23 has the raw pace, then? And the races weren’t that bad, either. A second and a third, even if that was under pressure. Who’d have thought that three weeks ago?
Fred said it’s a morale booster for the whole team
“It’s a morale booster for the whole team to finish on the podium,” Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur reported following his maiden pole positions and podiums at the helm. “Overall, this has been a positive weekend. We took two pole positions and two podium finish with Charles. Our points total, thanks also to Carlos in fifth place, was also satisfactory.”
“There were signs of progress already in Melbourne, but they were overshadowed by the poor race result. In the four-week break, we worked hard in Maranello and here in Baku we have made further progress which translated into a good result. Something which we will carry forward as we prepare for next weekend’s race in Miami.
“We are definitely back to where we wanted to be in the qualifying. But there’s still a significant gap to Red Bull in the race,” Vasseur concluded, before warning, “Still, we aim to fight them for the win and we are gearing up to do just that.”
Charles: Honestly, the feeling is a little bit better
While still guarded, Charles Leclerc concurred. “Honestly, the feeling is a little bit better. But when I see the gap to Red Bull, I’m pretty sure that when you have this type of gap, you’re probably not pushing 100%. They are in another league once it comes to race. Over 51 laps, it was just not possible. They have so much more pace than we do in race pace.
“I think they found something that we didn’t yet. That’s where our focus is at the moment, everybody’s working flat out to try and understand what we can do in the races. Especially to just get more performance. We don’t really know how much we have closed the gap. The feeling is a little bit better. But again, also the Aston Martin was really quick. today. So we still have a lot of work.”
All in all, in spite of Leclerc’s guarded comments, Azerbaijan was a huge turnaround for our Scuderia and the Tifosi. Three weeks ago, most onlookers were desperate, fuelled by a frenzy of unsolicited and unqualified social media bullshit. Thankfully that will now abate, something that will certainly help improve morale at Maranello, in Miami and beyond.
Now to just get our tyres to match what Red Bull’s are doing in the race. With quali pace this good, it should just be a matter of time. And maybe the right racetrack. Bring them on