Ferrari’s “performance level was simply not competitive compared to McLaren and Red Bull and in qualifying, we even struggled against teams that up until now, were behind us,” Fernando Alonso says in a blog posted today at the Ferrari site.
It’s much as I suggested yesterday. This was a lousy weekend for the Scuderia.
Alonso, of course, is confident the team can rebound.
In Istanbul we were not quick enough and we have to react immediately. The championship is still wide open with everything to play for. I am fourth in the classification, fourteen points off the leader and if the old points system still applied, the difference would be just four. However, itâ€™s clear we need to make a jump forward in terms of developing the car. Over the first four races, we matched the pace of our main rivals, but since we have been back in Europe, that is no longer the case. When I was racing against Ferrari, I admired its ability to react, producing probably the best development during the season. The people are the same now, so there is no reason why the same thing cannot happen this year: I trust our team and, above all, I trust in the will to win that every last one of us shares.
For Valencia, we will have a major update package which should see us make a good step forward, but I believe that already in Canada, we will have a different situation. The Montreal circuit will be better suited to the characteristics of the F10 and I think we will definitely be more competitive.
As I wrote in my earlier post, I think Alonso is closing in on being the big disappointment of the season. Sure, Michael Schumacher hasn’t set the grid on fire, but the combo of Alonso and Ferrari was supposed to be pretty close to unstoppable.
That was before Red Bull stepped into the breach, signaling, I think, just how crucial a quick car is. Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, in my opinion, have both driven OK this season, which when combined with the car they’re in, has resulted in the great results. (And, yes, Vettel’s results could be even better with a few lucky breaks.)
But Alonso has made uncharacteristic mistakes, notably in Monaco and now in Turkey. This is the same guy who dragged a series of lousy Renault’s into far better positions than they deserved to be in 2008 and 2009. He doesn’t seem to have the same magic with this Ferrari.
Now, I have zero idea why that may be. Perhaps the Renault, as bad as it was, was designed more to Alonso’s liking. “Sure, it was a bad car, but it was my bad car,” that sort of thing. The Ferrari seems to be a very different story.
As I’ve also noted, both Ferrari and Alonso still have plenty of time to get their acts together. And if McLaren would be so kind to Maranello as to join Red Bull in the “shooting ourselves in the foot” department, it could open a nice clear path for Alonso, Ferrari and — oh, yeah — Felipe Massa.