When you are Ferrari and you make mistakes it can be difficult to face the throng of Tifosi and Ferrari management. You have a legacy of over 60 years in motorsport and while that legacy is a cherished thing, it is also fiercely guarded.
Ferrari have come off of a 10-year domination of the sport with Jean Todt, Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn at the helm but now they face a new challenge with steep regulation changes and a new team dynamic. The 2007 season was a continuation of what had been previously set before them although Jean, Michael and Ross had left. The 2008 season found them struggling with mistakes that were not common at the Prancing Stallion for many years. While Ferrari were not beyond mistakes during the Schumacher years, they were certainly not as pronounced or rudimentary as the 2008 and now 2009 season have shown us.
To those ends, many fans of F1 have their opinion on Ferrari, what the problem is and what should be done. FOM boss Bernie Ecclestone commented on the current state of affairs at Ferrari by saying:
“I think with (Jean) Todt gone, we’ve gone a little bit back to the way it was before Todt went there,”
Not to be out quoted, Flavio Briatore had a parting shot at the red team as well:
“Fortunately I am not the head of Ferrari!”
Which is a tad disingenuous given his own teams performance this year.
But perhaps the biggest quote was Stefano Domenicali himself when asked about the situation:
“I do not think I’m the problem. But if necessary, I would make room.”
Things certainly are not well at Ferrari and I would be interested in just what Stefano thinks the issues are at Ferrari that would see Felipe fueled incorrectly in Spain or seeing Kimi sit in the garage missing the chance to advance to Q2 during qualifying (this just weeks after doing the same thing with Felipe). The old addage that when things are bad you don’t fire the entire team, you fire the coach may hold true here but I think it would be too soon to cast Stefano aside as the B-Spec Ferrari did make some serious advances in Spain this weekend and Ferrari seem to have made the most of their development program upon their return to Europe.