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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

ALBRIGHT: What Scuderia Ferrari must do to become champions again

Scuderia Ferrari is one of 10 teams in Formula 1. (Photo courtesy of Flickr.)

No team in Formula 1 is more successful than Ferrari. Holding the most championships, wins and pole positions, the Prancing Horse is undeniably the powerhouse of the sport. 

Yet, the team has been behind for most of the 21st Century. Ferrari’s last champion was Kimi Raikkonen in 2007. Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel all failed to win with the Scuderia. 

If Ferrari hopes to return to winning ways, they must put its ego aside and make changes on the pit wall. 

The team has failed to support its driver, Charles Leclerc, in his battle for the title, something that rival Red Bull cannot relate to. Making decisive calls and creating winning strategies, Red Bull has been the wind to Max Verstappen’s sails, guiding him in the necessary direction to win the title.

Ferrari has a history of punishing those who speak badly about the team, to the point where it fired champion Alain Prost for saying the car was a “truck.”

Other top teams, Red Bull and Mercedes, have not been hesitant to favor their driver over the team, swapping drivers during the race in order to maximize championship points.

This year, however, it seemed Ferrari finally got its act together.

After three races, Leclerc was leading the championship, and Red Bull driver, Max Verstappen, by 46 points. After two engine failures in three races, Red Bull did not look ready to challenge for the championship.

That was clearly not the case.

Last weekend in Japan, Verstappen won the World Drivers’ Championship with four races left. He finished 114 points ahead of Leclerc, who currently sits in third place with 252 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull has 619 points compared to Ferrari’s 454.

Ferrari threw the championship away. 

Mistake after mistake, Ferrari has given up massive points due to strategy blunders and pit stop mishaps.

In Monaco, Leclerc qualified his car in first place for the race. With him starting from first, it looked like he would win, but Ferrari changed his tires at the same time as teammate Carlos Sainz, dropping him from first to fourth due to him being forced to sit idle in the pit lane. 

In Britain, Ferrari decided to leave Leclerc on a slow, used set of tires, making him vulnerable and defenseless to everyone behind him on fast, fresh tires, dropping him from first to fourth.

In Hungary, there was yet another strategy error. Ferrari decided to unnecessarily change Leclerc’s tires, costing him a chance at the win and a podium. 

Normally, when teams make constant mistakes, they claim responsibility and make changes. Ferrari, however, has taken a different approach this season. Team Principal Mattia Binotto has repeatedly claimed that Ferrari does not need to make changes. 

“We do not need to change people, but we certainly need to change some things,” Binotto said in a press conference

He has been adamant about the fact Ferrari has the right personnel, but after constant strategy and pitstop mistakes, it is simply untrue. 

If Ferrari wants to be seen as more than a team of the past, massive changes need to happen. The team needs to seriously look outside of Italy for employees. Iñaki Rueda, Ferrari’s strategy director, needs to be replaced. The crews need to feel like they don’t have assured employment.

Ferrari needs to make changes. And until they do, they will be wasting the career of one of the best drivers in the sport, Charles Leclerc. 

This article was written by Jack Albright. he can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JackAlbrightMU.

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About the Contributor
Jack Albright
Jack Albright, Executive Sports Editor
Jack Albright is a sophomore from Charlton, Massachusetts studying journalism. He is the Executive Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, Jack likes to hang out with friends and watch Formula 1. He is excited to write fun stories about all things Marquette athletics and oversee new types of digital content.

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