Formula 1: grief for Ferrari’s birthday

Mugello (dpa) – Sebastian Vettel stays on his Ferrari farewell journey much more than optimism. “Expectations are very low at the moment,” said the four-time Formula 1 World Champion for the 1000th Grand Prix of Scuderia in Mugello.

In Italy it should actually be festive days for the traditional racing team, but the season has been a complete disaster so far. “It’s not that you can expect much,” said Heppenheimer Vettel. “I hope we have a better starting position in Mugello. But that doesn’t mean we’ll fight for the podium.”

With the SF1000, which is still severely paralyzed, that’s impossible for even the most daring optimists. After the embarrassing zero for him and his teammate Charles Leclerc last Sunday in Monza, the 33-year-old would happily even cross the finish line. “A weekend without problems would be a good start,” said Vettel. The brakes of his company car exploded early on and Leclerc crashed into the tire wall. For the first time since 1995, neither of the two red racers saw the checkered flag of Monza. More than embarrassing.

“Nightmare”, “Tristesse”, “Debacle” – The Italian media is currently taking a hard line against the troubled Scuderia. And yet Mattia Binotto, boss of Vettel says: “The pressure is only positive.” On the car manufacturer’s own track in Mugello, things should finally go uphill in the last year of the contract of the former German hopeful Vettel. “Regardless of the difficult moments, we feel the support of our fans,” Binotto said in Florence.

Just 35 kilometers to the north, a Formula 1 round of the World Championship takes place for the first time. This is made possible by the emergency calendar in the corona season. It should also be a sign of the racing series for Ferrari, the first racing team to reach the 1000 Grand Prix. That there will be a lot of cheers from their own fans must remain a dream. “I hope they also understand the situation we are in,” Binotto said to the disappointed supporters.

For the first time in the coronavirus pandemic, fans are allowed back on the track. Even if only 2,880 per day, the hygiene and safety concept will no longer be permitted from Friday. It is certainly a special race, said Binotto: “But every race is important in a World Championship, so the level of concentration is always high.”

Mugello is a magical place for Ferrari. Record World Champion Michael Schumacher once ridden thousands of miles in Tuscany to work hard to lead the team back to the top and to titles. De Kerpener’s successors are currently as far from this as they have been in a long time. “It’s hard for all of us. We have to keep our wits about it,” said Vettel. And that is difficult.

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Industry leader Mercedes around the old and probably new world champion Lewis Hamilton sees the Ferraris only in the rearview mirror. The Scuderia is currently being beaten by teams and cars, “who wouldn’t even leave you parked in the sanctuary of Maranello,” the Corriere della Sera newspaper wrote on Monday, judging Monza, based on the company logo, as a “devastating fall. for the show jumper “. .

In numbers it looks like this: with a meager 16 World Cup points from eight races, Vettel is 13th in the general classification, 148 points behind leader Hamilton. No Vettel victory for almost a year, no podium in 2020 and little hope for improvement. “At the moment the fun factor is not at its peak,” said the veteran. “The drop has been absorbed. Next year will not affect me.”

He should be happy with that. How things will fare for the former all-time winner, who won all of his world titles in the Red Bull, remains to be seen. Rumors of a move to the future Aston Martin factory team persist. A three-year contract is in consultation, there is no signature (yet).

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