MONZA, Italy, Sep 7 – Humiliated on home soil, Ferrari departed the Italian Grand Prix licking their wounds but looking ahead to next weekend’s party to celebrate a team and Formula One landmark.
Team chief Mattia Binotto described Ferrari’s double-retirement in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix — Sebastian Vettel withdrew and Charles Leclerc crashed — as “the worst of days.”
“It’s the worst possible conclusion to a difficult weekend,” said Binotto. “Not finishing the race it’s even worse and not performing, especially with Seb, which was a reliability issue on the car, so I think it’s time to look forward.”
The team must quickly switch their attention to next weekend’s Tuscany Grand Prix at Mugello, an event intended to celebrate the “scarlet scuderia’s” 1,000th Formula One race and light up the coronavirus-affected season with some joy.
In a wildly-eventful spectacle at Monza, punctuated by dramas and crowned with a first victory for Pierre Gasly, Ferrari suffered another pointless outing.
– ‘Not many good things’ –
Vettel, who is leaving the team after this season, dropped out with brake problems after six laps. Leclerc, who won from pole at Monza in 2019, crashed at high speed at the Parabolica.
“It is very difficult for the whole team at the moment, for sure, but we have to try as hard as we can to have a worthy ending to the season,” said four-time world champion Vettel.
“We have to be focused on that. We have to deal with what we have. Life is like this….
“At the moment, professionally, there are not many good things, but there are always some positives.
“We cannot expect much for next weekend,” said the German. “You need to be realistic, but hopefully we can have a smooth weekend without trouble.”
With only days to recover and decamp to Mugello, 300 kilometres (186 miles) to the south, for their celebration event, Sunday’s outcome was a tough pill to swallow for Ferrari and their fans.
“I think all these problems for us are lessons learned and we must make sure in the future that we are doing better,” Binotto said.
“Hopefully, the next one can be a bit better, but at the end I think the performance of the current car is certainly not what we would like.
“I think it’s more important for us to make sure that we are looking ahead and progressing with the car development….”
Ferrari also finished outside the points in the previous race in Belgium and the second successive double flop dropped them to sixth in the constructors’ championship.
“We knew it would be a struggle and we saw that in qualifying, but failing to finish with either of our cars really hurts,” added Binotto.
“It’s a very hard season, but it’s by facing up to difficulties like these that you get stronger. We must look ahead and there are useful lessons for all of us to take away from this to build for the future.”