Little to gain, plenty to lose for Ferrari

Bayden Westerweller Roar Guru

By , Bayden Westerweller is a Roar Guru

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    Sebastian Vettel signs autographs for Ferrari fans at the Formula One Grand Prix in Austria. (GEPA Pictures/Red Bull Content Pool).

    Having witnessed its title ambitions all but evaporate over three weeks, Ferrari has little to gain at the final races. Therefore, they cannot fall victim to their time honoured instant gratification of lynching a prolific figure and lapsing into an existential crisis.

    Relying on unlikely Mercedes misfortune, the pressure is off, and the assured Ferrari from the first half of the season can resurface, which should be utilised as an extended pre-season. Or so you’d believe.

    This is Ferrari in question, their tendency to implode at the first sign of trouble is uncanny. Any further calamities with both championships almost certainly off the table won’t receive any concessions, with the fallout liable to seeping into 2018 preparations.

    Much has been made of its Cold War approach to the media, in contrast to Mercedes’ transparency, and the perception –perhaps the reality, that it doesn’t respect the fourth estate doesn’t help its cause when it comes to creating a headline.

    Journalists and bloggers will be compelled to write about what they wish in the absence of remarks from the horse’s (pun intended) mouth, and the rhetoric has rapidly been turning in unison with its sinking fortunes.

    Viewing its campaign objectively, four victories while boasting a package which has been more often than not the fastest is a fundamental improvement on a winless 2016, and its most complete since 2008. At least until Singapore and beyond transpired.

    The notion that these aren’t sufficient inroads for the ruthless organisation will be placed to the test in coming weeks as the finger pointing commences, despite holding its own until recently against one of the finest operations the sport has witnessed.

    If Ferrari were capable of conveying its sentiments – satisfied or otherwise, it’d go a long way towards humanising its actions, rather than the appropriately callous image projected by the media in lieu of the facts.

    Already, it has appointed Mario Mendoza to head quality control, when reliability issues this season have largely been contained to the past two events, with extenuating circumstances responsible for its ultimate predicament.

    That Ferrari is already sceptical of its competence in this area highlights the mercurial fashion in which it exists, symptomatic of the issues which have dogged its progress in the post-Schumacher-Brawn-Todt era.

    It has prompted Force India chief operating officer, Otmar Szafnauer, to weigh in on the situation, reasoning to motorsport.com that if a problem “happens here and we had an issue and didn’t finish, you put it on the fault list, you reveal what happened.”

    These attributes describe the opposite ethos of Ferrari to a tee, while Szafnauer observes that when an organisation “start changing the processes that have always worked for you, because then it is chaos”, which is applicable to the Maranello outfit, having functioned soundly until Malaysia.

    Cutting its losses and moving forward would be advisable, albeit certain to fall on deaf ears.

    In team principal, Maurizio Arrivabene, Ferrari boasts an intimidating presence, and while he’s presided over the frustrations of recent weekends, he can’t become the fall guy to appease Sergio Marchionne’s irrational desire for immediate success, yet there’s every chance this will occur.

    Until Ferrari realises there is a tomorrow, it will continue to relive yesterday’s mistakes.