The 2020 Belgian GP was definitely not an easy race for Ferrari, and definitely not one that will be coming up in the history books (at least not in the positive sense). With Sebastian Vettel’s 13th place and Charles Leclerc’s 14th, the Ferrari crisis seems to deepen, considering the amazing victory of Leclerc at Spa-Francorchamps the year before and the 4th position of Vettel.
Although there are many factors that contribute to the team’s difficult situation, definitely one of them has been the Technical Directive issued by FIA in late 2019 that visibly weakened the power unit of Scuderia Ferrari. As we all know, the power unit of Ferrari was subjected to an FIA investigation, but the results of it were never made public and were hidden behind a “private arrangement” between the team and FIA.
Martin Brundle, one of the commentators and experts for Sky Sports F1 and a former racing driver, has been very critical of Ferrari from the beginning of the situation, as he felt “misled by their performance” of 2019 and therefore has “no sympathy for them”.
He openly commented on the performance put up by the team during this years Belgian GP.
As he said in the post-Belgian GP column for Sky F1: “Seventy-three seconds behind the winner was the first works Ferrari in 13th place of the 17 finishers. That would likely have been 14th had Carlos Sainz’s McLaren not failed going to the grid. And that is the kind of pace Ferrari truly had all weekend, having won the race from pole position last year. Whatever they were doing with the power unit last year which had to be stopped, and we are not allowed to know about, has decimated their performance.”
He also commented on the fact that despite buying their engines from Ferrari but distributing a much lower budget than the Maranello team, Kimi Raikkonen was able to pass and stay ahead of Sebastian Vettel.
As he said: “That does not explain how Kimi Raikkonen, similarly powered in an Alfa Romeo run on a much smaller budget, passed and stayed ahead of Sebastian Vettel. It is as if Ferrari have been sent to the back of the class for bad behaviour, but their car should still be faster than Alfa. Charles Leclerc has been outperforming his Ferrari of late but not on this particular Sunday. It was painful to watch and not at all what F1 needs.”
Brundle added that despite the most likely upcoming painful races for Ferrari, the future seems more optimistic, due to the new regulations and budget caps. As he said: “There’s enough money in F1, and hopefully structure with the new running budget cost caps in 2021 and new cars in 2022, to have a grid of 20 cars covered by less than a second. We have to close the pack for our healthy future in F1.The next two races in Monza and Mugello could well be purgatory for Ferrari.”