The first half of the season finished off with yet another missed chance for Ferrari last weekend at the Hungaroring: P10 on the starting grid was convereted into a win for Max Verstappen on Sunday, while Charles Leclerc saw his second row start turn into a P6 after leading part of the race.
It was not a significative advantage in pace that won Verstappen the race, but rather Red Bull’s ability in choosing the right tyres at the right time, while the Ferrari pitwall made the wrong call switching Leclerc to the hardest compound.
A matter of strategy that Ferrari’s former press officer Alberto Antonini commented on in an epidsode of GoF1 Show hosted by Matthew Marsh.
“At the moment what we have at the Ferrari wall and in the remote garage is probably too many people speaking their minds and no one actually taking the final decision,” he said.
“It was a situation yesterday which called for a quick reaction and flexibility and my feeling is that the team lacked this flexibility that was so badly needed.”
Antonini believes Ferrari needs to “rethink and slim down the process of decision-making” in order to get “more flexibility and more reactivity to the actual condition that you see.”
“They have to overcome some sort of psychological block, because with the car being so fast there is just no point in having a race copied on Verstappen’s race, they could have tried to go their own way and probably come out better with it.”
A fast car that had raised great hopes for this season, hopes that turned into disappointment for the Tifosi and it’s quite percevable in Italy.
“It’s a bit of a cliché but I would say that whatever happens at Ferrari is a matter of national interest, it goes way beyond the mere sport,” commented Antonini.
“The reaction has been really really harsh, I can’t remember anything like that back in my time with the Scuderia and even recently.”
“It’s a feeling of disappointment, being in deception in a way, because it’s like - ok, we have everything in place to win the championship this year - and then you see what happens: Silverstone, Monaco, always on the line.”
“Reliability failure is one thing which would probably make people not so happy, but this kind of mismanagement is probably even worse in terms of reaction from the public.”
“What really puzzled me at the time and still buffles me because I keep hearing it from people at the Scuderia is that there is always some guy afterwards who comes up and says - I think we made the right decision and if I was given the opportunity I would do that again.”
The problem, however, according to Antonini lies deeper, in the excessive pressure under which team members are working.
“It’s probably a matter of culture, but I think all the people there are competent and have a good build up, so they don’t need to be under pressure for whatever they do,” he explained.
“They have to realise that if you make a mistake you don’t necessarily get slashed, or you have to leave your job or get sacked, because it doesn’t happen with other teams. If you feel safe in the place you are working it will probably help you being better, it works in every company it’s not a secret.“