Ah Ferrari, I think everyone is hoping for some big revelation here. Will we finally get to hear what went on behind closed doors between Ferrari and the FIA in relation to the engine and power last year?
Of course not. Fair play to Netflix, they do ask, but Mattia Binotto, Ferrari team principal, sticks to the script of “what’s done is done, we did nothing wrong”.
We flip back to 2019 when the FIA decide not to release details of the ‘settlement’ between them and Ferrari over the rules. This stank, and still stinks, to high heaven and we catch snippets of many team principles not happy about the ruling either. We also see the stark performance difference in the cars, pre-ruling and post-ruling.
Ferrari’s outgoing driver Sebastian Vettel, speaking as blunt as I’ve ever heard him, grins when asked about the ‘settlement’.
He doesn’t directly answer the question directly but makes some interesting suggestions about “certain people not having the same principles as him”.
We are with Ferrari at their home race of Monza which does not go to plan in the slightest. Vettel ends up last with his teammate Charles Leclerc in 13th after qualifying.
Come the race, things go from bad to worse as Vettel is forced to retire when his rear brakes catch fire on lap eight and Leclerc crashes out and into the safety barriers a bit later.
Four days later, there is a second Italian race, and this marks Ferrari’s 1,000th race in F1 and, as you’d expect, they celebrate.
However, their celebrations don’t even go to plan as Vettel announces he has signed with Racing Point (changing to Aston Martin) in the morning of the race, pulling the focus away from Ferrari’s ‘big day’…make what you will of the announcement timing.
The Ferrari ruling, between them and the FIA, will cast a shadow over F1 for years to come. It appears to everyone that the people behind F1 are scared to lose Ferrari from the sport and Ferrari, knowing this, seem to have no qualms about using that to their advantage as and when it suits them.
It’s a shame, but hopefully it will change if more brands and teams enter the series in the future, we can but hope.