Ferrari may be slipping back into old habits, the worried Italian media observed after the British grand prix.
La Repubblica said Silverstone had been the Maranello team’s “worst performance of the season”, while Tuttosport said the “dream of the title is slipping further and further away”.
The question being asked now is whether Ferrari is being beaten in the all-important development race, not only by Mercedes but also Williams.
“The car was ok,” Kimi Raikkonen said after the British grand prix. “It just wasn’t fast enough.”
Teammate Sebastian Vettel returned to the podium on Sunday, but he was thanking England’s tendency to rain unexpectedly rather than the SF15-T’s pace.
“This was a result that we really did not deserve,” the German admitted.
“We definitely need to improve,” he is quoted by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport. “If you look at the gaps, we were slower than in the previous races.”
Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene agreed: “We have a problem and we need to analyse it now.
“On the straights we were quite slow but we were not winning any time back in the corners either.”
Hailing Vettel, he added: “We had a great driver and a great strategy, but we also need a great car.”
Arrivabene said Ferrari not only struggles on tracks like Silverstone, but also with Pirelli’s harder tyres.
“Unfortunately we may have afternoons like this (Silverstone) at Spa and Suzuka as well,” he is quoted by La Repubblica.
“We need to work in every area, as Williams has found an excellent performance in recent races and I do not want them to become a problem.
“I want our problem to continue to be Mercedes.”
However, La Repubblica said one of Ferrari’s past mistakes was persevering for too long with a car that is patently not capable of winning the world title.
So is it time to switch focus to the 2016 machine?
“I have no desire to reopen old issues,” Arrivabene answered. “That said, to abandon this project would be in my opinion a mistake.
“The machine of 2016 and the one in 2015 are complementary and so to stop work on 2015 would result in the loss of important data,” he argued.
© RIF | GMM