The last few years have not been easy for Ferrari, and while they initially brought criticism upon themselves this season, that has now turned into savage mockery.
This season started off so well for the team in red; they took their first win and one-two since 2019 in Bahrain in the opening round of 2022, with Charles Leclerc leading home Carlos Sainz.
The Monegasque pushed Max Verstappen hard as the Dutchman took victory in Jeddah, before Leclerc returned to the top step with a dominant performance in Melbourne.
Red Bull brought some major upgrades to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix though, and things changed from there.
Sainz, having crashed in Australia, found the wall in qualifying, before being wiped out by Daniel Ricciardo.
Leclerc collided with the barrier too as he cost himself seven points, as Verstappen led home Sergio Perez for a one-two.
The Austrian side’s imperious pace has taken them to another eight wins in the last 10 races since then, with Leclerc and Sainz winning one race a piece.
They denied themselves victory in Monaco and Budapest due to some questionable strategic calls, while a one-two was possible in Silverstone, but for another bizarre decision on the pit wall that saw Leclerc finish fourth while Sainz won.
That, sadly for the Scuderia, is not all. Reliability failures cost them wins in Spain and Baku, and subsequent engine penalties in Canada and France have further hindered their title aspirations.
Couple that with a crash for Leclerc in France, and a mistake from Sainz in Spain, and we have a title challenge that has disintegrated into rubble for the 16-time constructors’ champions.
The Belgian Grand Prix last time out saw Red Bull streak clear of Ferrari on track due to their straight-line speed.
For the first time this season, the Italian team really had no answer to the pace of Red Bull, as Verstappen won from 14th on the grid, while Leclerc recovered from 15th to sixth.
Sainz ended up third as Red Bull claimed their fourth one-two of the season and, while Perez was a substantial margin off the pace of his team-mate, he was still able to streak well clear of Sainz.
It was testament to the reigning champion’s other-worldly pace, but also to the fact that Ferrari are simply not in a position to win for titles having just found their feet again this year.
Title challenges fell apart in 2017 and 2018 for similar reasons as this season, and it leads to a near total lack of confidence with the team.
Leclerc’s engineer, Xavi Marcos, was asking the 24-year-old what he wanted to do on Sunday regarding strategy, with no one wanting to take control of the situation and risk the public ridicule we have seen on social media.
Indeed, fans are lamenting Ferrari’s performances trackside, with one Twitter user amusingly posting a picture of Sainz and Leclerc hurdling a barrier, quipping that that they were trying to “escape” Ferrari.
Another suggested that Red Bull do not need to beat Ferrari on track, because the Maranello-based team’s woes are usually self-inflicted.
Leclerc has dropped back behind Perez in the Drivers’ Standings, and is now 98 points adrift of Verstappen, while Red Bull hold a 118-point lead over Ferrari.