Ferrari employees are ‘terrified of reprisals’

Ferrari are 139 points behind Red Bull in the Constructors' Championship with six races of 2022 remaining.

With only six races remaining of the 2022 season, there may become a point when Ferrari begin to wonder what could’ve been, had they not prioritised performance over reliability and if they hadn’t made so many strategic errors.

It’s been a season full of errors for the Scuderia, who have potentially had a car capable of winning the World Championship, just not the management to do it.

With six races remaining, Ferrari have slipped to 139 points behind Red Bull, with the Italian’s now having to defend their 35-point lead over Mercedes for second in the standings.

Ferrari have lost victories through power unit failures and embarrassing strategic blunders; however, team principal Mattia Binotto refuses to believe that change is needed at the historic side.

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The pressure to perform is greater than ever before for Ferrari, with president John Elkann having said after the Italian Grand Prix that everyone at the Italian team must “improve”.

Former McLaren employee turned broadcaster Marc Priestley simply believes that Ferrari aren’t ready to win the title, something they haven’t done in over a decade.

“I don’t want to say Ferrari have stumbled across a great car because they haven’t,” Priestley told the Pit Stop podcast.

“They have built a fantastic car, the best car on many occasions this year, but they don’t have all the ingredients. They don’t have…I suspect and I know this to some extent, a lot of people I know work or have worked at Ferrari, and it feels like the culture isn’t right.

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“It feels like the team environment isn’t conducive to people making decisions on the fly and taking risks. You have to have all of those things.

“You see it in races, you see it when they are a little bit hesitant on the [team] radio. A team like Red Bull or Mercedes, it feels like the people in that team have the freedom to make a decision that might be a little bit out there, a little bit outside the box, might be a risk.

“But everybody’s trusted to just make that and if it goes wrong, that’s fine, you took the risk. You pay the price, but you learn from the mistake and all that.

“I think at Ferrari, if they take a risk, if anyone’s going to take a risky decision, they are terrified of the reprisals that are going to come from that.”

Despite the likes of Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso having all raced for Ferrari in the last 12 years, the Maranello-based team hasn’t won the Drivers’ Championship since 2007.

Kimi Raikkonen’s 2007 glory feels like a lifetime ago, with Priestley suggesting that with it being so long since Ferrari last won the title, they now lack in “confidence” as a result.

“It just all feels that there’s a lack of confidence,” he said.

“Ferrari are a big great team with a massive history and they haven’t won for a long time. Kimi [Raikkonen] was the last championship winner in 2007 – that’s a long time.

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“You have to sort of almost learn again to win. I used to think when people said ‘your team’s got to learn how to win’, I always used to think ‘what are you talking about? You’ve just got to do everything right and you’ll win!’ But it’s not that easy.

“You have to learn to get back to winning ways and I think McLaren have suffered the same thing. You need a win or a great result to give you the confidence to then take the next step and to start being a little bit more confident in your decision-making.

“It’s those little incrementals boosting confidence that breed winning, and I think they have been missing that for a long time.”