Italian publications have gone in on Ferrari after the double reliability failure that saw Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz walk away from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with no points.
Leclerc started the race on pole with Sainz in fourth, but the Spaniard retired from the race nine laps in due to a hydraulic failure.
The 24-year-old used the subsequent Virtual Safety Car to strategically get back in front of Sergio Perez in the pit stops, after the Mexican had taken the lead into Turn One.
Red Bull would go on to take their third one-two finish of the season as Max Verstappen comfortably beat Perez to the flag, and further failures for Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen meant that four of the five retirements on Sunday were Ferrari-powered cars.
With Valtteri Bottas in 11th and Mick Schumacher behind in 14th, it was the first time this year that no Ferrari-powered car has scored points.
Italian media has a tendency to go crazy when Ferrari are winning, so it stands to reason that they have also always been a little harsh when things are not going their way.
‘Ferrari, why are you so fragile?’ read a headline from La Gazzetta dello Sport, who went on to suggest that the Scuderia have abandoned reliability to focus entirely on performance this season.
‘Ferrari disaster, now everything changes: What will happen?’ said Corriere dello Sport, before describing Ferrari’s 2022 car as “excellent but still unripe.”
The histrionics continued as they added, “Houston, we have a problem, and a big one too”.
La Repubblica says that the F1-75’s power unit is “under accusation” as Ferrari cancel ERS upgrades to focus on the reliability of their power unit that has now seen eight failures in the last three race weekends.
‘Red Bull-Honda double, Ferrari debacle,’ says Il Messaggero, adding that Leclerc, who has been on pole six times this year and converted only two, “continues to work his magic on Saturdays,” while being let down in the race.
After the race in Azerbaijan, Leclerc could not explain why Ferrari’s reliability has turned so stale having looked immaculate in the first part of the year.
“I don’t know, we’ve been fast and we didn’t have particularly big problems in the first part of the season,” he said.
“Now it seems that we have a bit more compared to the beginning of the season but we didn’t change massive things, if anything we made the thing better.
“So, it’s difficult to understand for now but we will have to analyse, obviously I don’t have the full picture of what happened today.
“Just personally, again it hurts.”
The last time a driver took five consecutive pole positions and failed to convert any of them was when Juan Pablo Montoya did so in 2002 with Williams, so Leclerc will be aiming to avoid that fate at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.