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Brawn sympathises with Ferrari

NEWS STORY
09/10/2017

Despite the fact that Ferrari has been in F1 since the beginning, only missing 16 rounds of the Formula One World Championship since it began at Silverstone in 1950, despite the historical bonus payments and the fact that it is probably the most recognisable F1 team and best supported, there have been long, lean periods over the years.

Never more so than that long gap between Jody Scheckter winning the 1979 drivers' title and Michael Schumacher next lifting it in 2000.

Even Schumacher's title was years in the making, the German suffering all manner of problems between joining the Maranello outfit in 1996 and finally coming good four years later.

Other than the legendary German, another major factor in Ferrari's revival and subsequent golden era was the teaming of Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne, who together created a Superteam.

One would have to go some way back through the record books to discover when a driver last retired due to a spark plug, while cracked manifolds are hardly common these days either.

Yet here we are, and as has happened so many times through the years, Ferrari appears to have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The roll call of those cast aside by the Italian team in recent years as it strived to recreate those heady days of Schumacher et al includes the likes of Fernando Alonso, Luca di Montezemolo and Stefan Domenicali, with Sebastian Vettel seemingly destined to join at some stage.

No team appears to have the same propensity for shooting itself in the foot, for derailing its efforts, for building up its fans only to let them down at the last moment.

Speaking in the wake of a weekend which almost certainly ended Vettel's and the team's hopes of another title, Ross Brawn, an integral part of the golden era of the early 2000s, expressed sympathy for the Italian team.

"Having experienced reliability woes of this kind at first hand with various teams, I know how painful it can be to see the hard work of so many people undone in a moment," he said.

"I have some sympathy for Ferrari at this difficult time," he continued, his tone almost funereal, then again, we do appear to have seen the team's 2017 hopes dead and buried. "The team comes under incredible pressure, especially at home, and it's easy for heads to drop. But the key is to stay calm and focus on immediate goals.

"However the season ends, Ferrari should be pleased with what it's achieved in 2017," he concluded. "For the first time in the hybrid era, Mercedes has come up against a rival capable of fighting for the title. It's been a long time since Ferrari have been as competitive and the problems of recent weeks haven't erased that fact."

Of course, he omits to add that Ferrari has shown signs of a major revival at various times in its history only to fall apart when it mattered. He also omits to mention the fact that, as ever, much of the team's problem comes from within.

Those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and seemingly the Prancing Horse never learns.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spartacus, 11/10/2017 20:20

"My comments support Stitch431 to a certain degree. I believe as well if VET would have been slightly less aggressive in Singapore the points difference would have been much less. However his rally back from last in Malaysia was an awesome feat, very reminiscent of Mika Hakkinen or a Schumacher. VETs performance at Silverstone needed refining as well as the post race incidents at both Adjerbiajian and Malaysia. But you cannot argue with the fact that both Ferrari's suffered major setbacks in the previous two races with an engine failure and gearbox replacement. At this stage of the season these types of incidents are unacceptable if you are to challenge for the podium and championship.

In regards to the current engine formula, well it does seem that Mercedes and Ferrari (To a certain degree) have been able to make it work. Honda has not (And I am a Honda fan!) Renault has but they seem to be down on power. Should they change the formula? Perhaps they (The FIA) should have started with a slightly less complicated formula and then developed to the current form. The era of hybrids is here and should stay. The new cars are turning laps at record speed, partly to the power unit but mostly due to the tires and chassis. I would not go back to the normally aspirated form even though it was cool. Brake harvesting and forced induction should not be changed due to growing pains, perhaps they can simplify a few problematic systems and components. (Wow, this sounds like I am talking about Obamacare!)"

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2. Posted by Stitch431, 11/10/2017 10:21

"Honestly, I believe that if Vettel had driven a bit more cautious in Singapore and Malaysia, he would have stayed out of a lot of trouble and would have had significantly more points. He would have had the advantage over Hamilton as he would probably have the psychological advantage of a win or at least a podium in Singapore. Now his car had to be repaired two times in a row in a hurry, leaving not much time for quality control. So I believe the problem of Ferrari is Vettel. Not his driving skills but his mental state."

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3. Posted by Editor, 10/10/2017 17:12

"@ Ro

What you want... what I want doesn't matter... and it hasn't for a long, long time.

My original comments were also "tongue in cheek", but the fact is, whether we like it or not, those days are gone.

As for Formula E.... imagine Sideshow Bob doomed to spend eterntity stepping on rakes."

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4. Posted by Ro, 10/10/2017 16:33

"Sorry Chris, but would you not agree that the current engines anre not fit for F1 but endurance racing? We may as well scrap F1 and go E Formula then...."

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5. Posted by mickl, 10/10/2017 12:45

"I'm sure Kimi get's on the radio at the end of each race and asks if he's still the last Ferrari champion....."

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6. Posted by VC10-1103, 10/10/2017 11:33

"Chris, my comment was tongue-in-cheek. The recent programme with Guy Martin at Williams brought home how much F1 has changed - mechanics working out !!!!!!!. I said to my wife that the first time I visited Tyrrell's in 1973 they were operating out of a couple long wooden ex-army barrack buildings. "

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7. Posted by Editor, 10/10/2017 10:02

"@Ro and VC10-1103

Having come up with all these ludicrous groups for F1 fans, I really think FOM needs to add another… 'Refusals'

These are those fans, who, like those old Japanese soldiers in the jungle unaware the war ended 50 years ago, refuse to accept that this is the 21st Century and the sport has moved on.

We are not going to get the V10s or Flat12s back, nor are we getting back open crash helmets and goggles, Ferrari mechanics in brown cotton overalls, Raymond Baxter doing the commentary, laurel garlands or drivers elbows out bare-sleeved.

I accept what we have is very far from perfect, and I share your pain, but the sport will never go back the way you want it."

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8. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 10/10/2017 7:48

""only to fall apart when it mattered" indeed. Ask Alonso as in Abu Dhabi in 2010. No wonder he left the team in disgust, as Vettel will also do eventually."

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9. Posted by VC10-1103, 10/10/2017 0:15

"No, let’s have the flat 12 back.
"

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10. Posted by Ro, 09/10/2017 20:42

"Come on Mr Brawn, get these crappy engines out of the back of an F1 car and lets have screaming V10 back. Its what the fans want, not an engine that relies on so much electronics and sound like a rabbit fa***ing."

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