Brawn sympathises with Ferrari

09/10/2017
NEWS STORY

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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Published: 09/10/2017
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