This is certainly a year to forget for Ferrari, no victories and only eleven podiums against the year before with 3 wins and 16 podiums. Not enough for a team like Ferrari. It’s been nine years since Ferrari doesn’t win and since 2010 that doesn’t fight concretely for the title. What a shame for the Scuderia. In the last years, there was serious problem for the team, internal and external, they changed 3 managers, they changed the technicians, they changed chairmen, from the symbol of Michael Schumacher’s era, Luca Montezemolo to Sergio Marchionne, not less important the drivers and also the pressure of media doesn’t help.
It’s not easy to achieve great result during a huge revolution of the brand and the team, but after the results of 2015 every supporter of Ferrari and F1 hopes for the fight with Mercedes for the title, but that didn’t happen.
The first race, Ferrari, seems to have solved all his problems doing a glorious start in Australia and dominate the GP for the first part of the race but the red flag has changed everything, the offensive strategy of Mercedes has surprised Ferrari and lost the race: this was the first sign, a bad news but a well of hopes for the Scuderia. Few races after the first serious problems comes out: the gearbox. The gearbox of the SF16-H has affected the performance for all the season, for Vettel was a nightmare, almost every race he received 5 positions of penalty on the grid. Then the strategies errors which has permitted Red Bull, with Max Verstappen to win the Barcelona GP; the no sense pit-stop in Canada when they were leading permitted the recovery of Mercedes and a lot of wired strategies that didn’t work that allow to lose some precious point for the constructor’s championship.
If that was not enough at mid-season Red Bull with a huge engine update and various aerodynamic changes start to undermine the second place of the Ferrari: was pitch dark for Ferrari, they can’t get out of the tunnel; so first they changed technical director, and with the arrival of Andrea Binotto they decided to change the plan. They have not thrown in the towel but they realized that the SF16-H was born well but was difficult to find the correct setup to be competitive, so they decided to move over and think more of 2017 then 2016, they start bringing updates that will be useful for 2017: maybe the best move so far.
At the end of the season we see more competitive Ferrari and in the last weekend of the season, we see the two faces of Ferrari: the reliability, with the gearbox failure for Vettel in FP2 and unexpected smart strategy that permitted Vettel to reach the 3rd place at the end of the race. This maybe will be an auspicious sign for the coming year.