Brundle has ‘little sympathy’ for Ferrari’s current plight

Martin Brundle has little feelings of pity for Ferrari during its current plight, the Sky F1 commentator having felt misled by the Italian outfit last year.

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Ferrari has endured a difficult start to its 2020 season, with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc unable to challenge for race wins, held back by the relative weakness of the Scuderia’s SF1000 package.

The performance of Ferrari’s 2020 contender is impaired by the car’s aerodynamics, but also thwarted by a power unit curtailed by the mandatory changes implemented by the Scuderia’s engineers last winter on the back of the FIA’s investigation into the engine’s inner workings.

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“Observing Ferrari sitting fifth in the Constructors’ Championship is just painful,” Brundle wrote in his usual post-race column for Sky Sports.

“I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for them as I feel misled by their performances last year when they were clearly pushing the regulations way too hard, at the same time as we cheered hard and celebrated to finally have a serious challenger for Mercedes.

“And given this is largely their 2021 package too, albeit with a few ‘tokens’ available to improve performance like everybody else, then it’s likely to be a while before they are at the front again.

“They were lapped last year here too but it was still a powerful image when Seb Vettel had to move his Ferrari to one side heading up to turn 4 in order to be lapped by Hamilton.”

Mercedes’ triumphant opening salvo showcased the redoubtable efficiency and speed of the team’s new Black Arrow, which has obviously impressed Brundle.

Yet the former F1 driver knows all too well what such a superiority entails for Mercedes’ rivals and this year’s campaign

“The incredible pace of the Mercedes-Benz ensures many other drivers had their season’s ambitions and hopes thoroughly realigned in Budapest, and not in a good way,” said the F1 veteran.

“I’ve never seen an F1 car stick to the track like that, especially in challenging corners like Hungary’s turns 4 and 11.

“Arrive and drive, a couple of gears higher than you’d ever imagine, and barely a lift of the throttle. And seemingly never needing to counter steer into any significant slide.

“We should of course be celebrating the excellence of this team creating such a device which is so fit for purpose, but my heart sinks a little.

“The fact that they are a barely believable 10 seconds per lap faster than their own dominant cars from the early hybrid era just six years ago can only really be fully appreciated from the side of the track, or behind the wheel.

“Ferrari have given up a lot of power and straight-line speed due to tightening of the regulations, and Red Bull appear to have stepped on their own tail with aero set-up, hopefully temporarily.”

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