Fading Ferrari face summer of introspection

Tue Aug 2, 2016 7:41am EDT
 
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By Abhishek Takle

HOCKENHEIM, Germany (Reuters) - Ferrari head into Formula One’s annual break facing a tall order to turn things around in time for the second half of a season that promised much but has so far delivered little.

Formula One’s most successful team went into the season with ambitions of challenging dominant Mercedes for race wins and the championship, after rebounding from their first winless campaign in more than two decades with three wins last year.

The Italian squad, revitalized by new management and the arrival of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, was the only team to break Mercedes’ stranglehold on the top of the podium in 2015.

But they head into the summer break, just past the halfway stage of a record 21-race season, still without a win and having dropped to third in the standings behind rivals Red Bull following Sunday’s German Grand Prix.

"I have to say that they improved quite well," team principal Maurizio Arrivabene told reporters following the race in Hockenheim.

"It doesn’t mean we are going to surrender. During this period we have to think and to react."

Ferrari started the year strongly, challenging for the win in the season-opener in Australia.

But a serious title-tilt never materialized and as the season has worn on even the podiums, of which Ferrari scored eight in the first nine races, have dried up.   Continued...

 
Scuderia Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel is seen in the pits during the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 24, 2016.  REUTERS/ANDREJ ISAKOVIC