Ferrari chairman John Elkann has said it will take his team until 2022 to be competitive again. It has been a difficult time for the Italian based team this season as none of their drivers is in the running for the title after three races.
Ferrari has been seen as Mercedes main competitor in the game but has always disappointed allowing Mercedes to take monopoly of the F1 championship. From managerial issues to car upgrade to the signing of new drivers, Ferrari has always fallen short of expectations.
Elkann admitted that the team’s problem has been systemic over the years and ruled out being competitive until latest 2022.
“We have not won a constructors’ championship since 2008 and one drivers’ since 2007”, he said.
“There have been winning cycles from both Red Bull, with great aerodynamics, and Mercedes for their great ability in hybrid engine technology.
“This year we are not competitive. We have had a number of structural weaknesses that have long existed in aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics. We have also lost engine power.
“The reality is that Ferrari is not competitive. You saw it on the track this month and you will see it again.
“Our goal is to start a new cycle from 2022 when the rules change. Ferrari has always been there and always will be. We will go back to being competitive and aim to win. We are confident.”
The 44-year old has backed team principal Mattia Binotto who has been on the firing line for the team’s poor performances to continue his role.
“Mattia has all the skills and characteristics for a new winning cycle. He was in Ferrari with Jean Todt and Michael Schumacher.
“With him, we start from a clear basis. We know our weaknesses, we want to go further and start winning again with young and ambitious drivers.”
The American-Italian has urged the fans to be patient with the team reminding them that they have been in this kind of situation before.
The Prancing Horse as they are known were dominant from 1999 – 2007 where they won eight constructors’ championship and six drivers’ championship after 21 years without a constructor win and 16 years without a driver’s title
“The fans are suffering as much as we are, but they continue to give us a lot of energy, and it is important to be clear and honest with them because a long path awaits us.
“When Todt and Schumi began a historic cycle at the end of the 1990s, it followed a 20-year fast that had lasted since 1979. It took time from when he [Todt] arrived in 1993 to when he brought Ferrari back to victory.
“The fans know that we will give everything in every GP anyway, and you will see that [Sebastian] Vettel will also do his part, but I don’t want to deceive them. Making the most of these last months of 2020 and 2021 to return to being very competitive in 2022. This is the goal.
“It is difficult to estimate and it is wrong to create false expectations, but by 2022 we would like to be among the most competitive. We are working to consolidate the winning culture of Ferrari and our drivers.
“The important thing then is to work on and off the track, bringing cohesion and stability, building the Ferrari we want, step by step.”
Elkann also backs current driver Charles Leclerc and incoming driver from McLaren Carlos Sainz who will replace the outgoing Sebastian Vettel to deliver in the coming years.
“In the past 10 years, we have had champions such as [Fernando] Alonso and Vettel.
“But it is undoubtedly more difficult to rebuild a cycle and ask for patience from those who have already won compared to those who have the future ahead of them.
“We are laying the foundations for building something important and lasting, and the contract we signed with Charles proves it. Five years, never so long in Ferrari’s history.
“Leclerc and Sainz will make their home in Maranello, they will be close to our engineers, and the new machine will be born with them”, he concluded.