News and views on motorsports

Friday, November 12, 2004

Sick Of Ferrari Fans

This feature on PlanetF1 has irked me quite a bit. In fact, Ferrari fans are very vociferous and quite partisan on this website. Well, there are more Ferrari fans than fans of the other teams put together, so I suppose their views get shouted out the most.

Take this quote from one of the readers : Last time I looked at the testing miles statistics in F1 Racing, it was Michelin, and the Michelin associated teams, who had tested significantly more miles than Bridgestone. I know most of the teams are on Michelin, but the Minardi, Jordan et al, do little testing, so the miles are consumed by the big three or four competitors of Ferrari

Yeah, sure the Michelin runners clock up a lot of mileage. But if the majority of teams are on Bridgestones, then Bridgestone would be doing the same. But taken indvidually, Ferrari clocks up more mileage than any single team. Testing is paid for by individual teams and it is not paid for by some collective pool of money by the Michelin runners. If this reader made a one on one comparison between Ferrari and McLaren or Ferrari and Williams then you'd find that Ferrari's mileage beats them both individually. There is Ferrari's advantage, the ability to test at any moments notice new developments on the car.

Another quote by another reader: F1 fans are always seem to hate being told how they are 'supposed' to respond, proven by the letters of support for Ferrari after the last team meeting (when we were 'supposed' to see them as the bad guys for not signing).

Well, I don't know what this guy thinks fans are supposed to do but in my view Ferrari have always been the bad guys. They've been so for ages. Enzo Ferrari himself is not a man to shy away from using political influence to his advantage. Might I add that only Ferrari have this level of clout with the FIA. No other teams possess such influence. If the other teams unite against Ferrari, its only a reaction to Ferrari's otherwise massive political power. Does this reader not realise that in the past that when Ferrari is not happy about something and protests, the FIA just falls in line. The one incident they were caught blatantly cheating in the 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix, they were let off the hook. And before anyone says anything, yes, they were cheating. I actually know some of the stewards of that race personally. And they all agreed that Ferrari had contravened the rules. Luca di Montezemolo then proceeded to say that a 5% tolerance level are allowed for parts like barge boards. If anyone read the rules properly, they would find that tolerance is only allowed for the flat bottom of the car and nowhere else. Yet Ferrari as usual gets away with it.

Let's move on to another quote : As has been said here many times, Ferrari didn't whine to the FIA and get the rules changed to slow the other teams when they were mired in mediocrity. They worked hard and turned things around. The other teams have clearly decided that they are incapable of making such an effort and instead would rather lobby the FIA to change the rules to slow Ferrari down.

Yes, I agree Ferrari has worked enormously hard, ably led by Michael Schumacher. But to say that they didn't whine to the FIA when their chips were down is completely untrue. This comment generally reflects the rose tinted (or scarlet tinted) world Ferrari fans seem to live in. Of course they whined to the FIA. Of course, they made every technical innovation from other teams illegal by bitching to the FIA. The case was so clearly seen last year. It was they who raised the legality of the Michelin tyres to the FIA despite the fact that the Michelins were running from more than 2 years on the exact same configurations as those in the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix. Rear brake steer, various gearbox innovations, materials in Mercedes engines all approved by the FIA were overturned at Ferrari's insistence. It was Ferrari who insisted on allowing V12 engines in the past when all other teams wanted to stick to V10s. Ferrari have been lobbying to the FIA to slow other people down since the days of Enzo Ferrari. Of course, to Ferrari fans, their team are crewed by harp playing angels. So they can't possibly do anything wrong right? Wrong you morons. Ferrari of course, do such protests away from the medias eyes. The teams of course have now protested in unison in a very public manner. Perhaps that is their error because they too look bad now. But after DECADES of Ferrari politicking, they have had enough of Ferrari.

These are just some examples of Ferrari fans' blind devotion to their team. There are plenty more of them in the past on PlanetF1. What sickens me even further is that the tone of their comments indicate such confidence in their convictions. As if to say their team can do no wrong. Well, morons, in the past the other teams have had their hand tied behind their backs to compete against the richest team in the paddock. Ferrari don't need politicking. But they do it anyway. In fact Ferrari are the most political of all teams in the paddock. Once upon a time the politics destroyed their team. Now all of their political inclinations are directed outside. The teams are now fighting back by coming together, as is their right.

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