Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) Chairman John Elkann does not expect The Scuderia to be back to winning ways in F1 until Y 2022, as he asked for patience from the team’s “suffering” fans.
With the Maranello Outfit having fallen away from the pace-setting MercedesAMG team, it is under no illusions about the effort that is going to be required to get back in contention.
But with lots of cost-cutting measures having been introduced that limit the changes teams can make to it racing cars, Ferrari is resigned to being unable to respond short term.
Chairman Elkann, speaking at length to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport about Ferrari’s form, suggests that it will not be until new rules come into play in Y 2022 that it can target returning regularly to the front.
“Ferrari’s Gestione Sportiva is going through a difficult period that starts far back,” he said.
“We have not won a constructors’ world championship since 2008 nor a drivers’ since 2007.
“There has been Red Bull’s winning cycle thanks to aerodynamic capacity and then Mercedes for their great ability in hybrid engine technologies.
“This year we are not competitive thanks to project errors. We have had a number of structural weaknesses that have existed for some time in aerodynamics and in the dynamics of the vehicle. We have also lost out in engine power.
“The reality is that our car is not competitive. You saw it on the track and you will see it again. Today we are laying the foundations for being competitive and returning to winning when the rules change in 2022. I am convinced of this.”
Mr. Elkann suggests that the chassis freeze, which prevents teams making major changes to their cars over the next 2 yrs, is a major factor in why it cannot recover faster.
Asked how much it penalises Ferrari, he said: “A lot, given that we have started off poorly.
“We must be realistic and aware of the structural weaknesses with which we have been living for a decade, and which the transition to hybrid has underlined.
“We have given the okay to the new rules that will start from 2022, because we believe it is right that there is greater competitiveness within F1.
“We do not see the limitation of budget caps as a constraint on our ability to win. We take it as a challenge. Our engineers, our mechanics and our drivers will find strength and creativity within those bonds to bring Ferrari back up. Personally I have never seen in the last 10 years such a cohesive and strong spirit.“
While Mr. Elkann’s view on how long it will take to recover may not be what Ferrari fans want to hear, he says it is important the team is transparent about its situation.
“The fans are suffering as much as we are, but we know they are close to us,” he said. “This is why it is important to be clear and honest with them. A long path awaits us, there is no quick fix.
“When Todt opened that historic winning cycle in 2000, we came from a fast that had lasted for over 20 yrs from 1979. It took time from him landing in Maranello in 1993 to Ferrari’s return to success.
“The important thing then is to work on the track and off the track, in a cohesive way, building the Ferrari we want to step-by-step.”
Mr. Elkann emphasised that he has complete faith in team principal Mattia Binotto, despite the early season struggles.
“Total trust,” he said. “Also because Mattia Binotto, who has taken the helm of the Scuderia for a year, has all the skills and characteristics to start a new winning cycle. He was in Ferrari with Todt and Schumi. He knows how to win and from next year he will work with two drivers who are young and ambitious like us.”
Our overall technical outlook is Bullish in here, as all Key indicators are Very Bullish.
Ferrari finished at 179.93, +0.74 Monday in NY, just shy of its intraday all time highs at 183.50 marked on 22 July 2020.
The Maranello Outfit’s shares were raised to Buy from Hold at HSBC.
Ferrari will continue to create value in the long term. Ferrari is a quality 1st long term luxury products investment, and I have called it at it at 200+/share long term, adjusting it to 200/share short term (after the virus) and siding with BAML to 230 long term for now. The stock is now considered defensive in the sector.
Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!