Ferrari's 2017 prospects


Will Ferrari bounce back in 2017? 

Where it’s been

Last year was a worrying one for the Scuderia. Fresh off the back of the promise of 2015, it fell backwards, was leapfrogged by Red Bull, failed to win a single race, parted company with one of the most highly regarded technical directors, made a series of strategic race blunders and had its team principal say things that caused simmering resentment from its star driver Sebastian Vettel.

Where it’s going

Sergio Marchionne has chosen not to go on a recruitment spending spree to replace James Allison preferring instead to steady the ship by showing faith in those already there. Martino Binotto thus oversees the technical side of things, while Rory Byrne has been brought out of semi-retirement (again) to lend a hand with the SF70H’s concept.

There are intriguing stories about the 2017 Ferrari power plant and the new piston technology within it. Visually, the car features the long sharkfin seen on all but the Mercedes so far, and also the T-wing ahead of the rear wing. Mercedes tested a similar concept at Silverstone during its filming day yesterday.

The team stands poised at a crossroads. For all its problems, this is never an entity to be underestimated. Is it about to bounce back in the strongest way imaginable? Or was 2016 just the beginning of a steady slide into the morass, similar to that seen in the early ‘90s?

These are questions that must be playing on Vettel’s mind too as he ponders his long-term future. Kimi Raikkonen remains, a great barometer for Vettel’s form but like the former striker who has been moved back to midfield, he is there in support as things stand.

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