Ferrari, No Brawn...What's the Deal?

Daniel ZylberkanCorrespondent IApril 17, 2009

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 17:  Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari drives during practice for the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit on April 17, 2009 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Scuderia Ferrari...there is no name more famous in the history of Grand Prix racing. They have won countless World Constructors Championships and their driver's have won many Driver's Championships.

Despite all of this, the Scuderia has never had a great track record when it comes to discipline within the team, and the reliabilty of their cars have always been suspect.

The only long period in the history of the Scuderia in which they had a very well disciplined team and incredibly reliable car was when Ross Brawn was in charge of the team.

During the Schumacher-Brawn era Ferrari was infamous for having the best over the wall pit crew in the entire Formula One. Also, I remember hearing somewhere that Schumacher's car only suffered one engine failure in six years, between the 2000 French Grand Prix and the 2006 race at Suzuka.

Since Ross Brawn has left the team, there has been disaster after disaster at the Scuderia. Both Massa and Raikkonen have suffered greatly with reliability issues, electrical, "hydraulic", or actual engine failures. It can be argued that 2007 season was so close was because of the spotty reliability of Raikkonen's F2007.

2008 was also another very spotty year for reliability, with Massa suffering an engine failure at the Hungaroring and one at the debut round at Albert Park. Massa could have won the championship easily if he hadn't suffered those key failures. The biggest blunder though was with pit stops.

Felipe Massa was in the lead at the Inaugural Singapore Grand Prix, when he came in to refuel his F2008. The Scuderia had been experimenting with a new electronic system to control the pit stop, as opposed to the regular lollipop we're all used to and has been the standard in F1 for decades.

The fueling rig was engaged and fueling, but, DISASTER!!...The electronic lollipop told Massa to engage first gear and take off from his pit stall. Massa accelerated off and he dragged his fueling hose down the pit lane. I think this blunder ultimately lost Massa the championship and gave it to Hamilton.

Then there was last week, with the torrential storm impending Ferrari gambled and brought in Raikkonen in and switched him to the full wet tires prematurely, I think Raikkonen could have made a podium considering the mayhem that occurred after the rains came.

This a symptom of what Ferrari has turned into since Ross Brawn, Nigel Stepney and Jean Todt have left. A constant mess where there is no discipline, pit-stops are unruly and not as effective as they once were.

Finally we come to 2009 and the biggest reliability issue the Scuderia has ever dealt with. KERS, according to the media both F60s aren’t equipped with the systems this weekend in Shanghai, but why? Maranello is claiming, guess what?

Reliability issues, if Brawn, Stepney, Todt and Schumacher were there and not the current group, the F60 would have its place at the fastest car in the grid not as a median car that has struggled so mightily that the Tifosi are at the edge of a precipice waiting to jump if there is another retirement Sunday in Shanghai.  

I believe they’ll be able to rebound but they will struggle, until they can bolt on a new diffuser and try to find some pace from that chassis.