Formula 1: The Wounded Tifosi Heart

Duncan ScottAnalyst IJanuary 30, 2010

Imagine you are a long-time Ferrari fan.

Maybe you don't have to imagine. Perhaps you were a supporter, a Tifosi, back when Williams, McLaren, and Benetton had a grip on F1 success and Ferrari were a sluggish red splodge making up the numbers on the grid.

When Michael Schumacher joined the team in 1996, it may have been the happiest day of your life. He was a double world champion, and quite obviously the outstanding F1 driver of his generation.

There was new hope in the Tifosi heart.

Following Schumacher to the Italian stable came Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn; the recipe that had cooked up two world championships for Benetton was complete again.

Suer enough, the dream team delivered success.

Glory, glory, hallelujah. The world's F1 circuits were ablaze with scarlet as the dream team established its ascendancy. Race victories and championships fell to Ferrari, and even rule changes could not stop Michael Schumacher winning.

But that was yesterday, and we all know that yesterday is gone.

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How can the true Tifosi feel today, when the Ferrari team is run by people who thought the injured Massa could be replaced by a chimpanzee? When Ferrari's greatest hero has signed with another team?

There is a dilemma for the Schumacher/Ferrari fan; who does he scream for when Michael and Fernando are neck-and-neck? How does he feel when Brawn and Schumacher are spraying champagne on the podium, but they're not wearing red?

I feel for the Tifosi, honestly.

Meanwhile, over at McLaren, we've got two British world champions. We're feeling quite good, not that I'm in any way smug.

Go get 'em Lewis, grind their bones.