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What’s going wrong at Ferrari and could a raid for Lewis Hamilton fix them?

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whats going wrong at ferrari and could a raid for lewis hamilton fix them

It says everything about Ferrari’s current demise that their awful start to the season that sees them fifth in the constructors’ championship may even be flattering them.

With two races gone in the world championship the Maranello outfit are in crisis after both cars collided with each other at Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix that put them both out of the race within the first five laps.

Indeed, if it were not for an opportunistic podium taken by Charles Leclerc at the season opening Austrian Grand Prix, they could be much lower down in the standings.

Ferrari's Styrian Grand Prix was effectively over after the opening lap after Charles Leclerc (left) collided with Sebastian Vettel (right) severely damaging both cars

Ferrari's Styrian Grand Prix was effectively over after the opening lap after Charles Leclerc (left) collided with Sebastian Vettel (right) severely damaging both cars

Ferrari’s Styrian Grand Prix was effectively over after the opening lap after Charles Leclerc (left) collided with Sebastian Vettel (right) severely damaging both cars 

For a team with the resources of Ferrari, which boasts such prestige and excellence in its history, anything less than battling for the world championship is nothing short of a disaster.

Yet the start of the 2020 season sees them not just well off the pace of Mercedes in the drivers’ and constructors’ championship, but also showing the pace of a mid-field team.

So what is going wrong at the Italian outfit and how can they fix it?

The 2020 car is not good enough

While pre-season testing suggested that Ferrari were on the backfoot compared to their rivals Mercedes and Red Bull, there was little to suggest that the true pace of the new SF1000 car would see the team floundering in the midfield for the first two races at the Red Bull Ring.

Indeed there was a huge shock when four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel failed to even make the top 10 for the pole position shootout during the opening race of the season for the Austrian Grand Prix – his team-mate Leclerc only just scraping inside the top 10 at the German’s expense.

Early indications suggest that Ferrari’s achilles heel for the season could be related to their engines, rather than the chassis design.

Ferrari's 2020 challenger the SF1000 has been uncompetitive despite a fortunate podium

Ferrari's 2020 challenger the SF1000 has been uncompetitive despite a fortunate podium

Ferrari’s 2020 challenger the SF1000 has been uncompetitive despite a fortunate podium 

Team principal Mattia Binotto has admitted there is no quick fix to get them back to the front

Team principal Mattia Binotto has admitted there is no quick fix to get them back to the front

Team principal Mattia Binotto has admitted there is no quick fix to get them back to the front

FERRARI DISASTERS 

2014: Despite an elite pair of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, the car designed for the new turbo hybrid era was a disaster as the team failed to win a race for the first time since 1993.

2009: Another rule revamp and champions Ferrari were caught napping once again to finish fourth in the championship. Raikkonen wins one race in Belgium.

2005: As reigning champions, just one win comes from Michael Schumacher at the infamous six-car race in the USA. New tyre rules that had to last a race distance exploited their weakness.

1992: The inexperienced Jean Alesi was paired with an ill fitting Ivan Capelli. Combined with a poor car it resulted in a terrible campaign with just two podiums and 21 points.

1980: World champion Jody Scheckter and the legendary Gilles Villeneuve were the drivers but an out-of-date car meant they picked up just eight points and tenth in the constructors’ championship.

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During pre-season they were involved in an opaque agreement with the FIA over the legality of their engines, which have curiously gone from being the strongest on the grid during 2019 to now being one of the weakest in the sport.

This notion of poor engine performance is backed up by two other Ferrari powered teams on the grid, Alfa Romeo and Haas, having also endured poor starts to the season with their customer supply of engines from Maranello. 

Ferrari had shut down their factory during lockdown, meaning they have not developed their engine since March when the season was due to start in Australia.

It’s an area where rivals Mercedes and Red Bull found gains, and has only increased the competitive gap. With an engine freeze also in place for the season, development is now impossible.

Upgrades to other areas of the car were added for the Styrian Grand Prix, but it is highly unlikely that is going to make them serious challengers for the world championship. Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto claimed there were no ‘silver bullets’ to immediately fix their current demise.

The first lap crash between their drivers on Sunday meant crucial track time to test these updates properly were lost

If the update fails completely though then Ferrari could be facing one of their worst seasons in recent times – perhaps comparable with their 2014 campaign where they finished a distant fourth with just one podium all year.

Ferrari could be set for one of their worst recent campaigns, rivalling that of the 2014 season when they collected just one podium finish through Fernando Alonso (above)

Ferrari could be set for one of their worst recent campaigns, rivalling that of the 2014 season when they collected just one podium finish through Fernando Alonso (above)

Ferrari could be set for one of their worst recent campaigns, rivalling that of the 2014 season when they collected just one podium finish through Fernando Alonso (above)

Ferrari mechanics stand around Vettel's car in Austria, with the team's poor performance so far said to be down to the engine's lack of power on the straights

Ferrari mechanics stand around Vettel's car in Austria, with the team's poor performance so far said to be down to the engine's lack of power on the straights

Ferrari mechanics stand around Vettel’s car in Austria, with the team’s poor performance so far said to be down to the engine’s lack of power on the straights

The drivers are not good enough

On paper this is a very good pairing. Sebastian Vettel’s pedigree as a top class Formula One driver are evidenced by being a four-time world champion.

Charles Leclerc meanwhile is only just starting his third season in the sport and already has a couple of impressive victories with Ferrari at just 22-years-old. His best is yet to come.

Both though are already being hit with fierce criticism. Vettel, 33, is leaving the team at the end of the season after Ferrari decided against extending his contract.

The Ferrari pair of rising star Charles Leclerc (left) and veteran Sebastian Vettel appears strong

The Ferrari pair of rising star Charles Leclerc (left) and veteran Sebastian Vettel appears strong

The Ferrari pair of rising star Charles Leclerc (left) and veteran Sebastian Vettel appears strong

But Vettel has struggled to regain his best form in his last couple of seasons at Ferrari

But Vettel has struggled to regain his best form in his last couple of seasons at Ferrari

But Vettel has struggled to regain his best form in his last couple of seasons at Ferrari

Ferrari have decided against retaining the four-time world champion beyond the 2020 season

Ferrari have decided against retaining the four-time world champion beyond the 2020 season

Ferrari have decided against retaining the four-time world champion beyond the 2020 season

It should be a surprising decision but sadly it isn’t. Vettel has been far from his best for two seasons now during which time his pace has dropped off and he has developed a reputation for making clumsy errors and spins that would be more associated with a rookie.

From the outside at least, a once bubbly looking figure in the paddock now cuts a frustrated confidence shot driver approaching the final few years of his career, and it’s hard to see how he can turn that around this term given the turmoil surrounding him at Ferrari.

More is expected from Leclerc, who admittedly was sensational to wrestle the car to second place in the season opener while Vettel languished tenth. But he is failing to learn from over-exuberance that blights many F1 drivers in their early years.

His awful mistake to crash clumsily into Vettel on the opening lap on Sunday was totally avoidable and it cost his team dearly in points as well as testing of updates they had brought to the car. His season was littered with them last year too, and the ‘rookie’ excuses will start to wear thin if he cannot cut them out.

Kimi Raikkonen looks on as Leclerc (right) clumsily crashes into Vettel at the Styrian Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen looks on as Leclerc (right) clumsily crashes into Vettel at the Styrian Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen looks on as Leclerc (right) clumsily crashes into Vettel at the Styrian Grand Prix

Leclerc has plenty of promise but is still making many high profile errors in his third F1 season

Leclerc has plenty of promise but is still making many high profile errors in his third F1 season

Leclerc has plenty of promise but is still making many high profile errors in his third F1 season

So will Ferrari turn to Lewis Hamilton?

For 2021, the answer is no. Even if Leclerc endures a bad season, his potential is clear and having signed a long term deal in the winter he will not be dropped ahead of next term.

His team-mate for the campaign has also been confirmed, with Carlos Sainz moving over from McLaren to replace the outgoing Vettel.

The Spaniard’s contract though is not known, and it could very easily be based around a one-year deal.

That leaves 2022 as a possibility for Hamilton to perhaps end his career at Ferrari. It’s a move he will certainly consider if it was put to him.

World champion Lewis Hamilton has never ruled out a Ferrari move and the Maranello outfit have a strong history in managing to recruit the best drivers on the grid

World champion Lewis Hamilton has never ruled out a Ferrari move and the Maranello outfit have a strong history in managing to recruit the best drivers on the grid

World champion Lewis Hamilton has never ruled out a Ferrari move and the Maranello outfit have a strong history in managing to recruit the best drivers on the grid

Hamilton is approaching the latter years of his career and could fancy one last challenge

Hamilton is approaching the latter years of his career and could fancy one last challenge

Hamilton is approaching the latter years of his career and could fancy one last challenge

Trying to convince Leclerc it will be a good idea will be difficult, and Ferrari tend to favour a structure where there is a No 1 and No 2 driver.

However, the team are desperate to end their long wait for a title – having not won the drivers’ championship since 2007 and the constructors’ since 2008. There is plenty wrong with Ferrari in terms of the politics behind the team’s running and it will take more than just one man to make things right.

But throughout their history they have consistently always targeted getting the best drivers available. Recently that includes Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher. Hamilton certainly fits that mould and regardless of the competitiveness of the car he could drive, he would be sure to get the very best out of it.

The team are without a drivers' world championship stretching back to 2007, when Kimi Raikkonen (centre) took the crown for the team

The team are without a drivers' world championship stretching back to 2007, when Kimi Raikkonen (centre) took the crown for the team

The team are without a drivers’ world championship stretching back to 2007, when Kimi Raikkonen (centre) took the crown for the team

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Real Betis vs Real Madrid LIVE SCORE: Ramos nets late from the spot for Los Blancos – stream, TV, La Liga latest updates

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real betis vs real madrid live score ramos nets late from the spot for los blancos stream tv la liga latest updates
OFF PLATFORM BETIS

BETIS 2-2 REAL MADRID

52, Benzema… RATTLES THE BAR!

It’s still shaking I thinking.

Brilliant touch to bring down a cross from the left and he lashed his shot goalwards from 12 yards.

It stayed hit, and cannoned straight off the underside of the bar, inches away from going over the line.

Replays show he might have been a tad offside.

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Sportsmail take a look at the times Lewis Hamilton and F1 authorities have come to blows

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sportsmail take a look at the times lewis hamilton and f1 authorities have come to blows

Lewis Hamilton has found himself embroiled in yet another tussle with the F1 authorities after he threatened to break the sport’s anti-politics rule.

The six-time world champion, who leads this year’s championship by 55 points, wore a T-shirt carrying the slogan, ‘Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor‘, on the podium at Mugello a fortnight ago — a reference to the death of a black medical worker who was shot multiple times during a botched drugs raid in Louisville, Kentucky, back in March.

After looking into the apparent breach of the FIA’s non-political regulations, the sport’s governing body will ‘clarify’ what can be worn ahead of Sunday’s race, where the Briton can match Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Formula One victories. 

Lewis Hamilton has found himself embroiled in yet another tussle with the F1 authorities

Lewis Hamilton has found himself embroiled in yet another tussle with the F1 authorities

Lewis Hamilton has found himself embroiled in yet another tussle with the F1 authorities

Lewis Hamilton wore a shirt at the Tuscan Grand Prix referencing the death of Breonna Taylor

Lewis Hamilton wore a shirt at the Tuscan Grand Prix referencing the death of Breonna Taylor

Lewis Hamilton wore a shirt at the Tuscan Grand Prix referencing the death of Breonna Taylor 

This is not the first time Hamilton has locked horns with the FIA during his illustrious F1 career, after numerous disagreements and accusations have created a frosty relationship over the years.

Here, Sportsmail take a look at the times Hamilton and the F1 authorities have come to blows.

Hamilton will not be stopped in his Black Lives Matter protesting

The Brit has been the leading figure for the sport in their campaigning and support towards anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

He was instrumental in getting drivers to take a knee before each race and has worn several different items of clothing and had his race gear branded with slogans and logos in support of ending racial inequality. 

Recently, he wore a t-shirt that read ‘Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor’ – which has triggered the FIA to look into their anti-politics regulations and Sportsmail expect Hamilton will be told he cannot wear crusading messages whilst on the podium, but may be able to when taking a knee.  

Hamilton remained defiant that he will continue to protest in response to the FIA, as he said: ‘Lots of rules have been written for me over the years but that hasn’t stopped me.’

After saying that he has not spoken to the FIA directly, he added: ‘I usually follow my heart and do what is right and I felt that was me following my heart.

‘I did something that has never really happened in Formula One before, and obviously they will stop it from happening again. People say sport is not a place for politics, but it is about human rights issues, and in my mind that is something we should be pushing towards.’

Hamilton is to be told he cannot wear crusading messages whilst on the podium by the FIA

Hamilton is to be told he cannot wear crusading messages whilst on the podium by the FIA

Hamilton is to be told he cannot wear crusading messages whilst on the podium by the FIA

Accusing the FIA of making rules to ensure Mercedes lose

After the FIA made rule changes during the current 2020 season to qualifying rounds, Hamilton made his thoughts known.

The sport’s authorities made the decision to ban certain engine modes during the qualifying rounds that had been in place since 2014. The ‘party mode’ would make extra engine revs available, thereby allowing for maximum deployment of energy during a qualifying lap.

Whilst the Brit said that he was not surprised that the FIA made the decision he did accuse the motive behind it being in order to slow Mercedes down. 

He unleashed an attack on the body, claiming that the rule change will not have the desired effect on the Mercedes team and that they will continue to win races. His team-mate Valtteri Bottas took a calmer approach towards the subject, as the Finnish driver said the team aren’t panicking and that the rules are the same for everyone.

In Hamilton’s defence, rule changes midway through a season are never met with great big smiles from the drivers on the grid, especially the ones who are running away with the championship under the current guidelines.

Hamilton accused the FIA of trying to slow Mercedes down with new mid-season rule changes

Hamilton accused the FIA of trying to slow Mercedes down with new mid-season rule changes

Hamilton accused the FIA of trying to slow Mercedes down with new mid-season rule changes

Demanding the FIA find a different interviewer 

Hamilton has always been an outspoken figure; one to never mince his words. However, on one occasion he flat out refused to take an interview after discovering that plans were in place for it to be conducted by his former Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

The pair had a rather turbulent relationship during their time at Mercedes together, quite clearly not getting along well despite being very close during their childhood karting days.

Battling it out for three consecutive championships took a toll on their friendship and saw the German retire from the sport five days after he won his maiden world championship.

Clearly by 2018, the two still hadn’t patched things up as Rosberg began his broadcasting career with German network RTL and Sky Sports.

Rosberg was due to conduct the post-race interviews in Hockenheim, after doing so previously in his home town of Monte Carlo, only for the broadcasters to pull the plug before the Grand Prix weekend. 

And Bild claimed the broadcasters axed Rosberg because Hamilton went to the FIA claiming he did not want to be interviewed by his former team-mate and foe.

Hamilton ordered the FIA to replace his former team-mate Nico Rosberg as an interviewer

Hamilton ordered the FIA to replace his former team-mate Nico Rosberg as an interviewer

Hamilton ordered the FIA to replace his former team-mate Nico Rosberg as an interviewer

‘Silenced’ for supporting Colin Kaepernick

Hamilton said that he regretted not taking more of a stand in 2016 when he wanted to show support for NFL player Colin Kaepernick – who kneeled during the American anthem in an anti-racism protest.

The Mercedes driver praised Kaepernick for his gesture but revealed he was ‘silenced’ after he made plans to show his support.

‘I thought that (taking a knee) was a very powerful statement,’ said Hamilton. 

‘Then he lost his job and he was a great athlete. I spoke to him a couple of years ago shortly after that for the US GP. I had a helmet made in red for his top with his number on but back then I was kind of silenced. 

‘I was told to back down and “Don’t support it,” which I regret. So it is important for me that during this time I did my part.’

According to reports, Hamilton was warned by a high-ranking official of the potential consequences for wearing the helmet. 

Hamilton said he was 'silenced' by officials in 2016 for supporting Colin Kaepernick (centre)

Hamilton said he was 'silenced' by officials in 2016 for supporting Colin Kaepernick (centre)

Hamilton said he was ‘silenced’ by officials in 2016 for supporting Colin Kaepernick (centre)

Claiming GPDA ‘lack leadership’ in the fight against racism

As Formula One began to catch up with the rest of sport in their support for the anti-racism campaigning during 2020, the idea to bring drivers together to take a knee before the race was frankly a mess for the first couple weeks.

An ensemble made from all the drivers on the grid performed a gesture of unity and they stood together, with some taking a knee and some remaining standing. 

However, in the first couple weeks, not all of the drivers made it to the group in time and the constant split between kneeling and standing has caused embarrassment for the F1 bosses.

After the Hungarian Grand Prix, Hamilton singled out the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers’ Association) director Romain Grosjean, who races for Haas, for failing to convince the grid to be united. 

‘There is definitely not enough support for it,’ said Hamilton. ‘It is like it has gone off the agenda. It is lacking leadership.

Hamilton also took aim at GPDA director Romain Grosjean for not showing enough support

Hamilton also took aim at GPDA director Romain Grosjean for not showing enough support

Hamilton also took aim at GPDA director Romain Grosjean for not showing enough support

‘From a drivers’ point of view, many seem to be of the opinion they’ve done it once and they’re not going to do it again.

‘We are all members of the GPDA and the GPDA is run by three people – two who are really supportive, and one who tends to think it is not important to continue with.

The other two members of the association are Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who has been taking a knee, and chairman Alex Wurz, a former F1 driver. 

Aiming at Grosjean, Hamilton added: ‘I don’t think it’s being taken seriously. There are perhaps people who have not grown up around racism so don’t understand it and because of that it doesn’t affect them.

‘I have heard people say “it doesn’t do anything for me so why should I do it?” But it’s not about me and you, it’s about this fight for the people out there who are experiencing discrimination.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Watch Sergio Ramos’ incredible miss as Real Madrid skipper fires wide from six yards against Real Betis

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watch sergio ramos incredible miss as real madrid skipper fires wide from six yards against real betis

SERGIO RAMOS was left to rue an incredible miss in Real Madrid’s LaLiga clash against Real Betis.

The veteran captain, 34, fired wide from just SIX yards out to blow the chance to make it 2-0 to Los Blancos.

Sergio Ramos missed a point blank effort against Real Betis

1

Sergio Ramos missed a point blank effort against Real BetisCredit: Reuters

Federico Valverde had put Real Madrid ahead after just 14 minutes.

And Zinedine Zidane couldn’t believe it when Ramos fluffed his lines from so close, despite being a penalty expert for Real.

Betis then levelled the scores in the 35th minute through Aissa Mandi.

And things got even better for the hosts moments later when William Carvalho put them 2-1 up.

However, Real found a way back in when Emerson turned the ball into his own net minutes into the second half.

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Eden Hazard steps up training after angering Real Madrid by returning from summer break overweight

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