Ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Webber is unsure that Ferrari has the right people to help Sebastian Vettel revive its fortunes and end the team’s drivers’ title drought.
Ferrari has not won a drivers’ championship since Kimi Raikkonen’s success in 2007, with its last constructors’ crown coming in 2008.
Since then, there have been a number of near-misses, and hopes were high for 2016 as Ferrari looked to cut the gap to Mercedes at the front of the pack.
However, a winless first half of the year has resulted in Ferrari slipping behind Red Bull in the teams’ pecking order, making a breakthrough seem as far away as ever.
Speaking to Auto Bild in Germany, Webber said that Ferrari’s difficulties must be frustrating for Vettel and Raikkonen despite their public comments downplaying the problems.
“Sebastian and Kimi are doing what they can. They’re protecting the team a lot in the media, but inside they’ll know that the team needs to get better,” Webber said.
“Every week they not been able to make the most of their potential with penalties or strategy mistakes, it’s frustrating for the drivers.”
Webber said there was “no doubt” Vettel could lead Ferrari to success, before adding: “But he needs the right people and I’m not sure if they have them at the moment.
“Ferrari is under constant media pressure, always needing to deliver.
“You can see with Sebastian that it can be frustrating, but his experience will help him.”
Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.
The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).
It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).
Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.
The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.
“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”
“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”