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Five theories to explain Ferrari's Melbourne slump

Five theories to explain Ferrari's Melbourne slump

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Five theories to explain Ferrari's Melbourne slump

Five theories to explain Ferrari's Melbourne slump

Elements of the Italian media are wondering if Ferrari's 2019 title hopes have collapsed after just a single race. The Maranello team dominated pre-season testing, but in Australia were outclassed by Mercedes and Red Bull-Honda as Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc finished fourth and fifth respectively.

The Italian press has reacted to the race with typical fire and fury.

"Even Alonso in 2012 did better than Vettel in 2019," wrote Il Giornale.

Corriere della Sera added: "Melbourne hides more serious ills. [Mattia] Binotto must make a diagnosis and then apply the therapy." {related[GPFans F1 Podcast #2 - Australian GP recap, your questions and Guess The Grid!][][37119]} There are five leading theories as to what went wrong.

First, Ferrari was conspicuously slow in the speed traps in Melbourne.

Jean Alesi, a former Ferrari driver, suggested to Canal Plus that after reliability concerns in testing, including exhaust failures, the team turned down the power in Melbourne.

That could account for a 20kph deficit in some speed traps.

Team principal Binotto said: "Of course we will analyse everything including the comparison with the cars of the other teams.

"But in general we lacked the balance, and this of course affects the speed at the exit of the corners."

And the third theory is that Ferrari's unique front wing concept worked perfectly on the super-smooth Barcelona track, but not on the bumps at Albert Park.

"Ferrari suddenly were using unusually steep wings," Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko noted, according to Auto Bild.

He said of the 2019 tyres: "They are so stiff that you can hardly get them to work on a track with little grip.

"We had the problem too, but once we got them to the right temperature, the performance gain is incredible."

The fourth theory is that Ferrari simply got the setup wrong in Melbourne.

"It's difficult to find the right setup for these new cars, and Ferrari definitely took a wrong turn but there is no fundamental problem," Mercedes' Toto Wolff is quoted by DPA news agency.

Vettel agrees: "We have all the ingredients for a strong car. And not every circuit is like Melbourne."

And the fifth theory is that Ferrari is lacking driver experience in 2019.

"The tactics used for Vettel showed that they did not understand how the medium Pirelli worked," Maurizio Voltini, writing for Autosprint, said.

"My conclusion is they lost their way during the weekend. I think they paid dearly for Kimi Raikkonen [and 2018 simulator drivers] Antonio Giovinazzi and Daniil Kvyat not being there."

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