Ferrari conceded the Formula 1 title to Mercedes with little more than a whimper, it must be said.
Looking back at what was a tight contest for much of the season, the Italians’ abrupt capitulation can only be described as a massive disappointment.
Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen appeared capable of forcing Mercedes to at least break a sweat on their way to a fourth straight world constructors’ championship.
But Ferrari blew the chance to crack their dominance of the competition at the United States Grand Prix last month, slipping to an unassailable deficit of 147 points.
The colossal gap between first and second, which might even increase by the end of the final two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, gives the Scuderia much to consider ahead of next season.
Reflecting on a campaign of two contrasting periods, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne seems to be looking forward to a fresh start.
"I think we have learned a lot, and it's a painful way of learning it. The second half revealed some structural weaknesses in the manner in which we are managing the business, which are going to get rectified and hopefully in 2018 will be a much better season," he said in an investors' call, per ESPN.
"I remind everybody who asks me this question, and I am probably the most critical in the way in which we manage our F1 activities, but if I had asked anybody at this time last year as to how well we would have done in 2017 I couldn't have got a buyer for the idea that we would be that far advanced in the first half of the season.
"So, we have done well given our starting point, [but] we were unable to finish the task. It's a 2018 objective now. We regret not having done better, but the car is there – it's in my view the best car on the track today.”
HOW DID IT GO SO WRONG FOR FERRARI?
However, regarding the particular reasons behind their failings, Marchionne made no effort to exclude Vettel and Raikkonen from the blame.
"I don't believe in bad luck.
"Ultimately it's a reflection on the way in which we manage the businesses. It was a combination, especially in the second half of the season, between technical issues and driver error – or driver misjudgement.”
It’s a fair assessment given their stunning run of misfortune between the 14th and 16th events on the calendar.
Vettel and Raikkonen were both forced to retire from the Singapore Grand Prix due to a crash on the first turn before engine problems in Malaysia and Japan all but confirmed their grim fate.
Ferrari fan or not, one has to feel a shred of sympathy for The Prancing Horse.
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