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Ferrari

Salo exclusive: Ferrari are not going to win titles this way

In the first months of the 2022 F1 season, it seemed to be the year of Charles Leclerc and Ferrari. In a few months, the legendary Italian team lost everything. Therefore, its former F1 driver Mika Salo is now critical.

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Mika Salo is a well-known name in the Formula 1 world. He participated in 111 Grand Prix weekends, but we have also seen him regularly in the paddock, as the Finn is part of the FIA stewards' panel at various F1 races.

RacingNews365.com spoke extensively and exclusively with Salo, who made his debut in F1 in 1994 with the Tyrrell team, where he was a teammate to Jos Verstappen.

He would eventually end up at Scuderia Ferrari, as a replacement for the injured Michael Schumacher in 1999, coming very close to a race victory in Austria, but he had to let through teammate and leader Eddie Irvine. In the end, Irvine was three points short of denying Mika Hakkinen the world title.

Ferrari has been waiting for a new World Drivers' title for 15 years. It was in 2007 when Kimi Raikkonen took the championship in Brazil in the final race.

Since then, Ferrari had to watch as competitors such as Mercedes and Red Bull kept taking the prizes. This season has looked particularly good for the Scuderia for the first time in years, but once again they may need a miracle to take the title.

Salo: The Ferrari is fast, but something always goes wrong

"The Ferrari is certainly very fast, but something always goes wrong. I don't know what it is," Salo said critically.

"Sometimes the drivers make mistakes, sometimes the team again. You don't win world titles in this way.

"When the season started, Ferrari were very strong and [Max] Verstappen and Red Bull had back luck and reliability problems. It looked like it was going to be an easy title for Ferrari and [Charles] Leclerc.

"But Red Bull had completely turned this around. Max is very, very strong."

At Ferrari, after a flying start in 2017 and 2018, things also went wrong due to a combination of driver mistakes (from Sebastian Vettel), failing tactics and reliability problems. This season, too, things are going wrong again in those areas.

So, do Ferrari have structural problems in these areas?

"It's hard to say what causes these problems, I'm too much of an outsider for that," Salo continued.

"But I do believe that something goes wrong every time. It's a very difficult situation, but I am sure they will thoroughly investigate, analyse and solve this, because that's how they just give away the title."

Ferrari does not deserve to win F1 title, according to Salo

According to Salo, the pressure from the Italian media and the Tifosi should not be a reason for the series of mistakes and disappointments. He does not believe that a reorganisation is necessary and compliments team boss Mattia Binotto.

"There is certainly a lot of pressure on the team, but that applies to any team," explained Salo.

"The management is always under pressure to perform, and of course in Italy they have strong opinions and Ferrari has also changed the team management several times.

"I think Mattia did a really good job of bringing Ferrari back to the top. It is just small things they need to fix.

"They're doing great on Saturdays, but on Sunday. It seems like the team meeting is already going wrong before the race, that they're looking at how to lose a race instead of winning."

The F1 season will have nine races after the summer break. Leclerc has to make up 80 points on Verstappen, and Ferrari almost 100 to Red Bull.

Salo believes this is too much to overhaul and that the title will not return to Italy this year.

"The way it is at Ferrari, I don't think they deserve the title at all, he added.

"It would be nice if they suddenly solved all [their] problems after the summer break, because we all want to see exciting races and an exciting title fight, and also with Mercedes there [so] they also fight for the victories."

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