Throughout the 2019 Formula One World Championship season, Mercedes has dominated almost every weekend and (as of the end of the Canadian GP) has not lost a single race. Ferrari, who has historically been the direct competitor to Mercedes in the Hybrid era, was speculated to maintain their competitive status, but has ultimately failed to live up to expectations.
At the time of writing, Mercedes has a total of 338 points in the Constructor's championship, more than one and a half times as much as Ferrari. Along with this, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has only 11 points less in the Driver's Championship than Scuderia Ferrari has in the Constructor's. This is all very bad news for Ferrari, which leads many to ask: How did it come to this? Well, to answer that question, here are 10 reasons why Ferrari can't compete with Mercedes in this year's F1 season.
Ferrari seems to be stumbling in places where they really shouldn't, including their communication between team members. An example of this can be seen in the most recent Canadian Grand Prix where Ferrari apparently forgot to tell Charles Leclerc, the second Ferrari driver, about his teammate Sebastian Vettel's 5-second time penalty.
Some argue that this was on purpose, to avoid Charles trying to gain some extra distance and overtake his team-mate due to the penalty, but, this seems unlikely since he was already pushing hard anyways. Mercedes, by contrast, does not have this issue. Every driver is filled in, the team know what they must do, they are highly coordinated, and even provided steady updates throughout the race.
A fast car and great set of drivers means nothing if you can't keep the car running throughout the race or qualifying. In Bahrain, Spain, and the most recent Austrian GP qualifying session Ferrari has struggled to get their car out of the garage, or to last for the full length of the race.
In Bahrain, Ferrari fans were heartbroken to see Leclerc's SF90 sputter around the last five laps due to a mechanical failure. A guaranteed first place became mere third as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas cruised by.
Since mid-2018, Sebastian Vettel, the senior Ferrari driver, has been taking his car out for pirouettes. During the 2018 season in Japan, China, Italy, The United States, and again in Bahrain this year (2019), Vettel was put under pressure and spun his car.
With all of this, Vettel continually makes rookie level mistakes leading him to receive damage and lose a few positions or just being retired from the Grand Prix all together. These actions lead many to think that Sebastian has already had his best days and simply cannot keep up with the likes of Hamilton.
The lower-than-average reliability and lack of communication can be chopped up into one big problem: Poor management within the team. In January of the current year, Ferrari replaced their old team principal, Maurizio Arrivabene, with Mattia Binotto.
The wisdom of this decision is in question, especially since the performance of the team as a whole has been so inadequate. Arrivabene, if he were still here, might be able to do something about Ferrari's situation.
During a typical F1 season, rules and regulations change slightly to give a better racing experience and limit abuse of loop-holes. Some teams adapt to these changes well, while others... not so much.
Ferrari has become one such team, where small changes in aerodynamic packages and power-units create the impression of backwards progress. On the other hand, Constructors like McLaren and Mercedes seem to be improving and getting higher and higher in the standings and qualifying results.
After the controversial 2019 Canadian Grand Prix, there are rumors continuing to circulate that the F.I.A. (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile), the organization that regulates F1, has a bias towards Mercedes and against Ferrari.
To Ferrari fans, the 5-second penalty in Canada is proof of this, although for Mercedes fans it was a justified ruling. The veracity of the claims are surely in question, but, nonetheless, it still leads one to think about the possibilities.
Though Ferrari seemed strong in pre-season testing, it could be because of Mercedes 'sand-bagging' to appear as an easier target. Even so, Ferrari manages to do well during Free Practice sessions, but fall apart when it matters.
This might be the case due to, as mentioned previously, Vettel's skittishness or overall mechanical insignificance in comparison to the W10. Whatever the cause is, Ferrari must find a way to do better on more occasions than Fridays and Saturday mornings.
Even though Scuderia Ferrari's fame began with F1, it's not the team with the highest budget or resources dedicated to the sport. That title instead lays with Mercedes. For the 2019 season, Ferrari's budget is around €430 million where Mercedes is about €460 million.
Although nearly €30 million may not seem like a great deal when contrasted with the total budget, it really does contribute a lot. The extra money can be used for a litany of different changes, including better R&D, which is exactly what Mercedes have done.
For lovers of the 'Prancing Horse,' it may be hard to admit, but it's the truth: The Mercedes W10 is simply a better F1 car (For now). Even on tracks where Ferrari should, theoretically, have the upper-hand in terms of speed and handling, Mercedes still manage to turn up and dust everyone.
The W10 is incredibly advanced. Both in a mechanical sense and technological sense, in fact, with its ludicrous hybrid V6 and outstanding suspension geometry system. As each race unfolds, the Mercedes seems to evolve and just get better and better, unlike Ferrari who (to the untrained eye) look like they're doing the opposite.
If anyone on this Earth is truly "blessed" beyond all doubt, it is Lewis Hamilton. The team he drives for is on top of their game and so is he. Hamilton has amassed a total of five world championships during his thirteen-year career with both McLaren and Mercedes. After the way the season has progressed so far, it's not far-fetched to think that a sixth one is in the near future.
Also, unlike Vettel, Lewis does not make constant, race-ruining, mistakes. He's very consistent and meticulous about his driving. Feeling out each corner and nursing a single set of tires for more than 3/4 of a race are only a fraction of what Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc are up against.