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Why Ferrari no longer raises passions as it always did. (And it’s not Sainz’s fault)

The mythical Italian team seems to have lost much of that magic that always made it the most charismatic team in Formula 1. The recent s

Why Ferrari no longer raises passions as it always did. (And it’s not Sainz’s fault)


The mythical Italian team seems to have lost much of that magic that always made it the most charismatic team in Formula 1. The recent study carried out by the championship organizers on the interests and references of the fans has provided several very interesting lessons that they reflect the good health that this sport currently enjoys after several years of slow and continuous decline. However, a piece of information that has attracted special attention: Ferrari is no longer the team with the most followers in Formula 1.

The mythical Italian team has reigned alone as the most idolized in the world since there are studies that measure the pulse of the fans. But now the ‘Scuderia’ is the third team in followers behind Red Bull and Mercedes, and with McLaren on their heels. At first glance, it can be thought that the data comes from a mere correlation of the sporting success of the teams and, although this factor undoubtedly has its weight, there is much more. Ferrari has won by a landslide in following the fans so much when it swept Michael Schumacher like when you didn’t eat a donut with Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger three decades ago, or with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen these last few years.

The perfect Storm

At the communication level in the world of sports, the landscape has changed dramatically in the last three years. Sports such as soccer have suffered more than Formula 1. The change in tastes of young people is being the result of the appearance of multiple forms of free digital entertainment. It has been in this period when the perception of Ferrari has fallen very significantly and, as in any perfect storm, a disaster of this magnitude (in terms of market value) does not obey a single cause.

It must be assumed that the study carried out in collaboration with the prestigious consulting firm Nielsen it offers some biased data, as it suffers from the perennial problem of demoscopy when you are looking for a certain result. When the questions, the socio-demographic groups you are addressing, the data you want to obtain, etc. They start from concrete premises, the answers inevitably paint only part of the scene. Real image but certainly incomplete as the study is very remote controlled to know the reactions of young and female audiences.

Nothing to object to the fact that the championship promoter always has between eyebrows and eyebrows to attract the female and young public. It is something key to the success of any sport, but you have to remember that Formula 1 was always a very adult sport. The hitch of the youngest fan is progressive and begins to become noticeable from the age group between 35-45 years. It was always like this and that’s where Bernie Ecclestone’s famous comment came from: “I care little about the young, because young people don’t buy Rolex. As long as I keep the adults who have the purchasing power to buy them happy, everything is fine. ”

Luca de Montezemolo, (in the photo with the late Emilio Botín) is an example of what the absence of its charismatic leader can affect a company.

Maranello, we have a problem

If we go to the bottom of his speech, the form may fail him but deep down Bernie Ecclestone is quite accurate. The same can happen with Ferrari. If the question is reformulated to the age group between 45-65 years (the most numerous in terms of followers) when the lifelong fan thinks the data would undoubtedly be less devastating. But this does not mean that the study is poorly done or that Ferrari, discounting the sociodemographic profile factors, stop having a perception problem. It has it and very serious. Let’s take a look at some possible causes.

It is possible that the origin of the fall began as a result of the departure of Luca di Montezemolo from the presidency. Regardless of his impressive charisma and being the most glamorous guy from a country full of glamorous people like Italy, the ‘Avvocato’ is also one of the great world geniuses in giving value to a brand. His sporadic appearances had a certain rock star aura, in striking contrast to those of Benedetto Vigna, who could easily pass as Mota del Cuervo’s property registrar.

And it is that without the umbrella of a charismatic leader as was the case of Montezemolo, that fine rain makes Ferrari is ceasing to be that icon of always for young and old. The kids put on Instagram or exchange tik-toks of Gordon Murray’s T50, Aston Martin Valkyrie, even the McLaren Long tail, but they rarely remember Ferrari because even if they continue to make wonderful cars, they are already too much within the predictable. The hallucination of yesteryear dissipated.

From the Montezemolo exit, Maranello has started to replicate the Porsche model of sustained growth in the stock market based on placing more and more cars and more models on the market. Although technologically and dynamically tremendous machines continue to come out of the German brand, those from Stuttgart have long since disappeared from the imaginary of the dreaming ‘petrolheads’. And this is exactly what is beginning to happen at Ferrari, with the inevitable contagion of that philosophy to the rest of the company’s activity.

Benedetto Vigna and Mattia Binotto may be great managers, but they are not knowing how to give the Ferrari brand magic

Predictable and boring

See for example the clothing of pilots and equipment, which is no longer the most desired by fans. The once iconic clothing today looks too corporate, without any grace and anchored in the same scheme for years. The same is true of the team’s marketing initiatives, some of the most bland and predictable of all the teams. And this is not the fault of the sponsors, but rather of the stagnation of a company that continues to think that this ‘less is more’ that could make sense ten years ago, people like that of Red Bull or McLaren demonstrate how essential it is to refresh your speech.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc They won’t be the most charismatic and charismatic riders in the paddock, but they come off unfairly badly off in the study of the perception of young fans. Compare the difference in attractiveness of Sainz himself in Mclaren last year to Carlos today, who must see with some resentment as his former partner Lando norris it does not stop growing in the preferences of young men and, of course and above all, young women. The spontaneity and retreat (do not doubt that he has it) of the Madrilenian is evident that today he is quite ‘capped’ by Ferrari.

You can’t blame the drivers when someone at McLaren who knows what the party is about as Zak Brown It enhances the profile of its own, while at Ferrari it goes in the opposite direction, making its drivers inaccessible, cutting their wings on their social networks and publicly projecting them as ‘cold and boring types’ as the song of the musical group Maná said. So do not be surprised that Ferrari stops raising passions as before.