Italian press says Ferrari must start from scratch

Italy's partisan media is worried the tide may have turned against Ferrari in its championship battle with Mercedes.

As Lewis Hamilton utterly dominated, Mercedes scored a one-two and Ferrari's drivers struggled to the finish with disintegrating Pirelli tyres, the Italian press departed Silverstone concerned about the implications.

"Ferrari's defeat was the worst this season," said the authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Ferrari returns home with concern the British grand prix was perhaps the turning point in favour of Mercedes. The last three races were difficult but now the worries are bigger."

Corriere dello Sport agreed: "Ferrari is not going through a good phase.

"Mercedes has overcome its troubles while Ferrari's performance has gradually weakened. Maranello has to start from scratch again."

Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda also thinks Ferrari dropped the ball strategically at Silverstone, gambling too heavily on Pirelli tyres that ultimately failed.

"They paid for deciding to go to the end with those tyres," he is quoted by Ilta Sanomat. "It could have been foreseen that it would not work."

Sebastian Vettel warns against panic, but his biggest concern is the performance gap Mercedes is now able to pull out in qualifying.

"They can find three to six tenths to us on the straight, and we cannot do that," said the German.

"We're working on it, but it's not going to happen overnight," added Vettel.

Corriere della Sera, another Italian daily, thinks the 'oil in fuel' controversy has hurt Ferrari's performance, as has a more recent FIA ruling against the red car's flexible floor.

Lauda told Bild newspaper after the Silverstone one-two: "This was the turning point for me. We have worked and worked and worked."

And the German press also thinks Vettel is rattled, having refused to give interviews to many television networks after his disappointing result in Britain.

However, Wolff has warned those who believe Mercedes is now clearly the 2017 favourite.

"The moment you say that, you go to the next race and get a shock," he said.

(GMM)

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