Italy Gives Ferrari Hard Time after Hungarian Flop

The Italian media ripped into Ferrari today after their dismal performance in this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix where Michael Schumacher limped home eighth and Rubens Barrichello crashed out.

Italy Gives Ferrari Hard Time after Hungarian Flop

The Italian media ripped into Ferrari today after their dismal performance in this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix where Michael Schumacher limped home eighth and Rubens Barrichello crashed out.

"Let's tell the truth: it was painful," daily La Repubblica railed in a front-page editorial.

"We saw Barrichello losing the wheel and crashing as if he were driving a Trabant. And Schumacher paddling as if he were shipwrecked," it continued.

"Ferrari, it can't get any worse," said La Gazzetta dello Sport. "The Ferrari team has taken a major, humiliating blow, right on the circuit that last year celebrated their prowess.

"We knew back then that that level of dominance was unrepeatable, but such a shocking turnaround in just twelve months, on the same circuit, could not have been predicted by anyone who did not want to sound like a loony."

Italy's leading newspaper Corriere della Sera agreed the Formula One champions were in crisis.

"Thank God for (Fernando) Alonso," it wrote, referring to the 22-year-old Spaniard, who became Formula One's youngest Grand Prix winner, lapping Schumacher in the process.

"He took victory and precious points away from (Kimi) Raikkonen and (Juan Pablo) Montoya letting Schumacher stay in the lead in the Drivers' Championship," Corriere added.

But with three races still left this season, Schumacher finds himself with a precarious one-point lead over Montoya and knows he cannot rely on luck to clinch a record sixth title.

Meanwhile, Ferrari bosses had to watch as Williams seized their lead in the Constructors' Championship in Budapest on Sunday and Italian pundits said they should stop making excuses and sort out their technical problems.

"They'll tell us it was the tyres...well, just go to the tyre man and change them. They'll tell us others have made enormous progress but not why Ferrari are resembling a bus," La Repubblica said.

"The best squad in the world has the men to react. Let's just hope now that they can find the car," Corriere said.

"Ferrari is nowhere, Schumacher never in the race," said the TuttoSport newspaper. "The Ferrari team went to Budapest knowing they needed to play defense, but they looked like they went on the ring like a worn-out boxer. The adversaries first worked on the sides, then came the knock out: Schumacher lapped by Alonso was like an open-handed slap on a swollen cheek. Now the red cars must not turn the other cheek."

"Alonso Celebrates, Schumi Cries" was the headline on Il Nuovo newspaper, while Il Secolo XIX proclaimed "Black Crisis for the Red Cars".

Ferrari know they will not be able to escape the heat or the wrath of Italian fans at the next Grand Prix - on home soil in Monza on September 14.

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