Former team president Luca di Montezemolo has struggled to resist commenting on Ferrari’s current situation.
Now past the mid-season point in 2016, sections of the Italian press and beyond believe the Maranello marque is in crisis.
Kimi Raikkonen admits: “We were ahead of Red Bull and now they’re ahead of us.
“It has been a bit painful, but we will improve,” said the Finn.
New Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne is also bullish, even though technical boss James Allison has left and there are calls for new engineers to be recruited and team chief Maurizio Arrivabene to go.
Marchionne said this week that Ferrari already has “phenomenal talent”, and that suggestions the team needs “a transfusion of technical intelligence is excessive”.
The latest word from La Gazzetta dello Sport is: “Ferrari will not give up or raise the white flag, but they are only the third force.”
And Corriere della Sera added: “Ferrari’s free fall continues, but the team bosses keep the faith.”
Amid the turmoil, former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo arrived late this week in Rio, in his new role promoting Italy’s 2024 Olympic Games bid.
La Gazzetta quotes him as saying: “I love Ferrari, so the best thing is not to say too much.”
But he didn’t keep up the silence for long, telling the Ferrari-linked insider Leo Turrini in Rio: “I do not speak about Ferrari, except to say that it pleases me that Marchionne claims there are formidable people within the company.
“In fact, they were there even two years ago, as they are all people I appointed,” Montezemolo added.