Former F1 world champion Nico Rosberg has said that the current Ferrari is "very difficult to drive", and that Charles Leclerc should not take all the blame for crashing out of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
Leclerc was running in fourth place after a safety car restart when he lost the back end of the car running at high speed through the Parabolica, planting him into the tyre wall in the final corner.
"I was struggling a lot on the hard tyres," he reported afterwards. "I tried to push but then I made a mistake, lost the rear and crashed.
"The crash was quite a big one but I am ok. A bit of pain here and there, which is quite normal," he added. "It was just a mistake by my side."
Initially it appeared that driver error had cost the team the chance to snatch a podium finish from a race weekend that had been less than promising.
But Rosberg said that was unfair and the car was more to blame - although he was careful ot to dub the SF1000 'undriveable'.
“That is exactly the word I have learned not to use anymore because otherwise I will be quoted again and it gets exaggerated," Rosberg told RTL. “But the Ferrari is very difficult to drive.
"The behaviour of the car scared me,” he admitted. “He accelerated out of the corner, everything was under control and then suddenly he loses the rear of the car, catches it once, and then loses it again.
“But the Ferrari is very difficult to drive," he reiterated.
Big crash today. A bit sore but okay, impressive how much these cars can take nowadays. Thanks all for your messages. pic.twitter.com/M5phPOILHh
— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) September 6, 2020
Leclerc's accident followed an early retirement for brake disc failure for his team mate Sebastian Vettel, leading to a double DNF for Ferrati at their home race.
And it followed a particularly poor outing for the team a week earlier at Spa-Francorchamps where neither driver finished in the points and looked off the pace of the midfield runners let along their rivals at the front.
Although he's leaving the team at the end of the season, Vettel shared in the despondency that has settled over Maranello in recent weeks.
"This is a very difficult moment for the whole team and as part of it, I am suffering along with everyone else," he said.
"But this is our reality right now and we need to try and do the best we can, to have a worthwhile final part of the season with still plenty of races to go.
"We have a lot of work to do and we have to be focused on that," he added. "We have to keep our heads up, even if it is difficult."
Vettel declined to point any fingers as to who he thought should take the blame for the team's current predicament, but added that Ferrari had not gone in the development direction that he had wanted.
“The team has chosen a different direction than I did," he told RTL. "It’s over and done.
“It will be difficult for us this year, and next year in this respect it does not concern me anymore."