When asked to explain Ferrari's dismal performance in Sunday's British Grand Prix, Scuderia team boss Jean Todt heaved a sigh… "Lack of grip", he said. But the passionate Italian media are running out of patience…

When asked to explain Ferrari's dismal performance in Sunday's British Grand Prix, Scuderia team boss Jean Todt heaved a sigh… "Lack of grip", he said. But the passionate Italian media are running out of patience…

Seven times champion Schumacher has experienced a dramatic fall from glory – after being virtually unstoppable last season, he now looks like a shadow of his former self on the grand prix circuit. Schumacher and team-mate Barrichello finished sixth and seventh this weekend at Silverstone, leaving many members of the passionate Italian media incensed.

One Italian publication said it was astounded that "Schumacher, Barrichello and Todt fail to give explanations or suggest solutions".

Another Italian newspaper carried "Ferrari disaster!" as its headline. "The cars are slow, the strategy incomprehensible, and the errors too frequent. The world championship team is in crisis," it screamed.

"Clearly, we had a big drop in performance during the race today because we were missing grip," was Todt’s response, " and if you take a few races ago, it's our competitors who had a drop in performance during the race, and we were very strong."

"It was an unpleasant surprise, but we were facing the same situation as one week ago. It was about the same, not worse. If you take the quickest lap time during the race, last week, this week, if you see what has happened on Friday when we were very competitive, then Saturday struggling a bit more, and then Sunday during the race struggling much more," Todt said while explaining how things got progressively worse over the race weekend.

Todt explained "We mainly lack grip. It's very difficult to judge clearly for us where it comes from. It's not just the aerodynamics, because if it was only the aerodynamics, we would never be able to do a quick time, like we did on Friday. Then we are with the others, same level of fuel, and we are at the same speed.

"And then we dropped back. But for the other teams, it's easier to identify where the problem is, because there are several teams in the same situation. With all respect to Jordan and Minardi, it's very difficult for us to have a good comparison with them. So for that reason, it's up to us, together with Bridgestone to try to get the best analysis as possible."

And, according to Todt, increased testing is not the only way to correct the problem. But, on the whole, Ferrari seems as clueless about the situation as their legions of once-loyal fans.

"First we need to analyse because testing for testing's sake doesn't make us quicker. We need to analyse why on Friday we are competitive, why on Saturday we may lose performance and why on Sunday we definitely lose a lot of performance. We need to analyse why. To identify the problem is quite easy, to solve the problem is more difficult but that's what we have to do."

As to the chances of reviving past performances and challenging at the front, Todt added "so if we are able to find the right mixture and do a better job, it's possible."

Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher's car will be upgraded for Hockenheim with a number of improvements to "hopefully bring us closer to the front" the German said after Silverstone.

Schumacher also admitted that his eighth drivers' title is moving more out of reach with every race.

"I can never give up," he said, "but surely it becomes pretty difficult to win now. We have a new aerodynamic package for Hockenheim. This is a difficult period for us, but I can cope. I just wish I could promise my home supporters at Hockenheim a bit more than this."