Ex-Ferrari engineer Rob Smedley has provided details on the high-intensity atmosphere that comes with working for the Maranello-based squad.
Smedley was part of the Ferrari team for several years, working most prominently as the race engineer for Felipe Massa.
The fans of Ferrari, named the tifosi, are known to be some of the most passionate in sport.
Despite being the most successful team in F1 history, Ferrari is currently enduring a title drought that stretches back to the 2008 campaign.
Smedley says that there is always high pressure on the most senior figures at the team, stating that they are subject to fierce criticism when things go wrong.
“I think [for] all the senior guys there, especially the ones that are rolled out in front of the media, it’s a massive responsibility,” Smedley told the Sky Sports F1 podcast.
“There’s no doubt about it. I’ve said this myself in the past – you can describe Ferrari in Italy as a religion. Definitely.
“It’s the national team, and therefore, you are representing the nation, not just a brand.
“So it is tough, and you don’t need thick skin, you need rubber skin because I think the reality of the situation is it goes through cycles.
“And I can remember this myself, personally, you know, you’d be held up on a pedestal, and you’d be thought about as being the best thing since sliced bread, and four, six weeks, two months later, you know, people are literally spitting at you in the street.
“So, it’s a tough dichotomy, to be honest, and you just have to ride it out.
“You kind of have to blend the highs into the lows, so that you just get a single emotional viewpoint on it all to give yourself that equilibrium that you need to be able to keep delivering day in, day out, because that’s the important bit, right?”
Currently at the helm of the team is Frederic Vasseur, who replaced Mattia Binotto as team boss ahead of the 2023 season.
Smedley says that Vasseur will discover the added pressure at Ferrari but has advised the Frenchman to keep his head down through the process.
“When people are telling you how great you are, it’s important not to listen to it, and it’s equally important when people are telling you how rubbish you are – and that happens,” he said.
“So I think that Fred is going to go through all of that. He’s a good guy, he’s been in motorsport for a long time in senior positions, ART Grand Prix [and Renault] before he came into Alfa Romeo.
“He’s been there, he knows what it’s like. It’s a different intensity, a different pressure in Ferrari. But he just has to get on with it, you know, it’s part of his job.”