Mar.15 (GMM) Ferrari has fallen over by being too ambitious with the design of its 2012 car.
That is the assessment of Marc Surer, a former Formula One driver from Switzerland who is now a pundit for German television Sky and the Die Welt newspaper.
He referred to Ferrari's decision mid last year to abandon the 2011 car in order to restructure technically and philosophically and produce the radical F2012.
But the new car has proved unreliable and uncompetitive in testing, leading some analysts to predict Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will this weekend be beaten by not only Red Bull and McLaren, but also Mercedes, Lotus and possibly even Sauber, Force India and Toro Rosso.
"They wanted to build an aggressive car, but they have changed too much," Surer said.
"Now they have realised that it doesn't work and are having to back-track with parts.
"For them, it's a serious crisis. They'll be lucky if they finish fourth", he added, referring to the constructors' championship.
They'll be lucky if they finish fourth
Alonso, however, sounded confident in Melbourne on Thursday.
"In winter testing, we see some teams that are quite quick and then when we arrive at the race they are not quick anymore.
"Maybe we didn't reach targets that were very optimistic but that doesn't mean we are slower than the other cars," he warned.