The sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport summed up the mood by labeling the Prancing Horse's Melbourne effort a "disaster" strewn with "incredible errors".
Not only did both F2008s retire with engine failures, reigning champion Kimi Raikkonen – who started down the grid following another reliability problem in qualifying – made two blaringly rookie-style errors as he tried to make up ground.
Felipe Massa's bad day, meanwhile, got off to an immediately bad start when he lost control of his scarlet car and hit the wall before contemplating turn two of the 58-lap race.
"Ferrari, you must immediately improve!" Corriere dello Sport demanded.
Tuttosport called Albert Park the scene of Ferrari's "great debacle", while La Repubblica pointed out that "the first Sunday without Jean Todt" on the pit wall turned into a "black start" for the Italian outfit.
"Raikkonen was a shadow of himself and Massa inattentive. Not since 1992 has Ferrari started a season so badly," Tuttosport observed.