2022 was full of surprises, with the new regulations that were introduced at the start of the season providing twists and turns at every corner.
The most notable of this surprises might be the resurgence of Ferrari, who went from a ‘best of the rest’ contender in 2021 to title challenger in 2022.
The Scuderia came flying out the blocks in Bahrain, clearing getting to grips with the rule changes quicker than many of the other teams, ending the season opener with a one-two finish.
Mattia Binotto’s team fell some way short of glory in the end, with Max Verstappen and Red Bull proving too strong for the Scuderia, who struggled to hold on to second place in Abu Dhabi.
Despite Binotto’s claims that Ferrari were not targeting a title charge in 2022, the Swiss came under a lot of pressure from fans because of his team’s catalogue of errors and strategy mishaps.
Despite the team releasing a statement last week rubbishing claims that Binotto was set to get the axe, Ferrari will now be on the lookout for a replacement following their team principal’s resignation.
Former F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen believes that Ferrari will regret Binotto’s departure, claiming that there is more to blame for Ferrari’s shortcomings than just their boss.
“Binotto to me comes across as a good leader, he’s been of the calmer guys at Ferrari,” he stated.
“It won’t be one person that can fix or destroy an operation, I was very surprised to see the news.
“I think there is something still missing from the Ferrari team that is causing this chaos and panic at times, at crucial moments of the weekend.”
In such a brutal and cut-throat sport, Kovalainen believes that the constancy and calmness brought by not chopping and changing key staff could have made the difference for Ferrari, who he now thinks might struggle.
“If you look at the recent history, the last few years have been a bit more steady and stable at Ferrari than in the past when the team principal was changing more often,” suggested Kovalainen.
“I think that’s a good thing, it shows that Formula 1 is a tough business, it’s very hard for a good team like Ferrari to start winning consistently and be at the top for a long time.”
Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur is the current favourite to fill the void at Ferrari, being spotted in a secret meeting with Binotto and Guenther Steiner in Abu Dhabi as rumours around the Ferrari boss’ future circled.