Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz told to take a lead out of Lewis Hamilton’s book

Ferrari are looking to appoint a new team principal following Mattia Binotto’s resignation from the Scuderia earlier this week.

While Ferrari eventually fell some way short of the title in 2022, the season has shown that the team have made huge strides forward under the new regulations, finally being able to compete on track with Red Bull and Mercedes.

The Scuderia arguably had the fastest car on the grid for large periods of the season, however the team repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with communication on strategy errors that saw their drivers miss out on potential victories. 

The team pitted for the non-competitive hard tyres at the Hungarian Grand Prix despite data clearly advising them otherwise, amongst a whole host of other errors, and former F1 driver Keikki Kovalainen has suggested that it is these fine margins that are costing Ferrari a shot at a first world championship since 2008.

“It’s small margins, we’re not talking about big issues but small margins which are the difference between Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes,” stated Kovalainen.

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“Ferrari are not quite there yet but they’ve taken a step forward in performance, but in terms of operation it’s not quite been enough to challenge for championships.

“It’s been a while since Ferrari have won a championship so they’ve really got to start feeling the winning again, and dealing with the situation of being first in the queue, and deciding the pit stops and strategies first on the road leading to the championship.”

Ferrari have been mocked for their tendency to ask their drivers questions over the team radio, often asking Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz for their thoughts on tyres and strategies in the heat of battle.

Both drivers have snapped at their race engineers over the course of the season in such scenarios, with Sainz outraged at the teams request for him to potentially sacrifice his maiden victory in Silverstone to help out his teammate, who was on older tyres.

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Kovalainen believes that this back and forth arguing between the team and their drivers has contributed to Ferrari’s shortcomings this season, suggesting that the drivers are as much to blame as the team.

“I don’t think the drivers have helped all the time,” said the Finn.

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“Sometimes the drivers have also caused a bit of uncertainty when they’ve questioned the team’s decisions over the radio and then the team is saying ‘wait a minute let’s reconsider’.

“In Brazil Bono [Peter Bonnington] was asking Lewis [Hamilton] to pit and Lewis said ‘well, why, we don’t need to pit’ and Bono said ‘we do need to pit now, come in, we know what we’re doing’ and that was quite a firm conversation and Lewis came in as he has the confidence in the team.”

Ferrari will have a new team principal in charge next season following Mattia Binotto’s resignation earlier this week, with Alfa Romeo’s Fred Vasseur currently the favourite for the role.