After the Red Bull team orders drama in Brazil, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez arrived at the Abu Dhabi race weekend level on points in second place in the championship.
The Red Bull driver put on a strong showing in the season finale, but was arguably an extra lap away from being able to overtake Leclerc as he closed down the Ferrari driver on fresh tyres.
Leclerc getting the better of Perez in Abu Dhabi meant that he split the Red Bull drivers in the final standings, but has claimed that it means very little to him in the grand scheme of things.
“Not too much satisfaction to be honest,” answered Leclerc when asked for his thoughts on splitting the Red Bulls.
“Looking back at the season, I think it’s been a good season, especially looking at 2020 and 2021 that have been two very difficult years for the team.”
The new regulations that came into effect at the start of the 2022 season led to an element of unpredictability coming into the Bahrain Grand Prix, as it was impossible to predict which team would be able to take advantage of the new era of F1 and who would struggle.
As it turned out, Ferrari were one of the teams to benefit from the new regulations, as they flew out of the blocks and to the top of both championships in the early stages of the season.
Reliability issues and strategy errors eventually saw Max Verstappen and Red Bull run away with both championships, leaving Leclerc to have mixed feelings about Ferrari’s performance in 2022.
“It wasn’t a given that we would do such a step forward and finish second in the drivers’ championship and also second in the constructors’ championship. So for that I’m happy,” he claimed.
“But then obviously, looking a bit more into the season closely, there’s been the middle part of the season that has been very frustrating, where we didn’t really put everything together coming to Sunday and that was frustrating.
“So mixed feelings about this season. But second place is quite good. I just hope it is a step forward, and that for next year, we can do another step forward.”
Ferrari will be under new management in 2023 after the team confirmed that they had accepted Mattia Binotto’s resignation earlier this month.
Leclerc will hope that the new team principal will be the missing piece in the puzzle needed to finally see the team end their 14-year title drought.