F1 legend tells Ferrari to address their ‘stupidities’

Charles Leclerc lost several victories in 2022 as a result of strategic errors by Ferrari, among other blunders.

Ferrari really were their own worst enemy in 2022, with the Maranello-based side having had all the tools they needed to claim their first World Championship since 2008.

Despite having a strong driver line-up and an impressive car, the Italians let themselves down constantly when it came to strategy, something that ultimately saw Charles Leclerc comfortably lose the battle for the title.

After the Monegasque claimed two wins from the first three races, Ferrari quickly became many people’s favourite for either title; however, this title almost seemed to throw the Italians into panic.

They bizarrely suffered from countless strategic errors at times when they had no reason to suffer from one, with the team having often opted for a strategy opposite that of Red Bull and Mercedes.

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Whilst their courageousness can be praised, their bold strategies ended up leaving them red in the face.

With that in mind, former Ferrari driver and 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti has warned Ferrari that they don’t have to always try “something different”, especially when they have “such a fast car”.

“You would need to know more about it to be able to make an informed judgement but what is clear to me is that there needs to be a change in strategy,” he told Corriere dello Sport.

“When you have such a fast car, you don’t have to frantically do something different. There were scenes in which the opponents rolled out on soft tyres, but Ferrari drove on medium-hard. The other top teams never do that.

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“You don’t always have to prove you’re particularly smart. We saw certain stupidities there, I don’t know who was responsible for that but the system needs to be changed.

“Drivers need to be more involved, only they feel how the tyre behaves. Just when I think about how Charles Leclerc was sent onto the track in Brazil with intermediates – mamma mia!”

Of course, Ferrari didn’t learn in 2022, which has ultimately seen Mattia Binotto resign as team principal.

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Whether his rumoured replacement, Frederic Vasseur can do any better remains to be seen, with Andretti suggesting that the Italians issue is that they’ve become over-reliant on “data and technology”.

“For me it is clear,” added Andretti.

“Ferrari has everything to be competitive. Except every now and then they experience human error. And I believe this failure is based on over-reliance on data and technology. Computers and high-tech are all well and good, but from time to time you also need experience.”