Ferrari warned against making Charles Leclerc their number 1 driver

Ferrari have had a poor start to the 2023 Formula 1 season, with Charles Leclerc especially struggling in the opening three rounds.

Adrian Newey’s latest design, the RB19, is currently dominating the world of Formula 1, having secured victory for Red Bull in all three opening races of the season.

With the chief technical officer’s ability clear for all to see, it’s not surprising that teams are circling to try and lure him away from the reigning world champions.

However, former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi has warned that hiring Newey might not be the silver bullet that teams need to compete against Red Bull.

“If Adrian Newey decided to go to Ferrari, we wouldn’t see his car until 2025 because of the clauses in all the contracts. So it will take time,” Alesi explained.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

“The team has a new boss but perhaps they should have hired engineers from other teams. 

“They should have done exactly what Red Bull did with Mercedes or Aston Martin did with Red Bull.”

Newey’s success began at Williams, helping the team win five Constructors’ Championships between 1992 and 1997. 

The impressively designed car would give Williams its last Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles.

Article continues below

Newey left Williams to join McLaren, remaining at the Papaya outfit from 1997-2005, helping the team win the Constructors’ title in 1998.

Since joining Red Bull in 2006, Newey has produced the team’s championship-winning cars in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2022.              

Alesi also warned Ferrari against prioritising one driver over the other in a bid to focus its resources in one area.

READ: Ferrari told Max Verstappen would win them a world championship

“If at the next grand prix they said ‘Charles, you are the first driver and Carlos is the second’, it would not help in the process to develop the car, especially the lack of performance and reliability.”

Instead, Alesi believes that Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur needs to priorities “reliability, performance and stability.”

“He has to put these three things in the order he wants, but that’s what has to be done.”