2023 looked set to finally be the year in which Ferrari could get back to winning ways and compete for the title, after the team got off to the perfect start with a one-two finish in Bahrain, while Red Bull picked up a double DNF.
It was not to be however as Max Verstappen and Red Bull found performance and consistency in their car as they stormed to both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships, whilst Ferrari struggled with reliability and communication.
The Scuderia have seen Carlos Sainz retire from five races, while Charles Leclerc has also failed to finish in three, more often than not because of issues with their power unit, while also making decisions that have seen their drivers taken out of contention for the win.
The team made the wrong tyre choice with the hards, despite the data suggesting it was a poor race tyre, they pitted Leclerc in Spa which caused him to lose a postion because they wanted the fastest lap, and they did not have the tyres ready for Sainz at a Monaco pitstop, to name a few examples of their poor decision making this year.
While pundits and fans alike have been very outspoken in their views on Ferrari’s choices this season, Leclerc has defended his team, arguing that it is best that the team address the issues internally rather than in the public eye.
“In a team, you need to be honest with each other and build everything on this,” said the Monegasque driver.
“I am always the first to admit my mistakes, but when it comes to team mistakes, I will not speak about them publicly.
“We will discuss them within the team – this is my approach.
“When talking to the media, I am as restrained as possible, but I try to ensure that my voice is always heard within the team.”
The general consensus from F1 fans is that Ferrari shot themselves in the foot this year, taking themselves out of the title equation, rather than being straight up bettered by Red Bull in the first half of the season, but Leclerc has suggested that the critics do not fully understand what goes on behind closed doors.
“I only talk about my own mistakes,” he said.
“There is a lot of negativity but in my opinion this should not be paid attention to as it doesn’t help. We must focus on our work.
“When something goes wrong, people always criticise but sometimes for no particular reason. Formula 1 is a very complex sport, and it is difficult to understand it if you only watch it from the outside.”
Ferrari will be hoping to fend off Mercedes and secure second place in the championship in the final two races of 2022.