Ferrari may have regrets

At the end of this eventful year, Scuderia Ferrari has reason to be satisfied with its return to the top of the grid. In 2022, the Italians have taken poles, won races with their two drivers and even led the general classification with Charles Leclerc. However, behind these positive elements hides several points that make this season frustrating for the Tifosi. The numerous strategic errors and the few individual faults weighed down Ferrari in the fight against Max Verstappen and Red Bull. It will be imperative to correct everything so that the Scuderia recovers the world throne, 15 years after the last coronation of Kimi Räikkönen.

Ferrari (2nd, 554 points): GP winner but not completely back

To analyze Ferrari’s season, it’s all about how you see the glass. If it is half full then it must be remembered that the Reds have regained their place, that at the top of the classification. After several difficult years, the team based in Maranello has once again become one of the main forces on the board, in this case the second behind Red Bull. Mattia Binotto’s men again won races, 4 in total, and took pole positions (12!). Charles Leclerc was even the leader of the world championship for a time thanks in particular to his two victories in three races at the very start of the season.

But conversely, the empty part of the glass hurts and shows that the Italians have not yet become a team capable of playing for the title for 23 Grands Prix. Ferrari was deluded for a time but this season has shown what still separated the Scuderia from the elite of the premier class. Too often they have sabotaged themselves. Charles Leclerc has stopped counting the number of times his team’s strategic mistakes have prevented him from winning a race that was promised to him. The choice of tyres, pit stop timing, etc. prevented the Monegasque and his team from reaching the top step of the podium. Where Red Bull or Mercedes know how to compensate for their slight lack of performance with a perfect strategy on the track. This season marks the return of Ferrari to the fore, next year these mistakes will no longer be allowed.

Charles Leclerc (2nd, 308 points): not helped by his team

In the end, Charles Leclerc can be satisfied with having saved his second place, long threatened by Sergio Pérez. But this observation must surely not attenuate his disappointment at not having been able to fight with Max Verstappen for the title. It must be said that the Monegasque had started the season like a cannonball with two victories in three Grands Prix (Bahrain and Australia).

Leader of the world championship, the wearer of the N°16 made the first mistake of the year at Imola, where in the race he tried everything to get as many points as possible. Starting head-to-tail, Charles Leclerc saved a 6th place in front of the tifosi but was already taking a blow to morale in his fight against the Dutchman, winner of the day. Victim of a mechanical problem in Catalonia, the former Alfa Romeo driver hoped to catch up on his streets, those of the Principality of Monaco. Poleman at home, the Monegasque had all the cards in hand to ward off the bad luck of last season. However, an error in the timing of the pit stop saw Charles Leclerc come out in 4th position and unable to gain places afterwards. This first disappointment at home was just the start of a series of missteps made by the Scuderia and its driver. In France, while he was quietly leading the race, Charles Leclerc lost control of his single-seater in the double right of Beausset.

Charles Leclerc in the double right wall of Beausset during the French GP. ©F1.

An error which marks the turning point of the championship where the Ferrari driver was going to see Max Verstappen chained the successes and made him a cross on the drivers’ championship. Out of the race for the title, Charles Leclerc wanted to win Grands Prix to continue to hope a little. But the many shortcomings of these strategists deprived him on several occasions of crossing the checkered flag as the winner. Despite this, the 2022 vice-champion has always remained professional, never incriminating his team. Frustrating.

Carlos Sainz (5th, 246 points): new Grand Prix winner

The 2022 season for Carlos Sainz will remain that of his first success in the premier category of motorsport. At Silverstone, in front of a crowd that came en masse to see Lewis Hamilton win the race, it was the Spaniard who won on the lands of the seven-time world champion. A first victory since his arrival in Formula 1 in 2015. The day before, he had won his first pole position, he will sign two more in Belgium and Austin. These are the results that make a season positive in which the son of Carlos Sainz SR finished in the same position as in 2021: 5th. Like his team, he was less consistent in the second half of the season but ended this year with 9 podiums. However, the Madrilenian remains a notch below his garage neighbor in race pace in particular. To be corrected in 2023!

2023 season: same drivers, new main team

Next year, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc will once again be teammates for the third year in a row. Both must continue to improve Ferrari to try to take the Scuderia to the world title they have been waiting for for more than 15 years now. If they manage to gain consistency and erase their strategic mistakes in the race then there is no reason that the good momentum at the start of the 2022 season should not last longer.

Ferrari has proven that it can come back to the front, now we have to stay there. For this, the Italians will be able to rely on a new principal director after the recent resignation of Mattia Binotto, in office since 2019. If this one will not be known before the course of the year 2023, Frédéric Vasseur, current holder of the position at Alfa Romeo, would be the track favored by the staff of the Maranello firm. The Frenchman would have a superb opportunity in a legendary team and would find Charles Leclerc, a driver who started in his team in F1 in 2018. Business to follow.

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