2021, it ought to be remembered, was a year where Ferrari, the most popular team in the sport by a fair margin, fought its way back to the frontal end of the grid having remained a poor midfield team in the previous two seasons. The man largely responsible for the comeback on the grid was Carlos Sainz jr.
But the following year, Ferrari’s improvements were anything but minuscule; the Maranello-based side actually delivered a belter of a machine that did have in it to win the Constructor’s title, having remained in the title fight until quite the end of the season. It was a season, however, that was utterly dominated by Verstappen and Red Bull.
But in 2022, Ferrari thanks to marvellous victories at Austria and Great Britain proved that it had rediscovered the lost mojo and could stay in the title hunt for as long as the engineering team supported two voraciously hungry drivers on the track.
This year, however, things haven’t quite gone the famed Italian stallion’s way; the SF-23 is quite the lukewarm machine especially when compared to its predecessor, a car with which Charles Leclerc demonstrated vicious qualifying pace whether we talk about Melbourne, Baku or Monte Carlo.
The existing machine is sapped by an underwhelming aerodynamic performance that doesn’t quite yield great performances especially on tracks that demand high downforce, which so often has been Ferrari’s strengths.
It’s not the car isn’t pacy at all; it functions well but in patches and the results are quite sporadic.
What Ferrari definitely need are inspiring performances of the like that Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz jr. were able to deliver the last time around at venues like Spielberg and Silverstone, respectively.
Instead, what’s currently on play are hugely underwhelming results such as the P9 and P10 gathered by the Monegasque and Spanish driver (respectively) as seen at Great Britain most recently.
Having said that, what might be ailing the team? What’s really going wrong? Here’s what Charles Leclerc had to say most recently:
“As we’ve seen in the last race at Silverstone, whenever the wind is really picking up on a Sunday, it’s one of our main weaknesses, but we did some steps forward. We know that we still need to improve on that.”
But when asked about if it’s possible for the team to predict where they might struggle the most and if they can actually outline some areas, Charles Leclerc added:
“I think now we kind of understand when we are going to struggle. Unfortunately, Silverstone was one of those. We knew that, on paper, it wasn’t going to be a great weekend for us. The Saturday went pretty well, considering what we expected. The Sunday went worse than what we expected but, again, we know why. The wind conditions are a big thing and for us, it has a big influence – probably bigger than any of the other cars on the grid.”
Furthermore, elucidating on what might be the most struggling areas for the side, here’s what the man responsible for Ferrari’s only podium this year said:
“We just struggle with consistency in those situations. So we did a big step forward at the beginning of the year, it was quite a bit worse than that. But we still need to do some steps forward. It’s a continuous work since we identified this issue, which was quite a bit earlier in this season.”