“Perfect” Ultimatum Handed to Ferrari as Charles Leclerc Prepares for Round 2

Published 01/19/2023, 12:00 PM EST
Formula One F1 – Mexico City Grand Prix – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico – October 30, 2022 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc before the race REUTERS/Carlos Perez Gallardo/Pool

After the greatness of the 2021 season, the 2022 season of Formula One started off as great as it could’ve, throwing the expectations of the fans through the roof when reigning champion Max Verstappen went wheel-to-wheel against Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the season opener in Bahrain. But it was just too good to be true. Soon, all the hopes came crashing down, and Ferrari was nowhere to be seen.

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However, the team is charging up, looking to revamp things ahead of the next season to launch Charles Leclerc’s bid for the championship against the rest of the grid. With Fred Vasseur coming in place of Mattia Binotto, he has a great task at hand: fixing the same mistakes made by the team over the last decade or so.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 20, 2022 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

For their errors in 2022, the prancing horse has received staunch criticism. And this time, it’s from Felipe Massa. A former driver for the team, who also tried to hunt for the championship with the team but failed, Massa talked about the situation at Maranello with Swiatwyscigow.pl. The Brazilian, who also went through challenges posed by his own team, talked about Charles Leclerc and his contention for the championship.

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“Well, first of all I think Charles is doing a fantastic job. He’s a great driver, he really deserves to be in a competitive car. He deserves to have the opportunity to fight for the championship as a driver. But yeah, I think they need to fix the problem. They need to improve the things that are not working – on the strategy but also on so many other things,” he said briefly.

Ferrari under the new management might have to pull more strings faster than anyone else. Otherwise, the ghosts of the last season might follow them into this year.

Felipe Massa highlights Ferrari’s woes of last season

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Blunders made by Ferrari in 2022 ensured the championship for Red Bull. It was almost as if the team presented the trophy to the Milton Keynes outfit every racing Sunday. This mostly occurred either due to terrible reliability or terrible strategy. 

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria – July 9, 2022 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc celebrates after placing second in the sprint race as Carlos Sainz Jr. celebrates after placing third REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Massa lashed out at Ferrari for making these mistakes. He said, “They had problems in the pit stop, many, many problems in the strategy. In the end, to win the championship, everything needs to be perfect. For me, when you have a season like this, it’s important to fix things in the right way. If you start to change things and you change for the wrong way, that is not good.”

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WATCH THIS STORY: Charles Leclerc Gets Into Heated Debated With Max Verstappen Fan Over Dinner Time Conversation

The criticisms received by Ferrari have been from left to right. But they have settled a bit since the arrival of Vasseur. Can the new team principal change things around at Maranello? Let’s wait and watch.

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Manan Goel

88 articles

Manan Goel is a Formula 1 author at EssentiallySports. As a literature student at Delhi University, he had been a geek for fiction and a nerd for sports. He claims Sebastian Vettel was his first love after seeing him at the Indian Grand Prix, and he has been a fan of the sport and Red Bull ever since.

Edited By: Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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