The 2023 Formula 1 World Championship leaves Scuderia Ferrari and Charles Leclerc with a bitter taste. The Monegasque, who tried in every way to give Maranello at least second place in the Constructors’ Standings, does not hide his disappointment following another year below expectations. There is a specific moment when he understood that it would be a challenging season and that expectations would be completely disappointed.
The year 2023 was another transitional year for Ferrari. After the failed attempt of the previous season and the departure of Mattia Binotto, it was clear that the Fred Vasseur management would not have an easy time. Certainly, based on the proclamations at the presentation of the SF-23, one would have expected something else. However, the Championship took a bad turn right from Bahrain.
“We understood immediately that it would be difficult,” explained Charles Leclerc. “After the first race, the difference with Red Bull was evident. They made a development step that we were unable to bring to the car. From that moment on, it was a disappointment.” – the Monegasque pointed out.
However, not everything is to be discarded. Maranello has shown that it understands its creation, managing to exploit the margin of improvement granted by the developments.
“If you look at the season, forgetting about the previous one, we made great strides forward. It’s a positive thing, it makes me confident for the future. But there’s a big gap to close with Red Bull. We have to work hard during the winter break, and I hope we’ll come back stronger next year.”
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Charles Leclerc, who seems to have recently signed his renewal with Ferrari, was the benchmark driver in the battle with Mercedes in the season’s final stages. Due to Carlos Sainz’s misfortunes, the Monegasque almost single-handedly attempted to complete the overtaking in the Constructors’ Championship.
“Being the second or third force on the track depended a lot on the circuit,” the Ferrari driver continued. “There were ups and downs. In Japan, we brought an update that went in the right direction for my driving style. But it was a disappointment to finish third in the Constructors. I even tried to give DRS to Sergio [Perez] to create a gap on Russell, but it didn’t work.” – Charles Leclerc concluded.