The triumph in the Singapore night brings a sense of relaxation around Ferrari: after the race, Gianfranco Mazzoni praises the work of the Prancing Horse, offers advice for the future, and looks with curiosity at the upcoming World Championship race in Japan.
The Singapore weekend stands as a unique event in the 2023 season. Red Bull, victorious in all fourteen previous races, raised the white flag, “granting” the top step of the podium to their rivals. Journalist Gianfranco Mazzoni, a familiar face in Italian F1 coverage, commented on the Singapore weekend.
“Ferrari victorious and Red Bull off the podium: it might seem like a world turned upside down,” he began on La Domenica Sportiva. “But it could also be that Ferrari has returned to the role that should be rightfully theirs, but we will see in the upcoming races. In Singapore, it was a team victory, a triumph of tactics and cleverness – a significant signal from the Prancing Horse.”
The journalist’s applause is directed towards Carlos Sainz’s race management: “He was very good. Excellent both in qualifying, where he achieved a great pole position, and in the race, where he led from start to finish.”
Mazzoni’s praise focuses on the strategy in the final laps: “Carlos Sainz was superb. By allowing Lando Norris to catch up so he could use DRS, he was able to defend himself from the Mercedes as well. It was a risky move, but Sainz executed it excellently.” The veteran Rai presenter also commends Ferrari’s strategic choices: “Starting with the soft tire allowed Leclerc to pass Russell, effectively protecting Sainz’s advancement.”
Red Bull: Just a one-ff?
According to Gianfranco Mazzoni, there is significant interest in the Japanese Grand Prix. What can we expect from Ferrari? “The first positive signs came on the fast Monza circuit. Now we will observe their performance on a very technical and fast track like Suzuka. It will be interesting to see if Red Bull is in crisis or if Singapore was just an isolated incident.”
“Was it merely a one-off, a wrong weekend, or did the new technical directive TD018 play a role?” wondered the journalist, who pointed to the Japanese race as a litmus test.
Ferrari: Have the Hierarchies Shifted Between Leclerc and Sainz?
Gianfranco Mazzoni doesn’t believe in the concept of a “number one driver” decided in advance: “I think the stopwatch dictates the hierarchies within a team,” he explained. “Charles Leclerc has been very impressive in past years. He’s a man, especially for qualifying, having secured 20 poles.”
The recent improvement in Carlos Sainz’s performance, both in qualifying and in the Grand Prix itself, is evident: “Carlos Sainz is perhaps more consistent in the race, but in my opinion, they are both in a good position.”
For the future, Gianfranco Mazzoni has no doubts: “It’s a truly well-structured pair. Ferrari should try to keep both of them for the future.”