The renowned Maranello brand’s recent performance in the 2023 Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix at the Zandvoort circuit has once again drawn strong criticism from the Italian media, as lackluster speed combined with mistakes from drivers and the Maranello team itself.
Italian daily newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport didn’t mince words, describing the showing at Zandvoort as “shameful,” while Corriere dello Sport concurred that it was an exceedingly grim weekend for the Italian side. La Stampa weighed in, stating: “Ferrari has hit rock bottom.”
During the last weekend, the Maranello team revealed plans for a completely fresh 2024 chassis and package in the hope of improved performance next season. Speculation has arisen that the struggles with SF-23 car development this year may also be a carry-over from Fred Vasseur’s predecessor, Mattia Binotto.
When questioned about whether he’s inherited a struggling team, the French manager shared with Sky Italia: “We have to do the best possible job with what we have right now. I don’t want to think that it is a question of inheritance. We are improving and hiring a lot of people, but we also know that we have to restructure our system,” the Ferrari boss pointed out.
Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc had a difficult race in the Dutch Grand Prix, having to eventually retire due to damage caused by a collision with the McLaren of Oscar Piastri. The only slightly positive note for the Maranello team is Carlos Sainz’s fifth place finish, whch allwed Ferrari to gain a few points against Mercedes: “His effort was outstanding, the way he kept Hamilton and Norris at bay,” Fred Vasseur admitted.
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Several F1 pundits felt that the Italian side’s poor performance at the Zandvoort circuit was caused by the fact that Ferrari went for a wrong aerodynamic package given the track characteristics and the characteristics of its SF-23 car: “I hope we’ll be better again at Monza,” Carlos Sainz said – “We suffered a lot here, we have been very slow and Alpine and McLaren were faster than us.”