Once upon a time there was Ferrari
[Press review] – Ferrari fans were waiting for the weekend in Melbourne with hope. Of course, thinking of being able to beat the Red Bull cars and above all Max Verstappen was something that no one expected given the start of the 2023 Formula 1 season. But there was the intention – finally – to reassert itself as the second fastest car on the track behind the reigning champions, by defeating Aston Martin and Mercedes. Even after the disappointing qualifying, marked by some tensions between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, confidence was still there in the red team, with several key figures explaining how after the disappointing race pace at the Jeddah Circuit, they had focused above all on improving the race pace for this third round of the championship.
Instead, even if not due to faults attributable only to Ferrari, for the first time this year, the Maranello team ended the race without scoring any points. A blow that the Scuderia hadn’t experienced since Baku 2022, when, however, it was reliability that betrayed the team. The disastrous outcome of Scuderia Ferrari was obviously analyzed by the Italian newspapers. Stefano Mancini in La Stampa named his article, mercilessly, “Once upon a time there was Ferrari”.
This time it’s also on the drivers
“[…] Ferrari is sinking. This time it’s not about reliability or strategy: it’s the drivers who make mistakes. After three turns, Charles Leclerc is already in the gravel from which he is unable to re-emerge. He tried to overtake Stroll right away and couldn’t do it due to lack of space. For the race direction it was a normal accident with contributory negligence, but we could define it as a mistake of frustration: the pressure rises and the haste to recover positions overpowers lucidity, especially if one starts from seventh place, in the middle of the group. […]“
Charles Leclerc without goals
“Charles Leclerc has to manage another season without a goal, other than the generic (and distant) one of regaining competitiveness. […]. In the fifth season in Maranello he is not able to fight for his ambitions. He spent the ups and downs of 2019, the long reconstruction of 2020 and 2021, the competitiveness of 2022. That last step was missing to challenge Red Bull, instead two steps were taken back. […]. Carlos Sainz also missed his goal: he hit Alonso with two laps to go. So instead of getting on the podium he was relegated to the bottom of the standings. […]“.
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“This time the strategies worked, although in Melbourne’s Far West it was not easy to make decisions. Twelve arrived at the finish line, Ferrari, Williams and Alpine (Ocon and Gasly took themselves out of the race) are the only teams not to have entered the points zone. […] In Baku Ferrari will bring the first updates of an aerodynamic development that will continue at Imola and will be completed on June 6 in Barcelona in the eighth Grand Prix of the season. It will serve to increase speed and race pace, but above all it will have to convince Charles Leclerc that he is in the right place to fight for his ambitions“. – La Stampa concluded.