The 2023 Formula One season fell below expectations for the Prancing Horse, but so did it for many others. The dominance of Red Bull, in fact, made it difficult for anyone to catch up: Mercedes, McLaren, and sometimes even Ferrari came close but never posed a real challenge. Only in Singapore did Carlos Sainz manage to seize a unique opportunity, securing the only victory of the 2023 Formula 1 championship.
The limitations of the SF-23 single-seater were evident, including the excessive tire consumption, which not only affected the drivers’ performance but also strategy and much more. Towards the end of the year, the engineers in Maranello made substantial changes, but the answer to why this happened is still unknown. Not even a legend like Jody Scheckter could explain it: “It’s hard to answer; they are all so competitive at the top of Formula 1. I’m not in Maranello, so I can’t know the details well, but it seems that the main trouble has a lot to do with managing the tires well. And it’s something horrible for a driver, from my experience. In the race, you have to ‘manage’ more than push, which Max does very well; he always stays just below the level where they stress and ruin.” – explained Jody Scheckter, who won the Drivers’ Championship in 1979 with the Maranello team.
On the lineup front, however, the South African has no doubts: both the Spaniard and the Monegasque have great potential, although there are some key aspects. “I really like Charles Leclerc, even though he made some mistakes he shouldn’t have made. He is one of the few who can challenge Max Verstappen, but he absolutely has to eliminate the mistakes. And Carlos Sainz has proven to be better than I thought; he’s up to the task,” said the South African business proprietor and former motor racing driver in a recent interview for the Italian daily newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.