Ferrari, John Elkann’s happy to see progress
With the current combination of Max Verstappen and Red Bull, it is clear that the results need to be weighed differently. Charles Leclerc’s second-place finish in the 2023 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix is not a victory, especially since the Monegasque was 24 seconds behind the world champion before the pit stop, but it is also the best achievable result at the moment for the Maranello team.
The package of updates has definitely worked, helping the SF-23 single-seater both in qualifying and the race and representing a step in the right direction. It’s a relative satisfaction that Ferrari President John Elkann expresses with measured words.
John Elkann’s words
“Today was the best race of the season, we are all very happy. It was great to see Ferrari battling here in Austria against Red Bull on a fun and challenging circuit,” John Elkann said to the microphones of Sky Sport F1. “It’s positive to see progress in the car and to showcase the qualities of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. The mood of the drivers is good; they started second and third, and in this race, they were also ahead. We also saw how Carlos Sainz worked hard to keep Sergio Perez behind, and all of this is encouraging. It’s important to see Ferrari making progress and moving forward one step at a time because that’s how you improve.” – the Ferrari president explained.
Facing Red Bull’s victories (nine out of nine in the 2023 Formula One season), the risk is to become demoralized, but the developments made on the SF-23 demonstrate how hard work is being done in Maranello to address its issues and close the gap to the RB19. “We should never be demoralized. Those who perform well inspire others to do better, and that has always been the spirit of Ferrari and continues to be. It’s positive to see our progress. We aim to improve in every race, and it’s important to have seen here in Austria a Ferrari that has fulfilled what we hoped for in all its components, with all the changes we have made to have a team moving in one direction.” – John Elkann added.
The drivers’ contracts
The president of Ferrari then addressed the topic of the drivers’ contracts, both expiring at the end of the 2024 Formula 1 championship, not considering it a top priority for the Scuderia. “As Fred Vasseur said, there are other priorities to focus on. Let’s enjoy this moment; it’s positive to be on the podium, both for Ferrari and for everyone working for it. We have shown how we are progressing; our drivers had a great race, and we also achieved podium number 800, which is an important milestone.” – John Elkann concluded at the end of the Austrian Grand Prix.