The final weekend of the 2023 Formula 1 season concluded with another victory for Red Bull and Max Verstappen, along with the recognition of Mercedes as the vice-world champion. Mercedes, ahead of Ferrari by four points in Abu Dhabi, managed to maintain their lead with 409 points against Ferrari’s 406.
The fate of Ferrari was significantly impacted by Carlos Sainz’s poor weekend, starting with an incident in FP2, continuing with Saturday’s elimination in Q1 (P16), and ending with a Sunday marked by an incomprehensible strategy and a bitter retirement due to a power unit problem. Engineer Luigi Mazzola discussed this and Ferrari’s overall situation for the upcoming future.
Luigi Mazzola: “Ferrari had high expectations, but it didn’t meet them. I see, in any case…”
“A fairly boring Grand Prix. Charles Leclerc had a beautiful race, securing second place. Honestly, I didn’t understand Sainz’s race strategy, and he ended up being surpassed by Charles in the driver standings,” Mazzola began in his usual post-race analysis posted on social media. He then commented on other key players in the Abu Dhabi weekend: “Max’s nineteenth victory this season, absolutely incredible. Perez had a very good race but was unjustly penalized, leading to his fourth-place finish. Tsunoda had a great race, somewhat humbling Hamilton. Russell finished in third place, contributing to Mercedes’ second place in the constructors’ championship.”
Returning to Ferrari, the Italian technician added: “Ferrari had high expectations for both the constructors’ and drivers’ championships. Unfortunately, it didn’t meet them. However, I see two positive aspects: reliability and the performance progression at the end of the season. Let’s hope this bodes well for 2024.” – the former Ferrari engineer concluded.