Ferrari may be the most successful F1 team in history, but a title has eluded the Italian icons since Kimi Räikkönen’s WDC victory back in 2007. An agonizingly close run season with Red Bull in 2012, and potential for victories over Mercedes in the following years thwarted by bad luck and driver/team errors have left the Prancing Horse in unfamiliar territory, coming as 3rd best constructor in 2023 in the shadow of a dominant Red Bull and a resurgent Mercedes.
But there is optimism among the team and the passionate Tifosi, especially after noticeable improvements during the latter stages of the 2023 season. Victory in Singapore may have seemed like the top billing, but even race-winner Carlos Sainz points to other factors that may put Ferrari back to their rightful place at the top of the board.
The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the highlights of the year for fans and drivers alike. It looks spectacular, the circuit is fast, tough, and has little margin for error. Carlos Sainz put in a dream performance to take pole and control the latter stages of the race, partly by collaborating with former teammate and best buddy Lando Norris. The slipstream and DRS Sainz allowed Lando to keep potentially faster rivals stuck behind, and the old pals were all smiles and hugs as the fireworks exploded over the podium.
Looking to out-glitz Singapore, the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix was held later in the year, set against a backdrop of opulence and glamor, and the ever-present casinos that define the city. That rich casino history has made its way online, and in the last two decades has emerged as a multi-billion dollar industry all of its own, with operators using all manner of bonuses and promotions to put themselves in pole position — the fanatics casino promo code is a good example, launching around the same time as the Vegas spectacle.
Carlos Sainz’s hard-won victory at Singapore was a glorious way to end Red Bull’s 15-race win streak, but this could be put down to a bad day at the office for Verstappen et al. But it was in Sin City where we saw real pace, and despite Sainz’s nightmare weekend (he hit a loose drain cover in practice, and the resulting new chassis and power unit landed him with a grid penalty), the Ferraris qualified one-two. And although pole-sitter Charles Leclerc couldn’t hold off the Red Bull, he only came in two seconds behind the Champion.
So, after a challenging 2023, can the Prancing Horse catch the Red Bull in 2024? There are some promising signs, as towards the end of a season almost completely dominated by the imperious Max Verstappen, Ferrari looked to be gaining a foothold against Christian Horner’s formidable team.
Singapore was a highlight of 2023 for Ferrari. But it’s the pace and competitiveness we’ve seen at the business end of the season that has got the scarlet blood pumping at Maranello again. Despite losing out to Mercedes for third spot in the Constructors Championship, 2024 looks bright.