Mario Andretti has backed Ferrari to perform well in the post-Mattia Binotto era, with Frederic Vasseur replacing him at the top of the team.
Outgoing Ferrari team boss Binotto handed in his resignation after the end of a season which could, and probably should, have seen the Scuderia mount a challenge for both World Championships, but pressure grew at the top of the team as Max Verstappen eventually cantered away with Drivers’ glory, and Red Bull took victory by a sizeable margin in the Constructors’ standings.
This all came in spite of the F1-75 proving to be the quickest car over one lap over the course of the year, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz taking 12 pole positions in the 22 races of the year, but a series of team and driver errors saw Ferrari earn only four victories in a season which could have yielded much more.
Former World Champion and ex-Ferrari driver Andretti thinks his former team will be able to hit the ground running again next season, with a relatively stable set of regulations and two fast drivers to work with moving forward.
“I think they have a competitive package, they proved that in 2022,” Andretti said on the Twitch channel of SoyMotor.com.
“They’re not going to change too many things technically for next year, beyond some updates, so I think Ferrari is going to be there… and I hope so, as it’s good for F1.
“There are going to be some changes, but the driver pairing remains the same and that’s good. I think it’s a great pairing.
“Leclerc and Sainz complement each other well together and each is capable of winning, we have seen that already. Ferrari could be very strong in 2023 and be a real contender for the championship.”
Vasseur will make the move across from Alfa Romeo to take the reins at Ferrari at the start of 2023, with the team looking for their first Constructors’ Championship since 2008, also being without a Drivers’ title since Kimi Raikkonen’s success the year beforehand.
But despite the change at the top, the former World Champion thinks the Scuderia have the structure in place to be able to learn from their mistakes from this year to next.
“I don’t think they will come out of it badly, with Binotto’s departure,” Andretti stated.
“The human part is very important, but the equipment is more important and the equipment is there, there is no doubt about it.
“In terms of minimising some of the mistakes they made, I think they have admitted that. From the drivers’ point of view, between Carlos and Charles they will be discussing some things that they won’t be able to repeat. It’s not unusual for this to happen to a team.
“Obviously things could be better, but everybody can pull themselves together and fix the problems.
“Sometimes you learn from mistakes and I have a lot of faith that Ferrari will be competitive for 2023.”
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