Gerhard Berger believes Ferrari made too many mistakes during the course of this Formula 1 World Championship season but hopes they will have been lessons for the beloved Scuderia to serve them well for 2023.
With a great car in the F1-75 produced by Mattia Binotto and his team, Ferrari were quick out of the start blocks this year, but it was flattery before the deceit as their season plunged downwards while Red Bull and their ace Max Verstappen simply got stronger and stronger.
As it stands now he is on the cusp of claiming his second successive F1 crown, Verstappen has a massive leading the 2022 drivers’ standings, ditto Red Bull in the constructors’ race. And there are still six races to go!
Second place in both championships is the best that Ferrari can hope for, should Max and his team wrap it up in Singapore or Japan or whenever.
Ahead of Round 17 at Marina Bay Circuit next weekend, Ferrari has Mercedes chasing, 35 points adrift in the F1 championship standings, while Leclerc has a nine-point lead over Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
Hence second place is not a sure thing for Ferrari because a resurgent Mercedes team, are improving with just about every race.
Speaking on the fringes of the Trento Festival dello Sport, an event organized by La Gazzetta dello Sport, where Berger was a VIP guest, he said of Ferrari’s prospects: “Ferrari fans would love for the Scuderia to always win every championship, but a second-place finish this season would already be a great result and I truly believe the Prancing Horse will win.”
Gerhard: Ferrari has the fastest car, already a very good starting point for 2023
Ferrari have won this season but not enough to do the business largely due to the team’s high-profile pitlane and strategy fumblings during the heat of battle, areas where they slipped up badly relative to the consistently near-perfection of their rivals at Red Bull.
Their more than capable drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, although not mistake-free themselves, deserve a whole lot better service from their team, the oldest in F1.
Nevertheless, Berger sees the positives from this year: “Ferrari has the fastest car and it’s already a very good starting point for next season. The problem is that too many mistakes are still being made, both on the track and on the pitwall during the race.
“The team is not ready for the next stage because I have seen mistakes that won’t win world titles. They have to work on it, that’s Ferrari’s objective, to achieve one step at a time and this season is certainly a step in the right direction, you can’t win everything and immediately,” added Berger.
The Austrian knows the workings of Maranello well. He had two spells driving for Ferrari from 1987 to 1989 and again from 1993 to the end of 1995, with a spell in between which included being Ayrton Senna’s teammate.