Being the only team to win a race in 2023 outside of Red Bull, it has to go down as a decent season for the Italian team. However, this is Ferrari and their fans are expecting much more than just one victory.
Let’s take a look back at their season.
Ferrari’s main battle in 2023 was with Mercedes for second place, with Aston Martin also proving to be a challenger early in the season. In the second half of the campaign, McLaren also came into the picture, not for second place but on track for podiums which would take valuable points away from the team.
The season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix would see both drivers line up on the second row behind the two Red Bulls. Charles Leclerc taking third spot, with Carlos Sainz in fourth. Sainz was able to keep his position at the end of the Grand Prix, missing out on a podium to Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, while Leclerc retired on lap 39 with an engine issue.
A 6th and 7th place finish would follow in Saudi Arabia, with the Australian Grand Prix being a pointless finish. The Azerbaijan Grand Prix would see Charles Leclerc starting on Pole Position, with the driver from Monaco also able to take Pole Position for the Sprint Race. However, it was Sergio Perez in his Red Bull that was able to take victory in both the Sprint and the Grand Prix. This race in Azerbaijan would also give Ferrari their first podium of the season, with Leclerc taking third, while also finishing second in the Sprint.
The team would have to wait until the Austrian Grand Prix to score another podium, with Leclerc taking second place. Sainz would also finish the Sprint in third.
But the big moment for the team in 2023 was the Singapore Grand Prix, the only time that Red Bull looked normal. Liam Lawson, who was replacing the injured Daniel Ricciardo for AlphaTauri would knock Max Verstappen out of Qualifying in Q2 by 0.007 seconds, with the Dutch driver starting the race from 11th on the grid.
Sainz would take pole position ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell, with Leclerc starting the Singapore Grand Prix from third. The start of the race was really strong from Ferrari, Sainz keeping the lead while Leclerc jumped Russell and moved up to second place.
It would be Sainz who would go on to take victory and give Ferrari their one and only race win of the season, an impressive moment given the dominance that Red Bull showed in 2023.
But was 2023 a good year for Ferrari despite that victory? In my opinion, it was somewhat of a disappointment. They narrowly lost out to Mercedes for second, taking third overall and with Mercedes not winning a race, it doesn’t look great for the Italian team. There is a lot of high expectations but given it was Fred Vassuer’s first season in charge, it will take some time for him to really lay his mark down as a Team Principal there. It wasn’t a disastrous season but they will definitely be hoping for more race victories in 2024.