Flavio Briatore slammed Ferrari‘s fall from grace in the 2023 Formula 1 season, claiming there’s nothing positive to say about their cars despite Carlos Sainz taking the only non-Red Bull victory of the year at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Ferrari are 20 points behind Mercedes in the battle for second-place in the constructors’ championship, after Sainz‘s victory as he picked up their first win of the year.
However, Ferrari won four Grand Prix in 2022 and were in contention at the front for plenty more, whereas they have often been out of even the battle for the podium in 2023.
“Ferrari is more or less there, having to play it with the McLarens,” Briatore told Il Reformista. “Unfortunately, there is nothing great to say about the cars from Maranello.”
The team were nailed on for a top-two constructors’ championship finish for most of 2022, despite a late resurgence from Mercedes, but have faced a much tougher battle a year later.
Aside from Mercedes being a much more evenly-matched competitor, the Scuderia have also been forced to deal with Aston Martin and McLaren too.
Since both McLaren drivers received their transformational upgrade package at the 2023 British GP, they’ve outscored their Italian rivals and lead the podium count 5-3.
And Ferrari only lead Aston Martin in the constructors’ standings thanks to Lance Stroll‘s continued struggles, Fernando Alonso comfortably leads both Scuderia drivers.
Carlos Sainz to decide F1 future before 2024
Briatore‘s comments come as Sainz announced he will decide his F1 future over the winter break at the end of 2023.
Sainz is enjoying arguably the best year of his career, having taken the momentous Singapore win and only finished outside the top six on four occasions.
He’s 15 points ahead of Leclerc in the drivers’ championship and unlike in 2021, when he also beat his Ferrari teammate in his first year at Maranello, there’s more appreciation of the difference Sainz is making in the car.
Leclerc failed to finish two races in 2021 whereas Sainz had a perfect record, and the consensus was that the Spaniard has been the luckier driver but not as strong as his teammate overall.
Sainz also re-iterated he feels fully valued by the team, implying he won’t be looking elsewhere as he decides his future beyond the end of 2024.