Former F1 team founder shares verdict on Ferrari’s 2024 title chances

Ferrari finished third in the Constructors' Championship in 2023 behind Mercedes and Red Bull

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Former Formula 1 team founder Giancarlo Minardi has shared his assessment of Ferrari’s rollercoaster performance in the 2023 season.

Ferrari finished third in the Constructors’ Championship — three points shy of second-placed Mercedes. It was a mixed year for Ferrari, with a car that only seemed to truly come alive in the latter stages of the season.

Whilst there were definite highs for the Scuderia, such as Carlos Sainz’s win at the Singapore Grand Prix, Minardi has suggested that minor victories aren’t enough for a team like Ferrari.

“Everyone expected a certain level, especially after a promising start,” Minardi said of Ferrari in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. “A level to which the red car arrived at only in the finale.

“On the technical side it has been up and down, with some worrying moments in the summer.

“But it is true that finishing on the rise is a positive sign for 2024. That, precisely because of the stability of the regulations, will be decisive.”

Minardi positive about Vasseur’s first season in charge

Frederic Vasseur took over as Ferrari boss from Mattia Binotto at the start of 2023, leading to a shakeup in the team’s structure.

Minardi believes a change of procedure at Ferrari was needed and is looking forward to seeing what Vasseur can do in the future.

“Having taken office in January 2023, he found everything already done,” said Minardi. “The good stuff comes now.

“Everyone tells me and [Vasseur] himself said that major investments have been made in terms of men and manpower, so we will see what and how many grafts will come in.

“The machine has been made by the same people for years. It was time to perceive, understand and learn what others are doing. That’s the job of the team principal. Of course at Ferrari when you are second you are the first of the losers. So it’s not easy.”

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Ferrari‘s biggest challenge between themselves and a first championship since 2008 is the utterly dominant Red Bull, which won all but one race in 2023.

When asked what might be expected of Ferrari in order to beat Red Bull, Minardi suggested that it was not his place to say — and that he wasn’t quite sure.

“If I knew, I would have already won the lottery,” said Minardi. “Sitting in the armchair, you watch the race, you compare times, you can make some considerations.

“But then to know how a team really works you have to live in it, and sometimes that’s not even enough. So it’s not the case to give judgments or even advice.”

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