F1

Ferrari Describes Where It Lost F1 Development War Against Red Bull

The Maranello-based outfit began the 2022 campaign as the team to beat, with Charles Leclerc winning two of the season’s first three grands prix in the F1-75.

However, Red Bull quickly recovered from its rocky start to bring quick performance improvements to its RB18 that ultimately helped Max Verstappen take control of the drivers’ championship.

The Dutchman, who clinched the crown at the Japanese Grand Prix, would go on to win a record 15 races by the end of the season.

Reflecting on why Red Bull was able to make better profits throughout the year, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes it was a result of the two teams focusing on entirely different areas of improvement.

And it suggests that Red Bull’s main attack to lose weight from its car, which started the year too heavy, was much easier to bear fruit than Ferrari’s need for aerodynamic gains.

“I think there have been a few factors,” Binotto said, when asked by Motorsport.com why Red Bull’s development was stronger over the course of 2022.

“First of all I think, in terms of development, Red Bull had a clear path, which was to reduce the weight of the car. That was not our case.

“They knew what [they needed] tackle to get performance from the car itself. For us it was more complicated because it really went through aerodynamic developments and trying to improve the car from a conceptual and aerodynamic point of view.

“Also, I think if I look back, maybe the development we did was not enough. We stopped very early; not just because of an election but for spending reasons. But there are some things we need to look at.”

Ferrari recently revealed that work on its 2022 car was halted several weeks ago because the team had maxed out its maximum cost spending for the year.

Binotto said Ferrari’s success in dividing its resources between this year and next can only be judged based on the success of its 2023 challenger.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar/Motorsport Images

“Have we made the right decision to stop so early, in terms of priority between 2022 and 2023? I don’t know,” he said.

“I think only 2023 can tell us what was the right choice or not. More than that, maybe we could have done a better and proper development of the car, within what we did. And that’s something we need to review.”

“But I think the main reason is that Red Bull took a clear path, which was weight reduction. I think it was easier to extract the performance from the car itself.”

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While Ferrari was disappointed that it did not fight harder in this year’s championship against Red Bull, Binotto says he is heartened by the fact that his team remained fighting at the front throughout the season.

“I think the important thing for us was to get competitive again, and that was really the goal for us,” he said.

“For me, fighting for a good position in race 22 is the best result, because it means that we have been competitive not only from the beginning, where we had a very strong car.

“Nobody would have expected it. But we kept fighting through the season and until the end.”

“We had some ups and downs. There have been races where we have not been good enough and we will review that. But I think more than P2 and P2 [in the drivers’ and constructors’ championship]what’s important to me is the fact that, in race 22, we were still fighting for good positions.”

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