Ferrari promised that the SF-23 would be “unprecedented in terms of speed” in the lead-up to the new season, but that hasn’t been the case. In reality, no driver has been able to win a race or even place on the podium thus far.
Ferrari is now in fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship with just 26 points, and Carlos Sainz is tied for fourth in the Drivers’ Championship with 26 points. Leclerc is only ranked P8.
The Monegasque driver was forced to withdraw from the season-opening race in Bahrain after his car broke down. This resulted in a grid penalty for the next race in Saudi Arabia as the team had to install his third Control Electronics unit of the year.
The fact that Verstappen was able to drive from 15th on the grid to second at the finish line, despite starting the race in 12th place, is again more proof that the SF-23 is no match for the Red Bull.
He climbed up to 44 points that Sunday after earning the fastest lap point, 38 more than Leclerc. However, the Ferrari driver is certain that the championship is still attainable.
Naturally, he responded, “It’s still early in the season.”
“We cannot pretend that everything is fine and that starting this weekend, we’ll be vying for victories once more.
“We must maintain reality. We are now performing below what we would like, but this does not mean that we should become demotivated.
“The season is long, and we have enhancements coming in the upcoming races that should help us cut the gap to Red Bull, who play in a different league. In races, Aston Martin is also very competitive.
“We realise we have work to do, but we still believe we can win the title.”