Charles Leclerc remains confident about Ferrari’s prospects for the 2023 season, despite a leadership change taking place over the winter.
It was announced at the end of November that Mattia Binotto had resigned as Team Principal. Two weeks later, Alfa Romeo’s Fred Vasseur was confirmed to take on the role of Team Principal and General Manager as of 9 January.
While the transition takes place off-track, Leclerc is not expecting it to have too much of an impact as the Scuderia continue to prepare for the upcoming campaign, one that he is feeling positive about for several reasons.
Leclerc: Ferrari working in the right direction
“I am confident because we are doing quite a lot of work at the simulator,” Leclerc told media, including RacingNews365.com, at the FIA Prize Giving ceremony.
“We’ve been working extremely hard in the past year to try and understand what were the weaknesses of this car, in order to get better for next year’s car.
“Obviously, there’s also Mattia still at the factory at the moment, working and trying to help the team to get ready for 2023. And again, I believe that if the transition is done in the right way, we shouldn’t suffer too much.
“I also think that, after the 2021 season, where we’ve been working very well and reset a little bit from 2020 – [which] was a difficult season – we have been working in the right direction and in the right way.
“This gives me the confidence that we’ll have a competitive car for 2023.”
Mercedes could challenge Ferrari, says Leclerc
While Mercedes struggled to match the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari in 2022, Leclerc expects the Silver Arrows to be much closer to their rivals in 2023.
“I do believe that Mercedes will be in the fight,” the Monegasque said.
“I haven’t seen signs yet to believe that another team will join the top three, but Mercedes will definitely be there next year with a very strong car.
“We’ve seen how much they’ve improved from the first race to the last race. I think they understood what they did wrong [with their car], and this is normally the sign that it will go better, so hopefully it will be a three-team fight next year.”
Leclerc believes that the prospect of more teams joining the fight at the front can only be a good thing.
“Of course [I would relish it], but not only me,” he continued.
“I think everybody [would enjoy it]. I think [if] more cars are involved then the closer the cars are, [and] the happier the drivers are because that’s when it gets interesting.”