Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monaco, 2022

Ferrari tweaks race team operation after “hard” lessons from 2022 errors

2023 F1 season

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Ferrari has made changes to their race team operations after reviewing the strategic and operational errors which compromised their season last year.

The team, which launched its new SF-23 chassis today, was left to count the cost of tactical mistakes and problems in the pit lane on several occasions in 2022. Charles Leclerc saw his championship bid frustrated by questionable strategy calls while he was leading in Monaco, Silverstone and the Hungaroring, as well as during qualifying at Interlagos.

Racing director Laurent Mekies said Ferrari has conducted a 360-degree review of its processes and scrutinised the mistakes it made last season in depth.

“We had a very, very extensive review of 2022, trying to find out where we have performed strongly, obviously analysing deeply where we have been lacking as there is no need to hide,” he said. “We have learned some of this last year in the hard way on Sunday afternoon.

“So of course we have had this 360 review. What it means for us is that we are concentrating on giving our people the best platform to express themselves.

Charles Leclerc, Frederic Vasseur, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari SF-23, 2023
Gallery: Ferrari SF-23 launch
“So we have been reviewing our processes, we are reviewing the way we are working in order to make sure that each each individual can express itself as best individually and, of course, collectively.”

The disappointing end to a season which began strongly for Ferrari led to the departure of Mattia Binotto as team principal. His replacement Frederic Vasseur, who took charge last month, confirmed other changes have been made within the operation ahead of the new season. He plans to consider whether more needs to be done after the opening races.

“It’s very short notice and it’s difficult to have a big change into the organisation, but we will do some marginal changes into the organisation on the race team operation,” said Vasseur. “And then let’s see after Bahrain and the first couple of races, what we will do.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “Ferrari tweaks race team operation after “hard” lessons from 2022 errors”

  1. Sporting director Laurent Mekies said Ferrari has conducted a 360-degree review of its processes and scrutinised the mistakes it made last season in depth.

    Laurent Mekies oversaw last year’s clown show in person. The buck stops with him. How he isn’t part of the change, I have no idea.

    1. Vasseur said he wouldn’t be dumping any (senior) people this soon into his tenure, but as you rightly note, given that Mekies was responsible for the operations that made Ferrari such a laughing stock at multiple races (“They were on hards?!”) any review done by him is suspect. If Vasseur can straighten him out then fine, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him replaced before the 2024 season.

      1. MichaelN,
        That’s the wise thing to do for someone methodical like Vasseur. If it was Briatore he would have been already out. The only reason that I can think of which saved Mekies from being replaced is the fact that he is French and Vasseur may need him to get as much info as he needs with regard to the entire organization and not only the racing team.

        I think Mekies should have been replaced after the 2019 Canadian GP where Ferrari appealed Vettel’s penalty after the race and he claimed they have new overwhelming evidence before meeting the stewards at the French Grand Prix only to show them a video analysis of the incident made by Karun Chandhok for Sky Sport !!!

        1. Absolutely, and Vasseur didn’t mince words when he said “let’s see after Bahrain and the first couple of races, what we will do”. He apparently isn’t going to let someone sit around all season if he’s convinced that person needs to be replaced, and Mekies is probably high on his list of people who need to prove they’re worth keeping around.

          As for Canada 2019; that was indeed a rather silly attempt by Ferrari, but it was also completely pointless to even bother. Even at the best of times the FIA is reluctant to overturn their decisions, and when one is made under such dubious circumstances (as with Leclerc getting penalized in Japan 2022, thereby ‘coincidentally’ awarding Honda the World Championship party at their own Suzuka track) it should have been clear that nothing was going to change their minds.

  2. I thought there weren’t any mistakes, or so I’ve been told. PR in F1 is really weak and obvious, they don’t even care about what they were saying just a month ago…

  3. One of the things I have noticed about Ferrari, which seem to be different at most other teams, are the chief engineers on the pit wall talking to the drivers. I don’t know if this is actually the case, but at Ferrari it seems that those individuals are senior personell that has worked their way up through the ranks to get that prominent position. Whereas at other teams they seem to be picked more for their good relationship with their respective driver, in a more driver/co-driver dynamic. At Ferrari, they seem to completely lack the aspect of knowing each other by the tone of their voices – often leading to frustrated drivers, bad timing, and outright bad decisions being made. I really don’t understand how they can allow that to continue.

  4. Hopefully that also includes reminding Sainz that he’s the clear number two and not to try to emotionally blackmail/argue with the team over strategy in the middle of a race.

    Charles needs the full support from his team AND his number two if they are going to mount a serious challenge to the mighty Red Bull and Max

    1. Seems they are still on course to not pick a number one and keep humoring Sainz his dillusion. Too bad for Charles even last year he would have been closer had they made a clearer and sooner decision to back him.

  5. But in F1, where people routinely “give 110%” someone out there will be doing a 370-degree review.

  6. Isn’t 360 degrees a turn to the same direction?…

    1. I think they meant 180 degrees to indicate a total different way. 360 degrees means they changed nothing….

    2. A 360° reviews clearly means analysing all around you.

    3. Yes, but it’s not a turn but a review.

      They might as well have said they looked ‘everywhere’. But management lingo is hard to shake off once you start to use it.

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