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Formula 1

Ferrari’s Leclerc looks to 2023 after ‘tough’ 2022 season

In 2022, Ferrari’s pit stops and strategy were criticized, including a disastrous pit stop in Monaco that cost Leclerc an almost certain win. (Image courtesy of formula1.com)
Leclerc’s 2022 got off to a great start. After dominating in Australia, the prospects for the championship appeared strong after winning two of the first three races. However, eventual World Champion Max Verstappen fought his way back into contention, and Leclerc did not win another race until seven rounds later in Austria. This would be his final victory of 2022, and he hopes to win again in early 2023.
His and Ferrari’s season began to unravel after Austria. Ferrari’s strategic errors cost Leclerc potential podiums and wins throughout the season, most notably in Monaco, Silverstone, and Hungary. Leclerc also shared some of the blame after crashing out while leading the French Grand Prix. This crash effectively ended his bid for the title.
According to formula1.com, after the crash, Leclerc stated, “It’s my fault, and if I continue to make mistakes like this, I deserve not to win the championship.”
Leclerc revealed his thoughts on his YouTube channel as he prepares for 2023. “For sure, there are some days I’m not particularly happy to go training,” the Monegasque admitted, but his desire to win drives him. Finally, winning is what drives me. In 2022, we didn’t make it, but I’m planning to do it this year”.
Leclerc emphasized the significance of preparation, revealing that training “is a part” of this: “We need to be as prepared as possible, and training is part of that. You have to be fit inside the car, and we’re doing our best to be the best driver on the track – that’s what motivates me.”
When asked if his mentality is different heading into 2023, Leclerc said every season gives a driver more experience, and he believes he has matured as a result of his difficult 2022 championship bid:
“I think I’m maturing… Every season in Formula One, you learn new things and evolve as a driver.
Whether there is a particular change where I was like, ‘Okay, this I need to change’, not really. It’s only minor enhancements. Every mistake teaches you something and helps you grow, so I’m more mature. But there hasn’t been any significant change.”
This year, the Monegasque has a new Team Principal, with former Alfa Romeo CEO Fred Vasseur taking over for Mattia Binotto. After the Scuderia’s strategic struggles, Binotto resigned before the end of the 2022 season.