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These mistakes in 2022 could see Ferrari lose the F1 title

These mistakes in 2022 could see Ferrari lose the F1 title

8 August - 20:59
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GPblog.com

Ferrari, with its F1-75, has a car that is good enough to win a championship, but the Italian team has put itself at a huge disadvantage. This was not always in the power of the team or its drivers, but the number of mistakes made is too high compared to the competition. GPblog lists the five most costly mistakes that, when added together, could cost Ferrari both world titles.

Emilia Romagna GP

The Ferrari team members set sail for Imola as heroes, arriving as the championship leaders for the first time in years. Charles Leclerc enjoyed a 46-point margin to Max Verstappen, while Ferrari travelled to Italy with a 49-point lead over Red Bull Racing. However, Red Bull had a substantial update package ready which proved extremely effective, and this fact seemed to take Ferrari by surprise.

In the sprint race, Leclerc encountered tyre degradation problems that allowed Verstappen to take the win and with it the pole position for Sunday. On Sunday, Red Bull proved too strong for the Italians once again, and the Austrian racing team went on to its first double win since 2016. Leclerc wasn't prepared to settle for just that, however, and went on the attack against Sergio Perez, but that cost the Monegasque dearly. He spun from third and dropped to P6, halving the number of points he could have scored.

Monaco GP 

Unfortunately for Leclerc, 2022 proved yet again why some people think there is a curse on his home race. Before this year, he had never reached the finish line in Monte Carlo, so this was his big chance to end that run. With pole position in his pocket, everything seemed to point towards an easy victory, but that dream was brutally put to an end by none other than his own team.

Before the start, it was clear that it would not be a straightforward race. Dark clouds gathered and rain poured down, delaying the start for an hour. The race then started behind the safety car. So far, things were looking good for Leclerc, who had built up a five-second lead over team-mate Carlos Sainz.

Red Bull, however, turned out to be strategically astute and sent Perez in for a tyre change first. Like most teams, Red Bull opted for the intermediates, creating an opportunity for the Italian team. Instead of letting Leclerc out longer and changing to softs straight away - a strategy that Sainz forced on his team - Ferrari's panic got the better of them.

Just a few laps after his first pit stop, the Monegasque was called back in, but as he entered the pit lane he heard his engineer panicking and telling him to stay out. It was too late for that, and Leclerc was forced to slot in behind Sainz, who was at the team for his pitstop at the time. As a result, Leclerc was relegated to fourth and even missed out on the podium in a race that could have been a double win for Ferrari.

British GP

At Silverstone, Leclerc was again a victim of his team's indecision. With Verstappen posing no threat as he had to finish the race with a piece of carbon fibre under his car, the Monegasque looked set for an easy win. By failing to react during a late safety car situation, Ferrari threw away that prospect as well.

At the pit wall of the Italian team it was decided that Leclerc, who was leading at the time, should stay out. Sainz, Perez and Lewis Hamilton did, however, and Leclerc - on his fourteen-lap tyres - was passed by all three drivers. As in Monaco, the team turned a potential win into a place off the podium.

French GP

Despite lagging behind Verstappen and Red Bull, Ferrari travelled to France in good spirits. The team was unbeatable in Austria and would probably have scored a one-two if Sainz's engine hadn't failed in the closing stages of the race, but had to settle for Leclerc's win.

Also at Circuit Paul Ricard, things looked good for the Monegasque. Sainz, who had to start from the back of the grid due to an engine change, helped his teammate to pole position on Saturday by giving him a tow. Leclerc was able to maintain his position and take the lead in the race, but as Verstappen fell behind him as he was brought in for a pit stop, things went badly wrong.

The Ferrari driver tried to lose as little time as possible on his rival until his own stop, but went over the limit and drove his F1-75 into the wall. Verstappen then cruised to the win unchallenged, leading the Dutchman 25 points ahead of his rival.

Hungary GP

A week later Leclerc tried to put his costly mistake behind him. There was an excellent opportunity to make up a lot of points on Verstappen, as the Red Bull driver was restricted to tenth place on the grid due to a technical problem. On a track not exactly known for its easy overtaking, Ferrari should have been able to take an easy win. However, the Italians once again managed to throw their own lenses in the fire.

Ferrari had to leave pole to George Russell, but from P2 and P3 they had an excellent starting position. Halfway through the race Russell had to acknowledge his superiority to Leclerc, who took the lead with his overtaking manoeuvre. At the second pit stop, however, the team made an inexplicable decision: Leclerc was put on hard compound, while other teams had already determined that those tyres were not an option for the cool conditions that day.

While Leclerc was fine on the mediums, he struggled to find grip on the hard tyres. It didn't improve, and after fifteen laps of hard work Ferrari brought him in for a third stop. The change to softs couldn't help the Monegasque, and while Verstappen drove from P10 to a sensational win, Leclerc finished far behind in sixth place.

 
 
 
 
 
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