Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Benozzo discussed on The Autosport Podcast


It's been a very good year. We've hit our target and jock clear we spoke to him in Abu Dhabi. And he said, if you could have offered us this season at the start of the year, we'd have ripped your arm off for it. And I'm thinking, okay, yeah, it's a step forward, but you've still not won the championship. You could have done so much more and so much better with this year. So that was quite surprising. And I think it does show that, yeah, but also going. I don't understand what that's going to fix for Ferrari because they've got the problem of there's no team principle, but benozzo is also their technical chief because he stepped up from that role and he was never replaced. So he kind of did this dual role. So now Ferrari have got to fill probably their two most important F one roles aside from the drivers in one to go. And yeah, I mean, I don't know where they're going to go for it. Obviously, Fred vasseur, if he comes in, he's very close with taito wolfs that have been interesting dynamic, but I think for Ferrari looking at this season, yeah, they've had, okay, success. They won four races, but they've only won four races. Like they should have done so much better with the potential they had in testing and what they showed and this is a really big missed opportunity for them this season. What about the difference between qualifying and race wins? That seems for Ferrari for me that seems the biggest problem that they could qualify, but they didn't convert this year. So yeah, obviously the stats of the season show that look led the way I didn't hear with what was annoying, ten proposition 9 9 propositions. The greatest that I love from this season is that Max Verstappen won more races from Charles Leclerc pole positions in Charles Leclerc one races from Charles Leclerc pole positions. It's a good start. That's a good one. Yes, I'm very glad it's an amusing interruption there. You justified cutting me off now. So that says a lot about how fast leclerc is. We know this. He's always been extremely fast throughout his junior career. But also it reflected the fact that Saturn wasn't happy with the understeering heavy car it revealed itself most when there was no fuel in the tanking in qualifying. He just couldn't push on right as he wanted to do. Don't forget also the tires, they're changing the tyres. The next year and I know it's not exactly the most sexy topic in Formula One, but it did make a big difference. We know those new brilliance for 2022. Had more understeering tendencies than the drivers wanted. That would be gone for next year. That may be helpful and even more when it comes to qualifying. But yeah, essentially Ferrari had the weaker race package because they weren't as good again sticking on that non sexy subject of the tyres. Ferrari self says, I think Joker said it in that interview at the end of the year, but it didn't get worse at higher management, Red Bull just got faster. So their drivers were having to push harder to keep up with them. And that's very plausible. Get that as an explanation. But Ferrari still hasn't solved its historical problem on that. All the teams occasionally get it wrong on the tyres. We saw redwood do that in Brazil. It was key to their losing that weekend when they could have had a perfect end to the season. They did it occasionally in 2020 and 2021, things like that, even Mercedes, like sometimes they're just not at the races just because you've got your sons wrong in practice, you made the wrong sets up adjustments or whatever. But Ferrari just really go quite dramatic swings in their performance on this. Like Austria, which is saying they want four races this season, the club one three. That was his most recent win back in what July? 5 months later, ages ago. The early victories that you had so long went to Australia. That was this year. It feels like a lifetime ago. And that was a time when they looked absolutely dominant. But yet, they were brilliant on the tyres in Austria, but they just couldn't get it sort of, it couldn't bottle that and recapture it. They seemed to feel that they were making progress in Abu Dhabi, leclerc, a brilliant one stop performance there. So they can do it. They just need to get that, just be able to do it more often. Where did bonato get it wrong this year in terms of strategy? Because I think the only problem is, because they made strategy gaffes this year and he said, he defended his team in public, right? I think the only problem is if they then go back in that debrief and they're all doing high 5s, generally thinking they did nothing wrong. I contend. He was protecting his team, but I don't know what happens inside Ferrari. So in his defense, wasn't he just protecting or what he's going to throw his chief strategist under a bus and get a new one halfway through the season. What could he have done differently to still be in charge of Ferrari? I think there's basically something has been lost in translation. So Mercedes has a no blame culture. They're very proud of this and extends Formula One team, former routine, whatever. And we know that particularly after the toxic culture of maritza, penny, we know that's something pinatas worked super, super hard on. But a no blame culture means we make mistakes and we come up with fixes, but we don't particularly put it on new Martin or Alex or Luke. But the Ferrari thing seemed to be no, no one is at fault ever. We do not accept any blame. So Silverstone was a good one. So they split strategies for late safety car. They let Carlos signs pit and left leclerc out. Obviously the clerk by then Indian championship mix. They should have backed him and they backed science and so the fans, the question that was put to bonato is like fans are saying you've got this wrong, what do you think? And Bernard turns on and goes, the fans are wrong. What do they know? And I don't think that's him being rude. I think that's just the difference between a no blame culture and not accepting any blame was a bit lost there. Because I think that was right on the cusp of summer break as well, and talk about, are we don't need to make any changes. Whatsoever. And it's like, that doesn't mean you have to make hiring and firing. But outwardly, it was very much a well, we don't even need to do a sort of internal assessment and review and see if we can make tweaks. It's fine, and we will sort of like a footballer will play ourselves back into form eventually. And I think that's where it gets wrong aside from the points leak was raising about basically pinato wasn't the boss's man or their first pick. If you compound it with the reliability, with that culture, that Ferrari culture he was a dead man walking, but it's all dark. I don't want to monologue about it too much, but like in terms of communication just before bonato was sacked or no, sorry. Just before easy mistake to make, just before pinato walked, we were told he wasn't going anywhere. And then, obviously, he goes. So what do you take from that communication? And then what do you read into his exit statement? It says, we will begin the process or finalize the process of our new team principal and yeah, well, as I wrote for GP racing, if that was a football club saying, we will now start a search for a new manager after forcing the one we've got out the door. That's when Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher saying, this is a rudderless club that has no idea because they're making decisions with no sort of next step in the pipeline. The next person can't affect any change on 2023. At least at the first half of the season, budget cap area arguably the whole of the whole of the season. So I just don't understand what getting

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