F1

Charles Leclerc poll – Will Ferrari star beat Max Verstappen in 2023?

Mick Schumacher drives his father’s Ferrari F2003-GA in October

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Charles Leclerc heads into 2023 as one of the title favourites after impressing at stages last season. Ferrari lost their chance to fight for the title after a range of mechanical failures and strategy errors in 2022.

However, the team look set to solve many of these which could give Leclerc a crack at the crown. F1 fans can now have their say over where Leclerc will finish next season and if pre-season rumours around the car’s potential are true.

Ferrari will look different in 2023 after team boss Mattia Binotto departed at the end of last season. Ferrari chairman John Elkann didn’t back the Italian to solve the squad’s issues after they struggled to maintain a championship bid.

Former Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vassuer has been drafted in as the Scuderia aim to win their first silverware since 2007. Furthermore, the team look to be set for a major upgrade in a bid to close the gap to Red Bull and Verstappen.

According to Formu1a.uno, Ferrari’s new car will be around one second quicker than their 2022 challenger. It comes a month after Soymotor.com suggested the team would have an extra 30 horsepower.

Teams are not able to change components, reliability tweaks are permitted. Last season, Binotto revealed that the Prancing Horse had started turning down their power units after a spate of reliability issues early on.

He stressed the team focussed on performance knowing reliability could be “resolved later”. He added: “This is not to say that we arrived at the first race thinking we were completely unreliable, it was not.

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“In the winter tests no problems emerged, but we knew we did not have an ideal situation. [The] problems we had on the track that had not emerged in the bench simulations, I think they are typical.”

Ferrari were the team to beat in the opening stages with Leclerc winning two of the first three Grand Prix. However, performances started to struggle mid-season with Ferrari dropping behind Mercedes by the end of the campaign.

It suggests if the reliability issues are solved over the winter the car’s true pace could be maintained. The new campaign will also be a huge year for Carlos Sainz who struggled to match Leclerc at times last season.

The Spaniard picked up his first career win at the British Grand Prix but failed to score big points during Ferrari’s strong spell. The 28-year-old finished behind Leclerc 13 times and finished 62 points behind in the standings.

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