Carlos Sainz believes the real difference between Ferrari and Red Bull was lack of development from the Italian side.
Ferrari started 2022 in excellent form, winning two of the opening three races but their victory at the Australian Grand Prix would prove to be their last for seven races.
Sainz would eventually break that streak with his maiden F1 win at Silverstone but the title had by then firmly swung in favour of Max Verstappen and Red Bull.
As the Milton Keynes based team disappeared over the horizon, Mercedes soon began to catch Ferrari and it took until the final race of the season for the Italian outfit to secure their P2 finish in the Constructors.
In his assessment of the season, Sainz concluded that Ferrari were “out-developed” by both Red Bull and Mercedes.
“We didn’t get a win [in the last few races] that was the target but I think, very simply, we got out-developed by Red Bull and Mercedes in the second half which made our second half of the season relatively weaker than the first half,” he told media including PlanetF1.com.
“I think we know why as a team. We’re trying to put in place measures for next year to improve our development rate but also whenever we had our chances of winning, we were maybe not the strongest team at executing races. We know these are the main two targets for next season.
“On my side, I want to start the season a lot stronger, a bit more like I finished this one.
“Being a better driver with more knowledge and again with a lot more knowledge of this generation of cars, that should make me stronger next season.”
It is not the first time Sainz has suggested poor decision making during races has cost the team. When asked to identify what went wrong for Ferrari, Sainz said the team must do better during grands prix.
His team-mate Charles Leclerc said similar, suggesting in November that the team must learn “to be better on Sunday.”
With Mattia Binotto’s departure, it remains to be seen if the new boss will be able to implement these changes going into the 2023 season. Sole blame does not lie with Binotto though.
Ferrari’s Inaki Rueda has been with the team since 2014 as head of race strategy before being made the Sporting Director of Scuderia Ferrari in January 2021.
At times this season, the angry finger of the tifosi has been pointed at Rueda but he remains in his post going into the 2023 season.