With the search underway for a new team principal, Charles Leclerc is not expecting Ferrari to “suffer” on track as a result of the disruption.
Mattia Binotto handed in his resignation with the Scuderia after a season in which Ferrari produced a car capable of fighting for both World Championships, but title fights never fully materialised as Red Bull and Max Verstappen capitalised on several in-race errors in the first half of the season to take the lead of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.
Red Bull’s pace then began to stretch away from Ferrari as the season progressed, with Binotto paying the price as pressure mounted at the top of the Scuderia, with Leclerc and Carlos Sainz converting just four of their 12 pole positions into victories in 2022.
Ferrari and Exor chief executives Benedetto Vigna and John Elkann are leading the search for Binotto’s replacement, with Alfa Romeo’s Fred Vasseur rumoured to be the team’s favoured candidate as things stand.
Leclerc acknowledged that the team has been feeling the effects of Binotto’s imminent departure, though he will continue with the team until the end of the year, but he has faith in senior management about picking the new team principal.
“Obviously the last few weeks have been a bit difficult for the team and we are in a transition time at the moment,” Leclerc said at a press conference at the FIA’s Prize Giving Gala in Bologna.
“But yeah, on that, I have the full trust of Benedetto and John to take the right decision. But I am sure that 2023 will be another step forward and hopefully get closer to the goal that we all want in the team, which is to be to be World Champion.”
But when asked further about how long it might take for a new team principal to put their ideas into practice, potentially having to wait for success while their visions take effect, Leclerc is unsure about whether or not this will be the case – but he is not expecting on-track hiccups to come as a result of this.
“Well, to be honest, I don’t know because from my own experience, I’ve never had a team principal change during when I was racing for the same team,” he explained.
“It will probably require a little bit of time for the team principal to get at ease with the system and with Ferrari because it’s obviously a huge team.
“But I believe that if it’s done the right way, I don’t think we’ll suffer any of it on the track, so I’m pretty sure it will be a smooth transition.”