Charles Leclerc’s thoughts as Fred Vasseur prepares to take over at Ferrari

Michelle Foster
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto and Charles Leclerc at the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal, June 2022.

Ferrari's Mattia Binotto and Charles Leclerc at the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal, June 2022.

Charles Leclerc is hoping Ferrari won’t “suffer too much” as Mattia Binotto hands the reins over to Frederic Vasseur ahead of the 2023 season.

After almost three decades with Ferrari, Binotto handed in his resignation after the 2022 season as the team principal paid the price for Ferrari’s failure to launch a title challenge, undone by reliability issues, driver crashes and baffling strategy calls.

The Scuderia have announced Vasseur as his replacement, the Frenchman moving over from Alfa Romeo having reportedly thrown his name into the hat back in June already.

Leclerc, runner-up in 2022 with three wins to his name, reckons if Ferrari can pull off a seamless transition, they shouldn’t be hurt by the change in management.

Revealing that Binotto, who will leave Ferrari on the 31st of December with Vasseur taking over in early January, is still present in the factory, the Monégasque is feeling “confident” ahead of the 2023 season.

“I am confident because we are doing quite a lot of work at the simulator,” he said as per

“We’ve been working extremely hard in the past year to try and understand what were the weaknesses of this car in order to get better for next year’s car.

“Obviously, there’s also Mattia still at the factory at the moment, working and trying to help the team to get ready for 2023. I believe that if the transition is done in the right way, we shouldn’t suffer too much.

“I also think that after the 2021 season where we’ve been working very well and reset it a little bit from 2020, that was a difficult season, we have been working in the right direction and in the right way.

“And this gives me the confidence that we’ll have a competitive car for 2023.”

‘Visible’ suspension changes to help with tyre wear

Mid-way through the 2022 season Ferrari’s F1-75 went from a fast car to a tyre-eater.

That, some pundits suggested, was the result of TD39 and the way in which Ferrari were forced to make changes to the floor as they had been one of the teams exploiting a grey area in the rules that created a bit more flex in the floor.

But the Scuderia’s suspension is also said to have played a part in their tyre woes.

And that, according to, means they’ll be making ‘some interesting evolutions on the suspension’ for the 2023 car, code named ‘675’.

Stating that the changes will be ‘rather visible’, the 2023 car’s suspension has been altered for better tyre wear.

‘The last few races [of 2022] have shown a difficulty in managing wear, especially on the front axle, a concern of all the latest Ferraris,’ read the report.

Adding that ‘more generally the use of intermediate tyres has created extensive problems since Imola, when compared to the RB18. In the wet, the proof: with reduced speed and grip, it’s never an aerodynamic problem but more a mechanical one.

‘This is another aspect on which Ferrari plans to close the gap on its competitors.’

Read more: Christian Danner: Losing Mattia Binotto has set Ferrari back three years