Mario Andretti hits out at Ferrari as frustration of trapped Charles Leclerc grows

Thomas Maher
Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc, Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari driver, pictured during the F1 race weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.

Mario Andretti has offered a solution for what Ferrari needs to re-ignite their competitiveness in Formula 1.

With Ferrari continuing to struggle to re-capture the competitiveness they showed at the start of the current regulation cycle, the Scuderia have struggled for podium finishes in a year where they are locked in battle with Mercedes and Aston Martin for best of the rest behind Red Bull.

The battle for second has also recently intensified as McLaren’s upgrades have brought them into contention as the second-quickest team, although their points deficit after a poor start to the season will make a recovery to second a tall order.

Mario Andretti’s suggestion for Ferrari recovery

Speaking in an exclusive interview with, 1978 F1 World Champion Mario Andretti discussed the matter of Ferrari’s struggles and he suggested a dramatic change of direction by bringing back former Ferrari and Fiat chairman Luca di Montezemolo – the Italian businessman who re-invigorated Ferrari from their slumber during the 1990s to lead them to multiple titles with Jean Todt as team boss.

“Ferrari need to bring Montezemolo back,” Andretti bluntly said.

“That’s my take on it. That’s my opinion.”

Elaborating on the situation, Andretti said he feels particularly bad for Charles Leclerc. Put to him the rumours of Leclerc’s alleged long-term renewal with Ferrari beyond 2024, Andretti said: “I feel so badly for them, both [Charles] and Carlos [Sainz].

“He’s frustrated with what’s going on there at Ferrari. It’s hard to put your finger on that because it seems like something, even strategically, they’re not making all the best decisions.

“That shows frustration to some degree, but the drivers somehow seem like they don’t have enough say in what’s going on. That’s my opinion from the outside looking in, that’s all.

“Anyone that’s a Formula 1 fan, you have to want to pay attention to Ferrari – that’s always something, there’s always a soft spot for them.

“And, right now, I am disappointed in the management of the race team, very disappointed.

“It’s not the drivers, and I’ll tell you that. It’s not the drivers. They’re not providing the drivers with a winning situation at the moment. We’ll see at the next race but not at the moment. I think the drivers are capable of winning.” recommends

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Mario Andretti: Where else could Charles Leclerc go?

Asked whether a potential long-term renewal is the right move for Leclerc, given the current struggles of the team to re-find their spark under new team boss Fred Vasseur, Andretti said there isn’t really any options for the Monegasque to move elsewhere.

“Where would he go, at the moment?” he said.

“Even if there was say, a Red Bull, why would you want to be next to Max Verstappen? Max will always be number one. Where do you go from Ferrari now?

“It looks like McLaren are looking pretty good, with Oscar Piastri coming on – he’s shown moments of brilliance in the last couple of Grands Prix. I think McLaren is OK in the setup for drivers, I can’t see a change there, so where else would Charles go?

“He’s probably thinking that, Ferrari has been down before… and sooner or later, they’ll be resurgent because they have the tools, seemingly as much as any other team to be able to perform at the top level continuously.

“I’m sure he’ll study the situation quite well before he does [in fact sign a new long-term deal].”

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