Ferrari recently appointed Fred Vasseur as its new team principal following a disappointing stint under the leadership of Mattia Binotto.
Bintto was eventually the scapegoat for a number of poor strategical calls made by Ferrari throughout the season which saw both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz lose out on valuable championship points.
Vasseur, who was heading Alfa Romeo till this point, is a big fan of Leclerc and it earlier this week and it is rumoured that he will blatantly offer him preferential treatment over Sainz.
Leclerc and Vasseur have worked together in the past at Sauber in 2018 and it is during this period that the duo established a healthy relationship.
While Leclerc looked set to challenge Verstappen for the title in the early part of the season, reliability issues and strategical blunders ended up derailing his championship run.
Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher believes that Binotto was far more fond of Sainz compared to Leclerc and this is what ended up working against the Monegasque driver.
Carlos Sainz the big loser?— Junaid #JB17 (@JunaidSamodien_) December 15, 2022
"Of course they are very close," recalls Schumacher, because in 2018 the Monegasse made his debut in Formula 1 under Vasseur for Sauber. In addition, he won the title in the then GP3 in 2016 with the ART team founded by Vasseur.
“Binotto was more of a fan of Carlos Sainz, whom he also brought in. Charles Leclerc also suffered a bit from this.” Schumacher said.
Fixing their reliability issues which cost them so dearly will be of utmost importance for Ferrari in 2023.
While they did seem to get a hang of their reliability issues as the season progressed, it was their raceday execution that worked against them in crucial moments, much to the frustration of Leclerc.
Ferrari has juggled its bosses in recent years and has had six different men leading it since 2005, starting with Jean Todt, Stefano Domenicali, Marco Mattiaci, Maurizio Arrivabene and Mattia Binotto and now Fred Vassuer.
The last driver to win the world championship with Ferrari remains Kimi Raikkonen in 2007 and Vassuer will know that a positive showing this term is imperative to silence the naysayers.
As things stand, the team is busy working on its simulator to understand any potential weaknesses in order to give a better account of themselves in the upcoming campaign.