Jean Alesi has called for some perspective around Ferrari this season, given the progress made by the Scuderia in recent years.
Ferrari started this season in fine form as Charles Leclerc built a good early lead in the Drivers’ standings by winning two of the opening three races, as Red Bull suffered reliability issues.
However, the tables have turned dramatically in the time since with the Bulls proving very strong to open up big leads themselves in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ standings, with mistakes and reliability issues creeping in for the team from Maranello.
However, Alesi believes that whilst, of course, this season has had a few negative moments, overall it should be considered another year of progress given where the team was back in 2020, and that the ‘fine-tuning’ of the outfit just needs to take a little more time.
“It’s not such a bad season for them,” Alesi said to Give Me Sport.
“Because the last few years they had a very bad car and a bad season.
“They hardly got on the podium, then last year, they recovered a bit. And now with these new regulations they came out with a rocket car [which is] very competitive everywhere.
“But, of course, we are in the middle of the season, and now we can make the kind of judgement on what’s happened. And they have had the moments where they made the wrong decision on the wrong moment. And you see how much a small mistake can be a big effect on the bad side.
“What I have to say is it’s more important to have a fast car, and then to fine tune the team, because this team [has gone] a long time without winning the championship and they are building a group.
“And they are fighting with a group like Mercedes, or, obviously, Red Bull, who in the last 12 years, they have won everything and so this fine tuning to be competitive, not only with the car, but also on the racetrack, will take time.”
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Alesi also went on to say that whilst Ferrari will always draw criticism, some perspective is needed over the car they have produced this season, despite some of its issues so far:
“Probably since Ferrari [began] existing, the attention is always massive and the fans are also very critical. I have a column in Italy for the newspaper Corriere della Sera and last time after Hungary, I made the column only for the fans. I was saying ‘please, it’s not like the World Cup, every four years, and you miss a penalty, and it’s the end of the world, it’s not like that.’
“Racing is different. And of course Ferrari are prepared to have a lot of criticism, and they know how to deal with it. But it’s not nice. I believe so much in [Mattia] Binotto and in the young team because when you have to race against engineers like Adrian Newey, he is a superstar. As an engineer he has always made winning cars and to be honest, Ferrari looks faster so that is a big achievement. The criticism from the press or from the fan is normal because Ferrari is Ferrari.”
The 2022 Formula 1 world championship resumes with the Belgian Grand Prix on Aug 26-28.