The Scuderia excited many at the start of the season with them looking as though they were going to be back in the mix for the championships.
Indeed, they won two of the opening three races via Charles Leclerc and looked to have the quickest car on the grid, with Red Bull suffering reliability issues and Mercedes falling short of their incredibly high standards.
Leclerc built a good early lead in the Drivers’ championship, too, whilst Sainz had a little less fortune and unfortunately never really looked like threatening for the crown because of that, despite putting in some great drives this season in the time since.
The Drivers’ title now very much looks as though it’s going Max Verstappen’s way, however, whilst Red Bull are well on course to take the Constructors’ crown and a mix of reliability issues and mistakes from Ferrari has made it that bit easier for them along the way.
Ultimately, though, it is Ferrari’s first season in a while where they have been title challengers and getting that right first time can be difficult, which is why the hope must be that the team learns from this year and is stronger in 2023.
Sainz backs Ferrari to learn
Speaking after the Italian Grand Prix, the Spaniard backed his team to take on board those lessons after he took P4 following a fine drive through the field from P18:
“It’s a good reaction from our team that is maturing, a team that is learning a lot from this difficult year, and a team that has done a massive step compared to last year in terms of putting ourselves back into winning contention.
“But we’re still doing mistakes, we’re still learning. It’s a young team I think and we are young in working together.
“I think there’s been progress this year and even though it’s a difficult second half of the season, I think we’re going to take a lot of knowledge from this to [use] in the last few races and to go for it next year again.”
The writing is now on the wall for the championship this year but Ferrari have it in them to learn and challenge next season, with them possessing two of the finest drivers on the grid.
Time will tell as to how well they implement those lessons, meanwhile.