F1 pundit Mark Hughes brutally assessed Ferrari's situation in the 2023 F1 season, claiming the team is still prone to operational errors despite having a new team principal. The Scuderia team lost out at the 2023 Monaco GP after they were unable to get their pit strategies right.
The team from Maranello had a disappointing performance in Monaco, lacking in both speed and strategy. Sainz voiced his frustration over the team's unclear communication on the radio as he navigated the streets of Monte Carlo.
Unlike his teammate, Charles Leclerc was kept out on the track for a longer period but was advised against extending his stint despite the incoming rain. Opting for a longer stint could have potentially improved his chances when the rain finally arrived.
In the end, Leclerc secured a sixth-place finish, while Sainz settled for eighth position in Monaco.
The team has proved once again that it is still prone to making strategic errors despite Vasseur's management. Speaking about the team's woes on The Race podcast, Mark Hughes said:
"The questionable strategy comes under the same umbrella, doesn't it? I can't really see that it's changed since last year. I think the only thing that's changed since last year is that they have a less competitive car. I think the operation side of it looks very much like it did".
Red Bull boss expected Ferrari to be stronger in Monaco
Red Bull boss Christian Horner had anticipated Ferrari to showcase greater pace in the 2023 F1 Monaco Grand Prix.
Recognizing the SF-23's advantage in terms of single-lap pace rather than overall race performance, Horner believed that Ferrari would excel in the demanding conditions of the Principality, where overtaking is exceptionally challenging. However, Ferrarri's actual performance did not align with these expectations.
During an interview with Sky Sports, Horner discussed the specific difficulties posed by the Monaco track. He also expressed the team's concerns regarding the Scuderia and anticipated them to be their primary competitors in the race and said:
“We were on the ropes here. We knew coming here that it was going to be our biggest challenge in the first half of the year here and the low-speed nature. We thought Ferrari would be the main opponent but Fernando has been on fire all weekend.”
With the Scuderia team set to bring major upgrades at the Spanish GP, it will be interesting to watch the two teams battle it out.