Charles Leclerc is fine to finish second in the 2022 F1 season, but there is not too much satisfaction as he certainly wanted the title.
For Ferrari and principally Leclerc, they can look back at 2022 as a good season but it possibly could and should have been better. Back to back wins in the opening two grands prix and many people reckoned it was perhaps the year of the team finally. But Red Bull hit the ground sprinting and the rest is history as they say.
Leclerc eventually was able to split Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez but owing to mechanical issues and strategy maladies, their challenge for both championships would sadly peter away in the latter part of the 2022 campaign. Second was still good but after their start to the season, he himself isn’t deriving much satisfaction from his campaign.
“Not too much satisfaction, to be honest,” said Leclerc to media. “Looking back at the season, I think it’s been a good season, especially looking at 2020 and 2021 that have been two very difficult years for the team. It wasn’t a given that we would do such a step forward and finish second in the drivers’ championship and also second in the constructors’ championship. So for that I’m happy.
“But then obviously, looking a bit more into the season closely, there’s been the middle part of the season that has been very frustrating, where we didn’t really put everything together coming to Sunday. And that was that was frustrating. So mixed feelings about this season. But second place is quite good. I just hope it is a step forward, and that for next year, we can do another step forward,” summed up Leclerc.
Having started off well, both Ferrari and Leclerc couldn’t maintain the momentum. Engine failure saw him retire at Baku and Barcelona but driver error accounted for his Paul Ricard retirement. As per above strategy issues, particularly at Silverstone and Hungary added to the drivers woes. A 22-race calendar now with a number of triple headers to boot.
This is not lost on Leclerc either. “I think in the heat of the moment and in the heat of the season, races are coming quite quickly,” he said. “So I think it’s OK. It’s just at the end of the season, then you look back at the season and you feel it a bit more. But during the season, it wasn’t that difficult.”
At the end of the day, Leclerc had a great season – one where he was almost in the title fight. It perhaps could have been better but it was still his best campaign so far and all is certainly not lost and 2022 gave the Monegasque a lot to think about and build on for next season.
Here’s Ferrari on what they are doing for 2023
Here’s news of Mick Schumacher leaving Ferrari
Here’s news on Frederic Vasseur joining Ferrari
Here’s Charles Leclerc on Mattia Binotto leaving
Here’s Charles Leclerc taking the second place trophy
Here’s Ferrari drivers testing 2024 tyres
Here’s Charles Leclerc on Ferrari focusing on three elements