Ferrari send message to Mercedes and Red Bull with new car

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Ferrari are ‘very happy’ with their car for 2023 and will have a ‘competitive start’ in a major warning to Mercedes and Red Bull. McLaren team boss Andrea Stella has shared his inside knowledge of the world championship battle ahead of the new season. 

Stella has replaced Andreas Steidl as team principal at McLaren for 2023 as part of a couple of big changes before the new campaign. The 51-year-old is a former Ferrari engineer and remains good friends with many staff who are still employed by the Italian team. 

Ferrari expect a better season than last, having fallen away from the world drivers’ championship battle in 2022. Several big team and individual mistakes cost Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, with Mercedes nearly pipping them to second place in the constructors’ championship. 

The Silver Arrows have now been tipped to make a strong reaction to Ferrari’s new car. But Leclerc and Sainz have been predicted to enjoy more consistent success next year. 

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Speaking to Gazetto dello Sport, Stella said of Ferrari’s new vehicle: “I expect a big reaction from Mercedes, even though I know that at Ferrari they are very happy with the new car and so they will definitely have a competitive start.”

Ferrari replaced Mattia Binotto with Fred Vasseur after their collapse in 2022. Vasseur has already made some big promises as the Frenchman seeks to challenge Mercedes and Red Bull. 

Leclerc, who was initially a contender for the drivers’ championship last year but struggled with inconsistency, insists Ferrari are feeling good. “I am confident because we are doing quite a lot of work at the simulator,” he said earlier in December. 

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“We’ve been working extremely hard in the past year to try and understand what were the weaknesses of this car in order to get better for next year’s car.

“Obviously, there’s also Mattia still at the factory at the moment, working and trying to help the team to get ready for 2023. I believe that if the transition is done in the right way, we shouldn’t suffer too much.

“I also think that after the 2021 season where we’ve been working very well and reset it a little bit from 2020, that was a difficult season, we have been working in the right direction and in the right way. And this gives me the confidence that we’ll have a competitive car for 2023.”

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