Ferrari‘s 2023 is not going well. Instead of competing with Red Bull they are stuck in a positional battle (P2) between Mercedes and Aston Martin, and losing out. In addition to the overall disappointing pace over the long run, reliability and other issues are also a concern. Charles Leclerc was forced to retire in two of the three first races. Carlos Sainz was penalized for not scoring any points in Australia. Ferrari’s appeal failed.
The Maranello will be bringing a number of upgrades to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Baku will not see any major upgrades, but Imola and Barcelona are likely to. It remains to be determined how much they will improve the current, somewhat disappointing SF-23.
Fernando Alonso raised eyebrows not just with his performance this season. The Spaniard is taking the F1 world on a storm now that he has returned to a competitive Aston Martin. The decision to move from Alpine to Aston Martin was questioned by many, but it has proven correct. The Silverstone-based team is currently P2 in standings.
The two-time champion has struggled to win his 33rd race. He won his last race in 2013, at the Spanish Grand Prix. That was almost 10 years back. Sainz believes that Alonso is more likely to win than him at the moment. According to Motorsport Week, Sainz told Antena 3 deportes that Alonso will win 33 races before he wins his second race.
Carlos Sainz would support Fernando Alonso, if he were “at home”.
Ferrari is clearly on the back foot, even when it comes to the battle for P2. Aston Martin has the best package of the three rivals. However, Mercedes was very competitive in Australia. Carlos Sainz said that the British team had a significant advantage in terms of race pace, which was key to Fernando Alonso winning. The Spaniard stated: “The Aston Martin in race trim is superior to Ferrari, so he’s closer to winning.”
Alonso, despite being Sainz’s idol, is still a rival. In most cases you’d rather see your countryman win than someone else. It’s only if your team or you can’t. The Ferrari driver admitted that he’d support Alonso at home if he was there. He stated, : If I was at home watching F1, Fernando would win.
Alonso is clearly the best bet. This is not expected to change in Azerbaijan. According to reports the upgrades Ferrari will bring to Baku are not expected to fix the SF-23’s major issues. It’s still possible that the Prancing Horses will perform better. The Prancing Horses have not yet won the Azerbaijan GP. Even if they do better, it’s unlikely that they will break their streak.