Baldisserri's Bold Prediction: Ferrari Closing in on Red Bull next Season
Dec.6 - Ferrari can "absolutely" catch up with Red Bull as soon as 2024, according to highly successful former Formula 1 engineer Luca Baldisserri.
Most famous for being Michael Schumacher's race engineer at the peak of Ferrari's ultra-successful title-winning era, the Italian hit back at the notion that Maranello was crushed by Red Bull's dominance this year.
"It was a normal trend," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport, "especially for a team that has changed the top management of the organisation.
"When I analyse a car I always do it by considering the performance of the second driver. And in this sense it is even clearer that Ferrari's performance was not that much inferior to that of Sergio Perez's Red Bull," said the 60-year-old.
"The other car was so far ahead because it had an extraterrestrial behind the wheel," Baldisserri smiled, referring to triple world champion Max Verstappen.
As for the actual Ferrari vs Red Bull head-to-head, Baldisserri actually thinks the Italian-made single seater fared quite well in 2023.
"I would say that in qualifying, Ferrari was very close, if not ahead, of Red Bull," he said. "What's more, (Carlos) Sainz won a race, albeit on an atypical track like Singapore.
"If we don't look at things with the eye of a fan who would like to see Ferrari always win, it didn't go badly."
And so, Baldisserri thinks it's quite reasonable to imagine Ferrari's 2024 car being competitive enough to take on Red Bull in 2024.
"Absolutely yes, I think it is," he said. "Also because there is stability in the regulations which should help the recovery.
"To really know what is necessary, I'd have to still be inside the team. And it's one thing to recover the gap to Red Bull, but another thing - and a more difficult thing - to recover the gap to Verstappen."
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