Ralf Schumacher has so far been impressed with Fred Vasseur's management of Ferrari's affairs, and suggests the team is weighed down first and foremost its drivers' lack of consistency.
After a troubled 2022 campaign that started well but was eventually undermined by reliability and operational issues, Scuderia chief Mattia Binotto resigned from his position at the helm of the Italian outfit.
Ferrari subsequently handed over the reins of the Scuderia to former Sauber/Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur.
But it's been a challenging start for the Frenchman, with the team performing well below expectations, with its 2023 car lacking consistency and pace in race trim relative to Red Bull's dominant RB19.
Despite the shortfall, Schumacher has been left with a good first impression of Vasseur's early stewardship at Maranello.
"Ferrari has given me a very decent impression since Fred Vasseur took office," the former F1 driver wrote in his latest column for Sky Germany. "A lot has happened there."
However, Schumacher has so far been unimpressed with Ferrari's drivers, claiming Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are lacking consistency.
The Spaniard appears to have performed to the best of his ability at the wheel of an SF-23 that still overconsumes its tyres on race day, while Leclerc's frequent mistakes, exemplified by his recent crashes in Miami, are becoming a cause for concern.
"I see the biggest problem with the drivers," Schumacher commented. "For me, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are not consistent enough.
"[Leclerc] shows with his mistakes that he either doesn’t have the maturity yet or maybe at the end of the day he’s not consistently good at winning a World Championship for Ferrari.
"To be honest, the Ferrari team is currently doing a better job than both its drivers."
After his disappointing display in Miami, and a missed opportunity to score a good result at Imola, Leclerc will have a chance next weekend in Monaco to make amends for his recent setbacks.
Racing on home ground, where he twice snatched pole, will no doubt ignite the Monegasque's determination to showcase his true potential and regain momentum.
The combination of personal pride and the desire for redemption will converge to fuel Leclerc's motivation for a successful – and much needed – outing in the Principality.
With these factors in play, Leclerc will undoubtedly be driven to bounce back and make a significant impact in front of his devoted home crowd.
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