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Ferrari chairman: Winning the title would be like 'going to Mars'

John Elkann, chairman of Ferrari, has explained how the team moved from midfield fighters to early-season pace setters in 2022.

If being competitive in F1 is like going to the moon, then winning the World Championship is like going to Mars, according to Ferrari chairman John Elkann. That is the scale of the challenge that he believes lies ahead for Ferrari in their battle to keep Red Bull and Max Verstappen behind in 2022. Charles Leclerc leads the way in the World Championship standings after four races but, following the Monegasque's momentary off at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, it is Verstappen who is now in the ascendancy. Ferrari had a strong start to the season, having arrived at the opening race in Bahrain with the car to beat. The team had made no secret of their decision to abandon their 2021 campaign early, so as to focus solely on building their 2022 car. This looks to have paid off, with the Italian outfit ending their wait for a win with Leclerc's victory in Sakhir, before repeating the trick just two races later to steal a march on their rivals in the title race.

Elkann: We said we'd be competitive, we are

Speaking to F1TV following Ferrari's fine start to 2022, Elkann admitted that taking the step from winning races to clinching the title remains a big challenge. "We said we'd be competitive, which we are," he explained. "From being competitive to winning, it's like going to the moon or going to Mars. [It's] extremely difficult. "We well know that championships are won or lost at the last race, or the last lap, and these are with variables we control and many that we don't, which is why Formula 1 is such an exciting sport. "And we are, as Ferrari, so excited about this challenge."

Elkann details change in mentality at Ferrari

Ferrari's sudden transformation from midfield fighters to a team capable of winning races was a result of more than just getting a head start on their 2021 machine, Elkann says. He has detailed the change in "culture" at Maranello, after 14 years of failed attempts to win the Drivers' World Championship. "We changed also our culture, from one of guilt to one of accountability, from one of individuals to one of a team," he revealed, when asked how Ferrari had orchestrated their turnaround. "[We] created a cohesive environment but, more importantly, high ambition with high humility."

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