Damon Hill says Ferrari's performance in the 2022 Formula 1 season was "lamentable" after the Scuderia failed to stop Red Bull and Max Verstappen dominating.
Ferrari built the quickest car for the all-new technical regulations introduced at the start of the year, and won two of the first three races (and was second in the other) through Charles Leclerc as Verstappen's title defence got off to a shaky start with two DNFs in those Leclerc wins.
After the Monegasque's dominance in Australia, he had 71 points from 78 possible, some 46 clear of Verstappen on 25 who all but wrote his title chances off.
However, just three races later, Verstappen claimed a championship lead he would never lose in the Spanish Grand Prix as Ferrari's season began to implode.
Leclerc retired from the lead in Spain and Azerbaijan with engine failure, crashed while there in France with other strategic and operational blunders meaning he was unable to eat into Verstappen's ever-growing points lead.
In Japan, Leclerc looked set to deny Verstappen the title by finishing second, but a mistake at the final corner earned him a five-second time penalty - which, coupled with the awarding of full points, handed Verstappen the crown after 12 wins in 18 races - and 16 finishes.
Hill disappointed in Ferrari
Speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, 1996 champion Hill expressed his disappointment in Ferrari not managing a title challenge.
"I think it's very difficult to actually decide whether or not it's Red Bull and Max's brilliance this season and almost perfect performance, or whether it was Ferrari shooting themselves in the foot," explained the former Williams and Jordan racer.
"It was a lamentable at times performance from them because they showed so much promise at the beginning.
"Between team strategy and a few driver errors, they're basically lacking the ability to move forward with the car.
"They didn't provide the challenge to Max because it's still close between Sergio [Perez] and and Charles in the championship (one point ahead of the United States Grand Prix).
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Verstappen was "serene"
While criticising Ferrari, Hill was effusive about Verstappen's drive to the title at Suzuka in difficult conditions.
"If you took Max out the equation, you could say: 'Okay, well that's the difference,' but Max was 20 seconds ahead of Charles and Sergio in Japan in the wet after 20 laps.
"It was a second a lap quicker and Ferrari just couldn't play with that at all. They were done by that and Charles's tyres were routed.
"That indicates that their setup is not working the tyres the way that Red Bull are, so they couldn't provide a challenge.
"But Max's confidence was [high], he was really serene. He was sublime brilliant all year, and never looked rattled."
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