Charles Leclerc has reflected on Ferrari's “disappointing” campaign that saw it drop to second place in the Constructors' Championship.
Ferrari entered the year hopeful of giving Red Bull a title fight after it returned to the top step in 2022 following a run of difficult seasons.
However, it was unable to consistently compete against Red Bull who dominated the field, winning 21 out of the 22 races staged.
Leclerc's season ended on a high as he scored two podiums at the final two rounds of the year - but the Monegasque driver conceded that Ferrari's campaign was overall a disheartening one.
“To be honest it's been a disappointing season,” Leclerc told media including RacingNews365.com.
“After last year, we expected to come to this season and try and fight for the championship which after the first race, we straightaway understood how difficult it will be compared to the Red Bull that had done a huge step forward, especially in race pace.
“We didn't do the same step. So from that moment onwards, it was a bit disappointing.”
Viewed by others:
Leclerc highlights Ferrari progress
There were positives from Ferrari's campaign as it took victory at the Singapore Grand Prix, marking the only time in the year that Red Bull was defeated.
Despite seeing the margin to Red Bull grow from 2022 to this past season, Leclerc asserted that there was progression from within the Ferrari organisation.
“On the other hand, if you just look at this season – forget about last season – I think we've progressed quite a lot throughout the season which is positive and makes me confident for the future,” he said.
“But there's a big gap to fill to get back the Red Bulls so we'll work hard during the winter break.
“Hopefully we'll come back stronger next year with a car that is capable of winning.”