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Why Coulthard is confident of Ferrari 2023 championship bid

Despite a strong start to the season, Ferrari were unable to maintain their momentum in the 2022 title fight against Red Bull. However, former F1 driver David Coulthard believes that the Scuderia are on course to pose a serious challenge in 2023.

David Coulthard is confident that Ferrari are in the right position to bid for the F1 World Championship in 2023. The 2022 campaign got off to a strong start for the Scuderia, with Charles Leclerc taking the lead in the Drivers' standings after winning two of the opening three races. However, a series of issues including strategic mishaps, driver errors and reliability concerns led to Ferrari's challenge falling away, while Red Bull and Max Verstappen took the momentum en route to claiming both the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships. In terms of why Ferrari's season went off course, Coulthard believes that this may be down to the team not having being used to regularly fighting at the front for some time. "There might be an element of just not being match fit, having not operated at that level [for a while]," Coulthard told the Mirror Sport . "Ferrari are the most famous name in Formula 1, and have been the longest running members so there might be an element of mass fatigue as well."

Coulthard: I believe in Ferrari

With Leclerc having shown particularly strong qualifying pace in 2022, Coulthard feels that there are several positive signs to suggest that Ferrari can seriously contend for the championship in the 2023 season. "I believe in Ferrari – not in the mystique but in the lap time," the former F1 driver explained. "They've had the qualifying World Championship [in 2022], and their car has been exceptional. "Charles was their lead driver for the majority of the year in terms of being able to exploit that performance and I do feel the car has been coming stronger towards the end of the year. "I believe in the drivers and that, because they've designed that car at that pace, they've got the right talent in the team to iron out the issues they have had. So, with all of that, Ferrari have got to be lined up for the championship in '23. "Not based on it just being a red car with a prancing horse, but based on what they've got on their hands – a very fast Grand Prix car and two very fast and motivated drivers. "So, in 2023, they have to be targeting the World Championship and I think they can achieve their goals, if they can iron out the issues that are blatantly obvious to everyone."

A three-way title battle in 2023?

Coulthard is hopeful that Ferrari will form part of a three-way fight for the World Championship in 2023, with the Scot feeling that teams besides Red Bull made progress in the latter stages of 2022. "I would like to believe that we are going to have a three-way title battle next year," Coulthard said. "As strong as Max has been, we are where we are in the closing stages of the [2022] season which are the foundations of next year. "So that, to me, feels like we're a lot closer than we were at the beginning of the year."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying