Vasseur: Confidence is relative compared to others

Vasseur: Confidence is relative compared to others

Vasseur: Confidence is relative compared to others
Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur insisted confidence in his team’s chances for the upcoming Bahrain Grand Prix, the 2023 Formula 1 season opener, is relative compared to others.

Ferrari had a decent pre-season test in Bahrain, and despite not going for headline grabbing lap times, the team racked up a respectable 416 laps, equivalent to more the seven Bahrain Grands Prix distances.

The SF-23 ran reliably, and apart from an issue that hit Alfa Romeo – who run Ferrari power units – on the final day of the test, the Reds did not display an reliability concerns after work done over the winter to rectify the issues they suffered from in 2022.

And despite Red Bull emerging as the team to beat, Ferrari remain quietly confident of their SF-23 car being on the pace ahead of the season-opening race next week, in Bahrain as well.

Reliability was ok

Asked how confident he is about his team’s chances, Vasseur said: “Confidence is always relative compared to the others, and we don’t have the clear picture about the others.

“The only picture that we will have will be next week,” he added. “I’m confident because reliability was okay. So far we cover good mileage, we tick the box of what we have to scan. And this was the best approach now in terms of relative performance.

“We will know next week where we are, but to be performing with C4 when the track is at 55 is not relevant for the preparation of next week,” the Frenchman insisted.

Asked about the reliability in light of Alfa Romeo’s problem; Vasseur said: “On one side we did something like a bit more than two thousand kilometers, but without any issue. It was perfect but I know that we have the small issue with the Alfa Romeo and decided to stop and it is still under investigation.”

Something wrong if drivers are happy

Asked how the team’s drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz felt about their new ride; Vasseur said: “If they were happy, it could be a professional mistake.

“The DNA of my business is always to try to get more and do more. If they are completely happy with the balance, except in quali when you have classification, it means that in testing they are not pushing enough.

“And for sure they are demanding more, they are demanding more grip overall, but this is the mindset of the business,” he went on. “At the end and what we covered, I would say that we covered a very large spectrum of items. And when you’re putting everything together at the end of the three days, I see that the performance is there.

“But again, you don’t know about the others. About the engine mode, about the fuel level and so on. It’s quite difficult to have a clear picture,” the Ferrari boss concluded.

(Additional reporting by Agnes Carlier)