fred vasseur f1 ferrari melbourne 2023

Vasseur: Everyone very motivated, focused and drivers support us

fred vasseur f1 ferrari melbourne 2023

‘Italian Media’ have gone deafeningly quiet since their collective early season tantrum, realising that the axing of Mattia Binotto and the ushering in of new team principal Fred Vasseur had dire performance consequences for the world’s most famous racing team.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are staring at a year of pain, collectively they have scored 26 points in three races, their target and rivals, reigning World Champions Red Bull are on 123 points already while their drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are well ahead in the F1 drivers’ title race.

With only six points in one finish out of three starts Leclerec, who last year led the championship comfortably after three rounds, is already reeling with the punches, seeking to merely finish races let alone think of podiums and wins, as reliability went AWOL on his side of the garage.

Speaking to RN365, Vasseur said he was not surprised his driver is fuming: “I have no doubts about Charles’ motivation. The start of the season has not been good, with a DNF in Bahrain and the penalty in Jeddah, followed by the DNF in Melbourne. That was not the plan, but the motivation is still there.

“My relationship with Charles is good and this won’t affect his mood. Of course, the frustration is still there when you interview a driver shortly after the race. Of course, they can’t be happy then. I would be very frustrated if my driver were happy and relaxed in that situation! The most important thing for me is that everyone stays motivated, everyone is on the same page and everyone supports the team.

“Sainz, for example, was immediately back in the simulator after the Australian GP and Charles will have his turn a week later. So it will not be for lack of motivation. The results are of course not what we expected, but everyone understands that.”

Fred: The mood in the team is incredibly good, more than good

As for the reports of disarray, tensions, departures and even “chaos” within the team, with the new French boss allegedly rendered powerless, Vasseur insisted: “The mood in the team is incredibly good, more than good given these results. Everyone is very motivated and focused, and the drivers support us.

“The relationship with the Ferrari management is also very positive. Of course, we didn’t get the results we expected, but we are all working to improve the situation,” maintained Vasseur.

The previously mentioned ‘Italian Media’ deafening silence, since their previous episode appears to suggest an acceptance that their Prancing Horse this season will be a donkey, and that Vasseur needs time to turn things around, After all, history shows their previous ‘Napoleon’ Jean Todt, who built their most formidable team with the great Michael Schumacher, did not bring instant success to Maranello.

From the day Todt took over as Scuderia team principal – his first race in charge was at the 1993 French Grand Prix – it took him until the German Grand Prix, over a year later, to win his first F1 race as boss of Ferrari.

Hopefully, for Tifosi, Vasseur gets the same amount of time to rebuild despite the departure of Binotto, their performance guru, begging the question: How was Maranello not big enough for the pair?

Whatever the answer, the reality for Ferrari, ahead of Round 4, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, is that neither 2023 F1 World Championship table looks good for the Reds:

2023 f1 points graphic after australian gp round 3-001