frederic-vasseur-team-principa ferrari baku f1

Vasseur: Morale boost for Ferrari but gap to Red Bull significant

frederic-vasseur-team-principa ferrari baku f1

Fred Vasseur enjoyed Ferrari’s first Formula 1 podium finish as team principal, thanks to Charles Leclerc finishing third at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday, albeit well beaten by another ominous Red Bull one-two.

Vasseur was encouraged by unleashed qualifying pace which the Monegaque put to good use, topping both qualifying sessions in Baku, on Friday and Saturday. But on race pace, as Leclerc said after the race in Baku “Red Bull in another league” and indeed they were.

On Sunday, on a tricky high-speed track laced with low-speed bits, the fabulous RBRs cantered away, at about half a second or more per lap quicker than the best Ferrari had to offer, as Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen battled for the lead, at full tilt for most of the race, but untroubled by their rivals.

With no podiums in the first three races of the 2023 F1 season for the Scuderia (when a year earlier Leclerc led by 27 points after four Grands Prix) and amid big changes at Maranello, Vasseur was chuffed: “Overall, this has been a positive weekend for the team. We took two pole positions and one podium finish with Charles and our overall points total, thanks also to Carlos’ fifth place, is satisfactory.”

Vasseur: Back to where we wanted to be in terms of qualifying

The Ferrari team boss continued: “There were signs of progress in Melbourne, but they were overshadowed by the poor race result. In the four-week break, we worked hard in Maranello and here in Baku we have made further progress which translated into a good result.

“We definitely are back to where we wanted to be in terms of qualifying, but there’s still a significant gap to Red Bull in the race. However, we aim to fight them for the win and we are gearing up to do just that. It’s a morale booster for the whole team to finish on the podium, something which we will carry forward as we prepare for next weekend’s race in Miami,” concluded Vasseur.

The harsh reality amid the goodish news for the Reds is that they – like eight of the other teams in F1 right now – simply have no answer for the number one team, Red Bull and the amazing job they have done thus far this season. Highlighting how incompetent their rivals have been, particularly the traditional big guns Ferrari and Mercedes who should be doing a lot better.

The 2023 F1 World Championship tables (below) sum up the sad tale that has become Ferrari’s season, boosted by a ray of light during an intense Grand Prix weekend in Azerbaijan, but with little recovery time as action resumes on Friday, in Miami.

2023 f1 standings after Round 4 Azerbaijan gp F1 baku verstappen red bull lead