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Vasseur: For one or two tenths you can move from bottom to top

Vasseur: For one or two tenths you can move from bottom to top

Vasseur: For one or two tenths you can move from bottom to top

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur claimed the 2023 Formula 1 grid is so packed that one or two tenths means the difference between being on top or in the bottom.

Ferrari have had a tough season so far in 2023, and while they have showed some improvement recently with Charles Leclerc finishing second at the Austria, the team’s form dropped in Britain and Hungary, but finished the first part of the season on a high, with Leclerc finishing third at the Belgian Grand Prix ahead of the summer break.

While Red Bull and Max Verstappen are flying solo up front, Ferrari, Mercedes, Aston Martin, and McLaren are all fighting for the best of the rest status, their order changing from one race to the other, and Vasseur reckons that is due to the fact of the field being so tight behind the Bulls.

Speaking to Formula 1’s Official Website, Vasseur was asked for his plans after the vacation, he joked: “First, I will be focused on the vacation. What we have to keep in mind is the whole pack is very tight.

“But if you have a look at McLaren, [in Hungary] they were at the top, [in Belgium] they were at the bottom, and it was the opposite for us. It means we have to continue to develop the car, continue to pay attention to details.

“Because for one or two tenths you can move from the bottom to the top and it’s a good lesson from the first part of the season,” the Frenchman maintained.

Leclerc, on the other hand admitted that despite Ferrari’s early year target to improve from 2022, the team received a wakeup call, as the team’s 2023 car, the SF-23, was off the pace, suffering from reliability issues, not to mention its appetite for tyres during the races.

Leclerc: We reset our expectations

Leclerc: We are on the back foot

“Before the first race, the target was to do a step better compared to last year, which was to win the world championship,” Leclerc said. If we look at the first half of the year, we are very far from where we put our expectations before the season. So, on the other hand, as soon as we understood that we reset it and there was an incredible reaction from the team.

“They brought upgrades, sometimes a month and a half earlier, and this requires a lot of effort from everybody at Maranello. It helped us have great results.

“I think we still need to try to understand, because if I do a step back in the last two races, I think we expected to be much more competitive in Budapest than on a track like here [Spa] and at the end, it’s the opposite,” he pointed out.

The Monegasque went on: “So, these are things that we need to look at because maybe we haven’t optimised the package in races like Budapest, and maybe we’ve done something that was surprisingly good on a track like [Spa].

“So, it’s good, anyway, to finish on a positive note the first part of the season and now we will take the time of the summer break, or at least whenever the guys can work again, to try to analyse those two last races and hopefully maximise the package at all races for the second half of the season,” he concluded.

Ferrari are fourth in the 2023 F1 Constructors’ Standings on 191 points, five less than Aston Martin who are third.