Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur insisted his team should remain calm after winning in Singapore, and keep working step by step towards improving.
Ferrari have been struggling with their car in 2023, but at Monza, Carlos Sainz took pole and finished third, and while Ferrari did they could with their low downforce package to ensure they run well at their home race, many didn’t expect them to be strong at a high downforce circuit like Marina Bay.
But they were, and thus broke Red Bull’s and Max Verstappen’s stranglehold on the 2023 Formula 1 season, denying the Dutchman an 11th consecutive win as Sainz also took pole in Singapore and drove a masterful race to seal victory.
Speaking to the media after the race last Sunday, Vasseur was asked about Ferrari’s prospects for the final seven races of the season, he said: “We have to stay calm.
“When we had the impression that everything is going badly and that we have to change everything, in the end, it’s not after two weekends that we are world champion. We have to stay calm.
“We need to keep the same approach, to try to develop step-by-step. There is nothing magic in this business and you won’t find the bullet for four, five tenths. If you want to do a step, you have to do tons of small steps and it’s what I think I appreciated in the reaction of the team after the tough weekends and also in the confidence.
“I think it’s probably in Zandvoort is when probably we unlocked something on the understanding of the set-up and we built up the pace at Monza, part of this in Zandvoort and probably a large part of the pace of this weekend,” he revealed.
Ferrari to keep the same approach in Suzuka
And with F1 heading to Suzuka this weekend, a more conventional track where Red Bull should be back in their formidable form after their Singapore struggles, Vasseur was asked what he expects.
He said: “We don’t have to change the approach after Monza or after Singapore, I don’t know what’s happened with Red Bull this weekend.
“But if you have a look on the group of cars with Mercedes and McLaren, it’s not that it changed completely compared to weekends in the past.
“We are speaking about half a tenth in quali, next weekend we will have to start from scratch as we did before and we have to do the best but it’s not because you are doing a good weekend that we are world champion and you are not at risk for the weekend after, no way,” the Frenchman maintained.
With the speculation about Red Bull suffering from an FIA technical directive issued in Singapore to clamp down on flexible wings, Vasseur was asked about his opinion.
“I don’t care,” he said. “Honestly, the most important is to be focused on ourselves. I don’t know what’s happened at Red Bull and I won’t pay attention, but for me the most important is to do our weekend a bit quicker than Mercedes and the others and not to think about what’s happened to the other ones, it’s the best way to be lost.”