sainz vasseur singapore gp podium f1

Vasseur: Convinced Sainz will be dedicated and committed

sainz vasseur singapore gp podium f1

Frederic Vasseur insisted Carlos Sainz will be fully dedicated to Ferrari despite entering the 2024 Formula 1 season knowing it would be his last in Red.

Sainz finds himself without an F1 seat in 2025 after the news – shocking the F1 community – was announced that Lewis Hamilton would be leaving Mercedes at the end of 2024 to join Ferrari.

Needless to say racing with a team while knowing it would be your last season is an awkward experience, which applies equally to Hamilton and Sainz, but Vasseur insists Ferrari are focused on 2024.

“We are fully focused on 2024, as you can imagine,” he said, quoted by F1.com. “[But regarding] Lewis, it’s a huge opportunity for the team, for sure. We’re sure it will bring us a decent step for the future. It will be a good challenge for everybody.

“But we want to be focused on 2024, we don’t want to have any kind of distraction, and that’s why we made the announcement so early, because it was important for us to be focused on 2024.

“I’m fully convinced Carlos will be fully dedicated and fully committed until the last lap and the last corner of the season,” he added. “I’m sure that all of the team will be fully motivated and fully behind Carlos, he did a great job for us so far.

“Now it’s important for us to be focused on 2024. We have a good opportunity. We’ve worked so hard on the project that I don’t want to have any kind of distraction,” the Frenchman maintained.

When you get the chance to sign a driver of Hamilton’s stature to your team, you don’t pass it by, but Sainz has been a solid driver for Ferrari, and Vasseur admitted it was a tough call to make.

A tough call but not unfair

Sainz: Goal is to start 2024 knowing where I'm racing in 2025

“As you can imagine, it was not the easiest call of my life,” he revealed. “One of the most difficult, [along] with the one with Toto [Wolff]! But I’m fully convinced that he is a very professional driver, that he understands that we have a long season in front of us, [that it’s] a huge opportunity.

“In this situation [he has] the team behind him. We had a long discussion, as you can imagine, [and] I will be fully supportive with Carlos. He’s fully committed and we know that we are to do the job together. We are professional,” Vasseur explained.

The Ferrari boss reckoned that as tough as it may be for Sainz, he didn’t agree with a question that it was unfair for the Spaniard.

He said: “Unfair… I don’t know if that’s the right word. For the team, the opportunity with Lewis is something you have to consider in any case. He’s the guy with the biggest experience, it’s a huge opportunity for us. It has nothing to do with Carlos.

“Carlos did a great job last year, I’m sure that he will do a great job next year, that he is very professional, we have a good relationship. But it is like it is and we have to be focused on the future,” he added.

Vasseur also insisted 2024 is not another transition year for Ferrari, he commented: “2024 won’t be a transition year. It’s quite an important season for us. I’m fully focused on this. I think the best way to prepare for something is to do a good job.

“We are focused on 2024, we want to get the best, we want to win races, continue on the path of 2023 and we won’t be at all thinking about 2025,” he concluded.