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Vasseur: Before drawing conclusions, we have to stay calm

Vasseur: Before drawing conclusions, we have to stay calm

Vasseur: Before drawing conclusions, we have to stay calm

Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur played down his team’s struggles in the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix and refused to draw any conclusions at this point.

After winning in Monaco, Ferrari had a tough time in Canada, and their struggles continued to Barcelona where they were behind Red Bull Racing, McLaren, and even Mercedes despite having an upgraded SF-24 last weekend.

Charles Leclerc qualified fifth and Carlos Sainz sixth for the Formula 1 race last Sunday, and they both took the chequered flag in the same positions respectively.

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Facing the media in Barcelona after the race last Sunday, including GrandPrix247, Vasseur was asked about the gap to Mercedes.

He said: “We were five-thousands off the Mercs yesterday [Saturday]. It is a gust of wind or something like this, and they were 40 seconds behind us in Monaco two weeks [races] ago.

“Before drawing conclusions like this, we have to stay calm,” Vasseur insisted, “we have to go event by event and next week, it will be a completely different format, different tarmac, different type of corner also and we will have another picture.

“Probably the picture will be completely different next week. Now, nothing is forever in F1 today and I am not sure you can find over the last 10 years where in four consecutive events with four different guys on pole with four different teams. It means it is not crystal clear that one is better than the other one or a third one,” he reasoned.

SF-24 shortcomings not fundamental

Asked to highlight the weaknesses of the SF-24, Vasseur insisted there was no serious problem, but rather track specific issues augmented by a tight F1 grid.

He explained: “From Shanghai, you have four teams in two-or-three tenths. The order is changing because in the last four weekends you have four different teams doing pole position.

“We didn’t change the car massively, which means it is more relative to the track layout, to the compound, to the temperature that you are in the window of plus or minus one-or-two tenths. As the group is mega close, it is making the order in qualification and then, on this kind of track, it is quite difficult to overtake and you have almost the classification of quali at the end of the race.

“I am sure if we start P3 or P4, it is the opposite in the classification at the end. If we have to do a step, honestly it is much more on Saturday that we didn’t do the best than today,” the Frenchman claimed.

Ferrari won in Melbourne and Monaco in 2024, both outlier tracks, and Vasseur was pressed whether that is a cause of concern, he said: “If Ferrari are winning in Baku, Singapore, Monaco then it is not that bad.

“We were a couple of times in the first four also. I am not sure you can say today that there is a clear order of the grid, but we will see next week. It is clear now that the order is like this, but it will be like this until the next upgrade, the next modification or even we will have a low speed corner next week.

“The week after, we are in Silverstone – there is much more in the characteristic of the car fitting with the high-speed corner or the compound and so on than with the pure potential when you have four teams within two tenths.”

Ferrari will exploit their upgrade better in Austria

As for the Ferrari Spanish upgrade that didn’t seem to improve the performance of the SF-24, Vasseur said: “We are satisfied with the numbers that we get.

“First, everyone is improving and it is not that if you bring something, you will jump in front, it is more that, if you don’t bring, you will jump backward. Everybody is bringing parts now every two-three events and sometimes you have the least of what we are publishing, that is just the aero but don’t forget we are not just developing the aero.

“Then sometimes, we need one or two events to get the best from the package we have. We have a kind of convergence of performance over the last 12 months…

“We will do a better usage of the car next week,” was Vasseur’s reply when asked if they failed to set the car up right in Spain.

“After one event, it is quite often the case with everybody last year that, if you have a look at the performance when every single team was bringing something, it was sometimes the race after where the performance was there and it will be like this until the end.

“Now, all the packages are much smaller than it was 24 months ago,” the Ferrari boss pointed out in conclusion.

(Reporting by Agnes Carlier from Barcelona)