Fred Vasseur has reassured fans that there is no need to panic at Ferrari despite the team’s less-than-impressive start to the current Formula 1 season.
The former Alpha Romeo team principal can now breathe a sigh of relief after Charles Leclerc secured a third-place finish in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which also marked the first time in four Grand Prix races that the team managed to secure a podium finish.
Despite not having any significant upgrades on their SF-23 car for the Baku Street Circuit race, Ferrari was able to make progress, and the team will introduce their first updates of the season during the upcoming Miami Grand Prix.
The event will serve as a crucial test to determine Ferrari’s actual pace against Red Bull, particularly since Leclerc was able to secure pole position in both the sprint and grand prix races in Baku.
Although Vasseur acknowledges that the team has encountered some issues since he took over as team principal at the beginning of the year following Mattia Binotto’s resignation, he is optimistic that they will be able to overcome these difficulties soon.
“For sure, we were expecting to be in better shape at the beginning, and I don’t want to b*****t you, but what I’m very pleased about is the reaction of the team.
“We are never in a panic mode, that after the first three events – and Jeddah was tough for us – but the reaction between Jeddah and Melbourne was a very good one.
“The approach, even on the development, there was never panic or to change everything on the car. It was not the plan.
“We were always focused on bringing small updates to understand what we are doing first, to understand where we can improve the potential, to first reach the potential of the car.
“And I’m more than pleased with this kind of reaction, although for sure, I would love to be in better shape.
“It’s nothing to do with the results but the reaction of the team has been positive, calm, and it is paying off today.”
The upcoming Miami Grand Prix is a crucial event for Scuderia Ferrari as it will provide vital information regarding the team’s future development.
The outcome of the race will determine the direction the team will need to take to improve their performance.
Despite Red Bull’s dominance in the current season, the 54-year-old is not in a rush to make significant changes, whether it’s to the car’s aero or mechanical components. He is willing to be patient and wait for the right opportunity to make improvements that will benefit the team in the long run.
Vasseur explained: “It’s too early to take this kind of decision. We will start to bring updates on the car from Miami and for the next couple of events and the car will react to the update.”
“The update is one thing, but the fact you are able to extract all the potential of the update is another one.
“To understand if it’s coming from mechanical or aero is another story. So far, what is of use, is that we are struggling with consistency.
“That was true over the weekend (in Baku) – all over the corners, all over a lap, and all through the race, the car was much more consistent and we are going in the right direction.”