Fred Vasseur reveals Ferrari’s biggest challenge after first two races: Urges fans to remain calm.

Frederic Vasseur downplays Ferrari’s difficult start to the 2023 season, acknowledging that they need consistency to compete at the front. While there have been concerns regarding performance and reliability, Vasseur remains optimistic about the team’s prospects.

Ferrari has been competitive in the first two races of the season, qualifying well but struggling to finish on the podium. At the Bahrain Grand Prix, they were beaten by both Red Bull and Aston Martin, while at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Mercedes also finished ahead of them.

Charles Leclerc’s reliability issues have been a particular source of frustration, with a podium finish slipping away at Sakhir and a subsequent penalty for the Jeddah race.

Despite only being in the role of Team Principal at Maranello for a few months, Frederic Vasseur has already been addressing concerns raised by Charles Leclerc about the team’s performance.

Vasseur offered his own evaluation of the situation and outlined what steps must be taken next. “In this situation, we have to think about the team and how we improve this situation, but I think we also have to stay calm – it’s not like everything is going wrong,” said Vasseur.

“[In Saudi Arabia] we made some good improvements compared to Bahrain on the one-time pace at least, we opened a little bit the gap to our competitors, not to Red Bull but to Aston Martin and Mercedes.

“I think the issue [during the race] was much more about the pace with the hard [compound tyre]; if you look at the weekend that’s something else.”

Frederic Vasseur was asked if Ferrari could still compete with Red Bull after the latter’s two successive one-two finishes to which he replied: “I think so; we have to continue to push. It’s not the right attitude to think about the gap and think about will we be able to close the gap and so on.

“We have to focus on ourselves, we know when we are weak and we have to improve on this one. We will see what is the outcome when we do a decent step. If you start to think about what could be the future potential with development, you are lost.

“We know we have to improve, but I think it’s the DNA of our sport, not just due to the current situation, but we know we have to work. We’ll continue and you can be sure from [the] morning [after the race] I’ll be in the office and push like hell.”

Max Verstappen “has to establish his F1 brilliance,” with a key element missing.

Upgrades are in the pipeline for Ferrari’s car in the next round of the season in Australia, as confirmed by Vasseur. Nevertheless, Vasseur underscored the necessity of maximizing their current package before undertaking major changes.

“I think we’ll have some small updates coming in the next week but honestly, I don’t think that it’s coming for the potential,” said the former Alfa Romeo team boss.

“The main issue we have today – all over the weekend – is to be at our maximum and today [that] is not the case. We are not able to extract 100% of our car in every single session. We have to be focused on this before thinking about updates.”