Ferrari: Focus not on driver contracts, “due to the steps forward we have to make as a team”

Spread the love

The Italian newspaper “Corriere della Sera” was able to interview Fred Vasseur, Team Principal of Ferrari, before the Austrian GP.

At the Red Bull Ring, the Italian giants will present a new front wing and floor, two improvements that the drivers were able to test in Fiorano yesterday.

Austria will be a new test for the team that, under the guide of Vasseur, has to focus on the improvements that need to be made in order to fight for P2 in the World Championship.

The French Team Principal, in fact, did not want to talk about contract renewals and negotiations with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, explaining:

“We are 18 months away from the deadline. At the moment introducing the subject of renewal would be a distraction, I told their managers a couple of weeks ago. The priority is for the drivers to work together to develop the car. Then during the summer, or afterwards, we will start talking about it.”

Not pursuing negotiations, with a car that offers poor results and a project that is in a continuous discovery phase, can result in the other side of the coin. The loss of the drivers to another team. On this subject, Vasseur emphasised the need to focus all the team’s energies on the development of a winning project. A project that will lead the drivers to eventually choose to stay.

“That risk is always there. They are both attracted by the project, they want to stay and win. But we have to think as a team and mature in every area. Talking today only about the drivers would be wrong due to the steps forward we have to make as a team.”

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

It seems difficult to imagine Ferrari without Charles Leclerc, just as it was difficult to imagine it without Sebastian Vettel. It is no secret that the young Monegasque’s passion for F1 also developed through the Scuderia and, for him, the ultimate dream is to win in red.

But even dreams can have deadlines, and to convince Leclerc to stay, Vasseur wants to present a car capable of fighting for the World Championship.

“The best way is to give him a competitive car. He knows that each season is crucial for his career. He has a goal: to become world champion. And winning the title is also our goal. We have to make both him and Carlos feel at the centre of the project.”

The “winning couple” as defined by Vasseur, is the key to the project. Two drivers not chosen by him but whose cooperation is essential for success. And to be able to race against Verstappen one needs exactly that. Carlos Sainz is a person not to be underestimated, for the team principal, who commented:

“I didn’t choose Charles either, I found him. So what? I am satisfied with Carlos, he is consistent and gives important technical indications. I think he is very underrated.

“Carlos is fast and balanced, but like everyone he has room for growth. Charles on the other hand is capable of making magic in qualifying, of going further. But sometimes he exceeds the limit by always seeking the maximum even when the car cannot give that. He constantly wants to win, so he can make mistakes like at the beginning of the season. We talked about it together.”