Ferrari looking to 2024 F1 season with a “much better idea” of where to make progress — Vasseur

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Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari, the famous name, the famous team — a team we expect to see winning races and championships, but why are they not winning? What has gone wrong for the Maranello team?

Kimi Raikkonen in 2007 is the last driver to have delivered the Drivers’ World Championship to Scuderia Ferrari. Champions Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel have come and gone since then, and while coming close, it was always a case of “what ifs” and coming up just short for Ferrari. The drivers were certainly not to blame for the most part.

In 2022 Ferrari headed the title race early in the season, with Charles Leclerc winning two of the three opening races. However, a mix of reliability issues, strategy missteps and a mistake from Leclerc at Paul Ricard ultimately consign them to distant runners-up spot behind Red Bull. The car critically fell away in competitiveness as the campaign went on, too.

For the 2023 season, Ferrari has hired the calming personality of Frédéric Vasseur. However, this season Ferrari have been well off the pace as the SF-23 is not a package that is up to standard. It’s proving to be a very inconsistent car and there has also been more strategic errors.

Part of Vasseur’s job with Ferrari has been to restructure the personnel in key areas of the team. This is something that takes time as anyone being hired from a rival team usually have to serve a “gardening leave”, of which can be sometimes over a year.

The loss of two key Ferrari staff making Vasseur’s job more difficult, with race director Laurent Mekies moving to AlphaTauri and senior design engineer David Sanchez departing for McLaren.

Ferrari have recruited Mercedes Performance director Loic Serra. Again, due to “gardening leave”, he is not expected to start until 2025.

Vasseur has spoken recently about trying to create this perfect structure of team personnel.

“We are miles away because when you are doing my job you don’t have to imagine that there is a perfect structure.

“You always need to improve, and always need to change things. If you stay with the same structure two years in a row then you are dead, because all the others will improve. It means that I don’t have a clear picture to say I have to do this, and full stop, and it will work. It would be stupid.

“We will make some changes in the coming weeks, in the coming months, in the coming years, because some topics are a bit longer than some others. But it’s a permanent evolution and permanent improvement.”

Vasseur went on to speak about their car troubles and are now looking at 2024 with optimism on what areas to develop on the car to close the gap to Red Bull Racing.

“Yeah, we are starting to have a much better idea of the situation, and where we are weak, and where we are in better shape.

“But this I will keep it for me. Sorry! But for sure, race after race we are starting to have a much better picture of the situation.”