Fred Vasseur says Ferrari’s race pace at Silverstone has confirmed “that we made a step forward”

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Fred Vasseur examines Ferrari’s recent upgrades as the Italian Marque works to combat the rear end stability issues of the SF-23 and notes he believes the team’s strongest showing so far came at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur
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Ferrari suffered a difficult start to the season, as it came to light that the SF-23 suffered with inherent instability at the rear. The stability issue became apparent after Charles Leclerc suffered a high speed spin into the barrier at the Miami Grand Prix earlier in the year.

Despite the team’s struggles, their pace in recent times has seen more consistency and a marked overall improvement following a substantial upgrade package introduced ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

“The pace overall was very strong…”

Further upgrades ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix have seen the team bridge the gap towards the front of the grid. Despite their improvement however, team principal Fred Vassuer believes the team’s best weekend came in Canada.

“I think the best pace we had so far was in Montreal,” he stated. “We f***ed up the quali in Canada, but the pace overall was very strong and we came back from P10, P11 to fight with P2 and P3. Pure pace, the real pace, the best was in Montreal, but it’s true that we scored also good points on the sprint weekends.“

“We made a step forward.”

When asked what areas of the SF-23 he believes have improved since the upgrades were introduced, Vasseur claims it is obvious that the team have improved upon their rear end stability, which he calls their biggest weakness. He also highlights the improvement in consistency throughout a race which the team had also struggled with.

“Clearly we improved on our biggest weakness from the beginning of the season.” he said. “The stability and consistency. Pure quali, that we are able to fight for the pole position. In Bahrain, at the top in quali, it was not the target and we didn’t do a huge step forward, but the consistency in the race was clear again today that we made a step forward.”

“It was the same as Miami but the performance was much better…”

When quizzed on the reports of the wind sensitivity of the SF-23 and how the team plan to address it, Vasseur seemed to play down the claims. Despite this he notes the team are working on it and claims they have improved this aspect since Miami where the team struggled to deal with the conditions.

He also noted Ferrari seem to struggle more than some other team’s when stuck in a DRS train in race conditions, a symptom of the sensitivity of the car.

“The wind was extreme,” he noted of the Silverstone Grand Prix. “Today it was the same as Miami but the performance was much better than Miami. We are focussing on this area of development. For sure the car was unstable, I don’t know if it was more unstable than the others.

“It looks like we struggle a lot, perhaps a bit more than the others when we are in a train, but it’s still a characteristic of the car.”