“They will be back soon and be strong” — Vasseur on Red Bull’s recent F1 struggles

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari
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Since the start of the 2024 season, Ferrari has been closely contesting at the top. With a win at the Australian Grand Prix and the upgrades they introduced at Imola helping them to victory at Monaco, it has shifted the expectation that 2024 would be a straightforward championship run for Red Bull and Max Verstappen. Instead, it’s now anticipated to be a three-way battle between Red Bull, Ferrari, and McLaren.

The Red Bull car has shown more weaknesses than expected in the last two rounds, struggling over bumps and kerbs, raising questions on whether these problems will be reoccurring in Canada and on the classic European circuits to come over the summer.

Ferrari’s team principal, Fred Vasseur, believes Red Bull is being challenged by the performance of the other teams, providing an example of how Max Verstappen has been making more mistakes in the last couple of rounds versus the last couple of seasons.

However, the Frenchman is fully aware of Red Bull’s quality and expects them to get on top of their issues.

“I don’t want to draw any conclusions from this weekend [in Monaco], but if you look at the last two weekends, Max made more mistakes in Imola than in the last three seasons.

“As soon as you have to push more, if you have to stay in your comfort zone for the strategy, for everything, you don’t have to make mistakes, and I think they were in that situation — but I’m not drawing any conclusions.

“They will be back soon and be strong and I am not considering that all the races will be easy until the end.

“As soon as you are in a position where you have to pay more attention to detail, you have a kind of snowball effect — and this is part of the [Ferrari] improvement of the last six or seven months.”

With the Canadian Grand Prix coming up, Vasseur emphasised how different tracks will suit different cars more, concluding that the fight will be tight for the remainder of the season.

“Canada, it’s probably almost the opposite as Monaco in terms of speed, downforce, but you have also the characteristic of the kerbs with a lot of low-speed corners, chicanes.

“So some corners are similar to Monaco but overall, if you have a look, we were performant in Melbourne, we did well in Imola, in Miami with different types of compound, different types of tarmac, different layouts.

“It will be tight until the end, I think, for sure some cars will fit more with some tracks.”

Since the start of his tenure at the Prancing Horse, Vasseur has been slowly restructuring the team as he aims to give the Scuderia their first title since 2008.

The Frenchman says there is no extra motivation in the Ferrari camp as they are now starting to challenge for wins.

“It is not a matter of motivation because the motivation has been there for a while, but it is the self-confidence for the team and drivers.

“We have to continue like this, but the worst-case scenario will be to imagine that it is done and will be like this until the end [of the season] because I’m convinced we will have different tracks with different layouts, different characteristics fitting McLaren more or Red Bull. 

“It will be up and down until the end of the season and we have to score points when we are not at the top and be able to win when we are there.”