Vasseur on battle behind Verstappen: “For one or two tenths you can move from P2 to P11”

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Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Ferrari’s team principal Frédéric Vasseur remains composed amidst the chaos that is Formula 1’s sub-top in 2023. Where Ferrari has had some tougher weekends in the past few months, last weekend’s race at Spa saw them back up front with a pole position and a podium spot for Charles Leclerc.

“I will stay very calm, because we had the same meeting one week ago and we were at the end of the world, McLaren was flying and we were stupid and so.

“From one week to the other, McLaren is at the back today and we are at the front, bla bla bla. It means that we have to stay calm, to take it easy, race after race.”

The French veteran team boss explains there is no need to get stressed.

“That we know the pack is so tight that for one or two tenths you can move from P2 to P11 and it’s not the end of the season.”

“We have a lot to do, but for sure today it’s good to finish the first part of the season on a positive tone. At least we will have the two weeks off with a positive race in mind.”

Despite a DNF by Carlos Sainz, the Maranello-based squad showed promise throughout the weekend, where conditions varied from torrential rain to dry and sunny skies, something Vasseur was pleased to see.

“For sure I’m happy that we did a strong weekend in every single condition: wet, inter, slicks, long stints, short stints, that we were always there. It’s good for us.”

The task that lays ahead for Ferrari is clear: figuring out why they perform one weekend and struggle the next.

“Now we have to understand why we are more comfortable on some tracks than some others, but I think everybody is in the same situation, that we are all a bit inconsistent,” Vasseur explains.

“Because you have two tenths between the P2 and P11 it means that for characteristic, or for tyre management, or for downforce levels, that at the beginning of the weekend you can do a very strong one or poor one, but we don’t have to draw any definitve conclusion.”

So the battle behind Red Bull swings every weak, and Vasseur reckons it will stay like this until Abu Dhabi, meaning that Ferrari will have to be on top of their game if they want to finish as runners-up.

“I think it will be like this until the end of the season and we have to be more consistent. To understand where we are weak, why we are weak, and try to minimise this kind of weekend.”