Vasseur on the 2023 F1 season: Ferrari was “a bit more aggressive” in their “approach” and “mentality”

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Scuderia Ferrari’s results were not as expected after several years of trying, which would lead to Mattia Binotto leaving his position as Team Principal at the end of 2022, after having held it for 4 years and having worked at Maranello for 28.

For 2023, it was announced that Frederic Vasseur would replace the Swiss after leaving Alfa Romeo. However, with the Frenchman in charge, there was no noticeable change in the car despite the fact that they were the only ones to score a win all season, apart from Red Bull.

Although it was not reflected in the points, the Draveil native says the team’s biggest improvement was in the mentality, with the Maranello outfit being more ambitious and taking more risks: “When you arrive in this group, you need to understand how the group is working before taking any action or decision.”

“The main topic for us and the biggest improvement we did the season was more on the approach and the mentality. I think that we took more risk, we were a bit more aggressive and this played a part.”

“We have to be ambitious and not be scared of any incident or something like this, and I think we did a step on this.”

Photo: Scuderia Ferrari

Vasseur said that these changes in mindset paid off as they reflected an improvement in lap times and that this is hugely significant on a grid where the differences between the teams are so small: “When we said that we were in a tough situation at the beginning, we were probably two or three-tenths off,” he added. “We made a step of one or two-tenths. Now the grid is so compact and so tight that for one or two tenths you can change completely the physiognomy of the weekend.”

Convinced that they are on the right track, the Team Principal of one of the oldest teams in the category emphasised that they made good progress in the last third of the season: “We brought an upgrade in Japan, but it was not a big one. I’m still convinced that it’s more on the track operation that we made the step in the last third of the season, much more than on the development of the car. “In the last part of the season we were much more aggressive. And it’s a matter of tenths. You make up 0.020s here and 0.020s there and at the end, it’s one-tenth.”

Looking ahead to the 2024 season and holding third place on the grid, Ferrari is facing a huge challenge, as everything seems to indicate that this year, the Maranello outfit will have more than one direct competitor… McLaren evolved a lot in the second half of the season and if Aston Martin manages to have the consistency it lacked in 2023, it could be a threat to the Frenchman and his team.