Vasseur on the “inconsistent” SF-23: “In the race we need seconds” to catch Red Bull and Mercedes

Spread the love

The long-awaited updates brought by Ferrari to Spain did not deliver the results hoped for by their fans and the team.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, who had already admitted that they were not hoping for a radical change, found themselves with a car that fell far short of expectations, which once again did not allow the team to fight for the podium.

Carlos Sainz, who started second and finished fifth, was unable to keep up with the pace of the top two teams during the race, while Charles Leclerc finished completely out of the points zone after starting from P19.

Vasseur talked about yet another difficult Sunday Ferrari faced in 2023 and the inconsistency across stints the drivers are facing. He cannot pinpoint an exact cause either as to why.

“Charles’ first set of hard tyres was a kind of nightmare, while with the last set he was much happier. We have to assess the reasons for this inconstancy and that is what we will focus on before Canada.

“Charles’s car for example, between the first and third stint with the same compound, the first one the balance was out of the place, and the last one was okay-ish. Carlos, he did a decent first stint, a good last stint, and in the middle he lost 15 or 20 seconds on the competitors.

“Carlos was able to have a decent pace the last couple of laps. It means it’s not that we are losing the tyres. Charles, from lap one was complaining about the balance on the first stint, and from lap one to the last one.

“It’s very difficult to understand and to fix it, because it’s not always the same, not always the same problem. I don’t think that it was tyre deg. It could become tyre deg if you push more. But it’s not the main issue.

“It’s true also that in quali you are in free air, and races you are not for example. Could be an option, but if you have a look at the second stint of Carlos he was also in free air, and it was a disaster.”

On the one hand we have Red Bull, with its almost paved road to victory, while on the other hand we’re seeing the improvement of a Mercedes that started the season rather disappointingly but is quickly implementing an improvement plan.

While at Ferrari, the changes seem to take the car even further away from improvement and seem to fail to find the right path.

Vasseur admitted they’re a long way off in race trim at present, as the gaps throughout the season have shown.

“In terms of race pace, Red Bull and Mercedes are faster than us.

“We will certainly continue to develop the car, but if in qualifying it’s a matter of tenths of a second, in the race right now we need seconds. We have to be able to unlock something in the car if we really want to make the progress we need.

“I think the main issue for us is not the potential on the lap, or this type of corner or this other. The main issue is the consistency.

The French team boss is sure it’s not just a pure issue with the chassis, it’s a problem from one stint to another.

“Perhaps we can steer a little bit of the development on the consistency. And to have something a bit more easy to drive and so that we can steer a bit. It’s the direction that we took the last couple of months or weeks.

“And I think that we are a bit more consistent than we were at one stage. The issue is more than on the chassis side, the issue is more from stint to stint because if you had something like this you could say that it’s always there.

“But we had stints in free air that were very difficult, like Carlos’s second one.”

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari