Vasseur praises Leclerc for “mega good move” on Perez and his tyre management in F1 Las Vegas GP

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The bright lights at the Las Vegas Grand Prix weren’t the only spectacle on display during the race.

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

When asked to sum up the race, Ferrari’s team principal, Fred Vasseur, claimed that “first of all, it’s a great success for F1”, noting the unexpected success of the race weekend.

“Everybody was a bit negative on this, and I think the show was mega. At the end of the day, the race also was mega, and it’s probably the best race of the season.”

Vasseur acknowledged the “strange feeling” that the team felt after the race. Despite Leclerc’s success in securing pole position and overtaking the Red Bulls multiple times, the Monegasque only managed to finish in P2 thanks to a horribly timed Safety Car a few laps after he switched to hards when in complete control of the race.

“The timing of the safety car was the worst-case scenario for us four laps after our pitstop.”

Despite continuous challenges throughout the race, Vasseur commended Leclerc and teammate Sainz’s comeback from near the back to P6 after his first lap spin.

“Charles did a mega good job. If you consider the Friday story [for Sainz], or Thursday, or the FP1 story plus the incident… he’s P20 or 18 and he’s coming back P6 — it’s a good weekend.”

When considering their tyre strategy, Vasseur explained that Verstappen had more tyre degradation in the first stint and destroyed his medium tyres before Leclerc, although the Frenchman felt they were equal on pace.

When it was suggested the SF-23 wasn’t as competitive on the hard, Vasseur didn’t seem convinced by that declaration.

“I think Verstappen had more deg and he destroyed the tyre before us, but he was leading before this. We had the same pace almost all the stint, but probably that we were better on the tyre management on the first stint with the medium.

“I am not sure on the hard that it was not exactly the same case, because he had the tyres with 5 or 6 laps less than us — and at the end, I had the feeling that we were coming back on Perez first and the pace was there.

“I think the tyre management was okay.”

He highlighted the team’s effective tyre strategy in Vegas, especially in the first stint with the medium tyres.

The pivotal moment of the race, Leclerc’s move to secure P2 on the final lap, was at “the limit.”

Vasseur admitted, “I had the gap on my dash, and I said ‘wow, it’s too far away’.”

As Leclerc managed to get the move done, Vasseur praised his determination, calling it a “mega good move” and acknowledging the driver’s motivation.

“I was a bit surprised. Probably less than Checo, but it was a mega good move and I think he was so motivated, let’s say, that he had to do it.”

Despite the team’s missed opportunity for victory, Vasseur remains optimistic about their performance. With all eyes set on challenging Mercedes for P2 in the Constructors’ Championship in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari are only 4 points behind the Silver Arrows.

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari