Vasseur “quite proud of decision” to let Ferrari drivers race in closing stages of F1 Italian GP

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Fred Vasseur has explained why he decided to let Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc fight in the closing laps of the Italian Grand Prix for the final podium spot.

The Spanish driver had been on the defensive throughout the race as he attempted but ultimately failed to hold off both Red Bulls.

Leclerc had been tracking Sainz closely throughout the race and they went at it on the final five laps. The Monegasque looked to have got through at turn 1 on lap 47, but he went deep at the first chicane. Sainz got a good exit and aggressively made his way through at the second chicane as both went off the track.

The 2019 Italian Grand Prix winner threw everything at it again over the next four laps but couldn’t find a way by. Sainz bagged his first podium of 2023 in the process.

Vasseur says he trusted his drivers not to crash into each other in the closing laps and is proud of the decision.

“If I froze the positions you would have exactly the same question ‘why did you freeze the situation’.

“For sure it’s much easier to comment at the end, but I think it was also the best way to thank everybody — the support of the Tifosi and so on.

“I was not very comfortable to freeze something five laps before the end. I trust them. I told them no risk at all. The notion of no risk is relative.

“I am quite proud of the decision and the job done by the drivers today.”

Vasseur confirmed he made the final decision on letting the cars race other.

“On this I want to have the last call, and I told them no risk. You can race but no risk.

“I was much more comfortable with this situation than to freeze something.”

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari