Vasseur says Ferrari has to be more “consistent” in race trim after “bad” last stint in F1 Mexico GP

Spread the love

Ferrari failed to deliver a race win from pole position for the second successive race last time out at the Mexico City GP, something which team boss Frederic Vasseur believes can be solved with more “consistent” tyre-to-tyre performance, after noticing a drop in pace of the red cars on the hard compound tyres.

Photo Credits: Scuderia Ferrari

The Scuderia locked out the front row with a pole position that “surprised” polesitter Charles Leclerc, who had his main target set to “converting” it into a race win on Sunday. However, after contact with Sergio Perez at the first corner, the Monegasque had to manage his first part of the race carrying some significant front wing damage, but that didn’t hamper his progress too much – the real issue came after the red flag restart for Kevin Magnussen’s crash.

Both Ferrari cars struggled to get their hard compound tyres in a working window, which meant they lost significant time relative to their competitors in the second part of the race, ultimately finishing in third and fourth for Leclerc and Sainz respectively, after a promising start which saw the two take the net-race lead with their one-stop strategy.

Speaking to selected media after the race, team boss Frederic Vasseur said the pace in the first stint – on medium tyres – was “okay”, given the extent of the damage on Leclerc’s car, he was still able to keep Verstappen in his pit window, but explained how the race unravelled for them with the C3, hard compound tyres:

“My feeling from the pit wall is that the first stint was okay, we were three to four tenths behind Max [Verstappen] with damage on [Leclerc’s] car, so I think it was almost a good stint,” said Vasseur. “But with the hard, we were never able to restart the tyres – we were always on the ‘shy’ side – and it didn’t work at all.”

The Frenchman said the team had the option to fit scrubbed medium tyres, but decided against it given there were 35 laps remaining, which would’ve made tyre life marginal at the end of the race, especially given Mexico’s high-altitude nature which requires managing not only tyres, but also brakes and power unit:

“Honestly not, because we had to restart for 35 laps, and we were not expecting to be able to do 35 laps [on a set of medium tyres].

“I think Max also [had] that with the medium, probably [high] tyre management due to the management of the engine and the brakes. But it was ambitious and the set of medium that we had was a scrubbed one.”

Whilst he wasn’t satisfied with the outcome, the 55-year-old refused claims it was a “bad race” for the Scuderia, and instead pointed out to a need to improve consistency between different tyre compounds, which held the team back the most in Mexico:

“It’s not the right word when you are third and fourth, I don’t want to say that it’s a bad race. We had a bad stint at the end, this is clear and it’s the main issue,” he said. “But the first part of the race went very well. I think that we are doing a step forward.

“We did a pole position in four out of the last six races, it’s a step forward for us. And we have to be a bit more consistent on the race – or at least to have no delta between the stints – because it’s very often where we are losing the positions.”