Ferrari must speed up upgrades to push as F1 grid tightens: Vasseur

Although Ferrari was not able to challenge for a Formula 1 victory on home soil, team manager Fred Vasseur is getting impatient as Red Bull's lead gets closer.

(Motorsports news) The popular podium finisher Charles Leclerc and fifth-place finisher Carlos Sainz came from McLaren, who defeated Ferrari to become F1’s closest rival to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Ferrari believes it lost the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix qualifying duel because overtaking was practically impossible on similar tire strategy. Vasseur stated, “I think that if we do 1-2 in qualifying, we do 1-2 in the race.”

Oscar Piastri’s grid penalty allowed Leclerc and Sainz to qualify fourth and fifth, respectively, to move up one position on the grid.

While Leclerc lamented the red cars’ poor power delivery setup, which allowed them to lose laptime on the straightaways in comparison to the McLarens and Red Bulls, the fact that he was only two tenths behind in fourth place implies that F1 is now truly down to a fight between three teams.

In actuality, Verstappen’s pole time was enhanced by Nico Hulkenberg of Haas, who may have avoided an all-McLaren front row. That would have made the difference between the three teams only slightly larger than a tenth.

According to Vasseur, teams would now need to expedite their development plans even more due to the one-tenth discrepancy. With the existing laws slowing down progress, even the smallest modification can make a big impact.

“What is true is that we are at the point now where we will have to speed up the development,” stated Vasseur.

“If someone were to bring an upgrade one race [earlier], you could go from P5 to P1, given three teams in a tenth.”

It implies that we will need to accelerate our time to market, which is imperative.

However, we also need to be aware that we are currently focusing on the final hundredths. It’s no longer an upgrade of five tenths.

It implies that you must additionally confirm the efficacy of what you are delivering. It will be crucial to the course of the upcoming events.”

The ability to make a difference is granted to several departments, such as drivers, factory support teams, and strategists, when attention is directed toward the smallest aspects.

“When you are three [teams] in one tenth, every single bit can make the difference,” said Vasseur.

“I believe there will be rivalry everywhere. Next week in Monaco, both the car’s setup and the driver’s performance will be critical.

“The news is positive for the championship and for Formula One. After seventy laps, you have three teams in seven seconds. Less than 1/10 of a lap passes by.”

Vasseur issued a warning, saying that several race weekends are required for Ferrari to fully assess the success of its extensive Imola improvements.

However, after McLaren’s ground-breaking Miami modifications, anything the Scuderia has managed to add to the SF-24 has already been matched, there was a sense of discontent.

“Overall, it’s mixed feelings for me because everything that we did a step forward [on], McLaren did probably the same as us.”

“We compensated partly the delta with Red Bull, we are not far away.”

Also read: Ferrari announces ex-Mercedes F1 men D’ambrosio’s arrivement, Serra


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