Thursday, November 30, 2023

Ferrari Tyre Strategy Calls ‘Too Conservative’ over worries over Degradation – Vasseur

Frédéric Vasseur admitted the timing of the safety car did not help Scuderia Ferrari at all at Silverstone, but this alone can not explain why the team could only finish ninth and tenth.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. had lined up fourth and fifth on the grid for the British Grand Prix, but the timing of the safety car, which came after both drivers had just switched from the medium compound tyre to the hard tyre, left them a little lower down the field.

Vasseur, the Team Principal at Ferrari, said they were planning prior to the race to run a medium-hard strategy, but the degradation levels were not as harsh as expected, and the soft tyre became the better option for the second half of the race.

The team were not ready for this, mainly down to Leclerc losing out on valuable track time on Friday afternoon when a problem prevented him from taking to the track, and Vasseur admits they could have been less conservative with their tyre choices had they had more data.

“Our plan was to do a one-stop race, running Medium then Hard,” said Vasseur.  “We pitted both drivers before the Safety Car, which definitely put us in a bad situation. However, we cannot just blame this episode to explain our finishing positions.

“The start of the issue with us was on Friday when Charles wasn’t able to run in FP2 and so we only had a long run on the Soft from which we had concerns about degradation.

“That’s why we decided to go with Medium-Hard, which proved to be too conservative a choice as the degradation was lower than expected. That is an important lesson for us.”

Vasseur knows Ferrari should have done better with the package they had at Silverstone, but they will take what they learned in a bid to return to better form next time out in Hungary.

“We could have done a much better job here in Silverstone with the package that we have now,” he said.  “Next race will be Hungary, on a very different kind of track with hotter temperatures and being able to adapt the car package to the various tracks coming up will be a crucial element.

“We are continuing to develop the car and will have new parts soon but it’s so tight between P2 and P10 that the smallest mishap makes a big difference.”