Saturday, July 20, 2024

Ferrari’s Frédéric Vasseur: “We did not put everything together over the whole weekend”

Frédéric Vasseur admitted the result of the Hungarian Grand Prix was a poor one for Scuderia Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. ending only seventh and eighth at the Hungaroring.

Leclerc was running inside the top five in the first stages of the race but was compromised by a slow pit stop early on, his mechanics struggling with a wheel gun at the back of his car.

However, he was later hit by a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane during his second stop, a penalty that meant George Russell was able to jump ahead of him in the final result.

“Our result is rather poor today,” said Vasseur, the Team Principal at Ferrari.  “It was a complicated race with Charles, chiefly because he lost around seven seconds at the pit stop, which was a massive delay, because of an issue with a wheel-gun.

“This also put him in traffic and then there was also the 5-second pit lane speeding penalty.”

Sainz made a good start to climb from eleventh to run sixth, but he struggled with tyre degradation throughout and was unable to better eighth at the chequered flag. 

However, Vasseur says that was not a bad result bearing in mind where he started, especially as they were able to finish ahead of Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team’s Fernando Alonso.

“With Carlos, we took the risk of starting him on Softs and it was a good move in the early stages, as he made up places,” Vasseur added.  “But we knew it would be quite tricky for him as he would have to do a lot of tyre management, switching earlier to the Hard compound.

“However, starting eleventh and finishing where he did, ahead of Alonso, I’d say was not too bad a result.”

Vasseur believes Ferrari are not far away when it comes to their performance, but they need to be able to put together a complete weekend to ensure they maximise their potential, something they were unable to do in Hungary.

“I have the feeling that we are not that far off the pace in terms of performance, but we did not put everything together over the whole weekend,” he said.  “We showed we had the potential on Friday, but then we did not build on it for Saturday or today in the race.

“Now we really need to focus on Belgium, because it is always important to go into the summer break with a good result, find more pace and minimise mistakes.”