Monday, June 24, 2024

Focusing on Rivals heading into Azerbaijan ‘Would be a Mistake’ for Ferrari – Frédéric Vasseur

Frédéric Vasseur says Scuderia Ferrari need to focus on themselves during the upcoming Azerbaijan Grand Prix rather than worrying about the pace of the teams around them.

Ferrari have started the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season poorly, scoring only twenty-six points across the opening three races. Charles Leclerc has scored only six points in the first three events after two retirements, while both he and team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. failed to score points last time out in Australia.

Oracle Red Bull Racing, Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team are all sitting ahead of Ferrari heading into the fourth round of the season in Azerbaijan.

However, Vasseur, the Team Principal at Ferrari, says the Maranello-based squad will only be focusing on themselves as they bring updates to their SF-23 and ensuring they extract everything they can from the weekend, something they failed to do in Australia.

“To be focused on Red Bull or Mercedes or Aston Martin, I think it would be a mistake,” Vasseur is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.

“We have to get the best from what we are doing, and to be focused on ourselves. But we made a good step for me between race two and race three.

“And if we’re able to bring a couple of updates like this… I think the issue in Melbourne was not the potential of the car, it was more the job that we did as a team to extract the best from this, and that we have to be focused on this.

“Baku will be crucial, because in Baku you have the two qualifyings and the two races and we have to be able as a team to do a better job and to attract the best potential of the car.

“Then the layout of the track in Baku is completely different. But most important is to get the best from what we are doing, and to be focused on ourselves not on the others.”

Despite missing out on points in Australia, Vasseur believes they did make progress with the SF-23, and they will be looking to do so once more in Azerbaijan.  However, they know they need to find more consistency if they wish to score their first podium of the season.

“I will never say what we did on the car and what was the impact on the behaviour of the car,” Vasseur added. “But for sure we are looking for something a bit more consistent. And I think that we achieved it.

“I want to have the confirmation in Baku that we’re in a different situation. Baku very often is an extreme track, because it’s windy, and between the buildings the wind is changing completely direction from corner to corner. And it will be a good exercise for everybody.

“But I think we took the right direction in Melbourne, and we have to confirm it next race.”

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