Frederic Vasseur talks about the advancements that Ferrari has made in tyre management and degradation, with drivers adding on strategy.

There has been gains made by Ferrari from 2023 to 2024 F1 season. They have been stronger than before especially on the tyre management side and controlling degradation on different surfaces and in different temperatures.

This has allowed in better strategy as well because they now have a car which can play around and go longer in a stint which puts pressure on their rivals around. And they did so in the last few races where they managed to beat McLaren especially.

There are weaknesses still but Vasseur is positive about the gains made on this side which was not working for them last year. “From the beginning of the season we are much better on the tyre management and degradation we were, I think, able to do the fastest lap in Jeddah and Melbourne on the last lap,” he said to media.

“It was almost the case for one tenth in Australia too. And we did a very good step forward on this one, we worked a lot on the weaknesses and we improve massively on the tyre management, drivers, strategy, and the team. For sure that now we have some other weaknesses, and we have to improve somewhere else for sure if we want to do a better job. But this one is very well under control now.

“What is true one day, it’s not true the other day, on the tyre management. And we don’t have to consider that this is done. In China will have another tarmac, different weather conditions, and it will be a new challenge. Also, we made a huge step forward on the high speed compared to last year and for sure Suzuka is a good example.

“And on the tyre management mode, but now we still have those weaknesses that for sure it’s always kind of compromise, you improve somewhere and you’re losing somewhere else. But overall, I think that if you compare with Red Bull over the last four events last year and the first four events this year we made a decent step forward.

“For sure are still a little bit ahead, but the target is to be able to put them under pressure and with pressure, you are doing more mistakes. It was not clear in Australia, but I hope that this will be the case in the future,” summed up Vasseur, as both of his drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz had similar thoughts on the matter.

They feel the consistency in performance at different times of the weekend and also the race itself. Last year was too inconsistent and limited which left them stranded but as noted above, this year, they are a bit easy and are able to play around more.

“We are also much more consistent,” said Leclerc. “Last year, it was very easy for us to do a small mistake with the setup and be completely off in the race and be much further away than what we would expect. The car is much more solid in the race, which is nice.

“We finished Australia on a high, rather than starting it on a high and then being not too happy the Sunday night. So it’s good that way! Now I need to put everything together on the Saturday and then I’m sure we’ll have many more happy weekends,” summed up Leclerc.

Teammate Sainz noted that his improvements has also stemmed from the improvements on the car side. “We just simply improved the car,” he said. “And yeah, people also might think, I’m in a better moment driving and everything, but the reality is just in Formula 1, a car is very important. Also, having a good car. And also this year, I’m in a very good moment.

“I’m driving at a high level, but at the same time, having a car that just allows you to go a bit longer, allows you to be a bit closer in dirty air and play around a bit more with strategy, just allows you to shine a bit more, and that’s why it’s important in the career of a driver also to be in a car, because last year in the races we looked like we were always going backwards, always defending.

“We were terrible with tyre management and that was difficult to do good races. This year, suddenly three races, two podiums, a lot of overtaking, a win. It’s a completely different picture. It shows that in this sport that is very important too. I think we’ve made progress on strategy over the last three years, progressively, but if you see a jump this year on strategy, it’s purely down to the car as I said.

“I think just having a car that allows you to have flexibility on strategy is something that last year we couldn’t have. So, we were boxed in to stop at certain laps. We couldn’t extend. We had so much deg that it looked always like people could extend and then come back on us on a harder tyre.

“Last year, we were just zero flexible and we couldn’t do anything without racing. So it looked like we were not getting the strategy right a lot of times. But when you have a car that is better on tyres, two drivers that can push on the car more often and you have that extra flexibility, your strategy also looks better. And with this, I’m not underestimating the progress we’ve done. It’s just I really think this helps a lot.”

Here’s Charles Leclerc launching LEC ice cream

Here’s Charles Leclerc on P4 finish from P8

Here’s Carlos Sainz on losing hope of podium

Here’s link to a F1 Discord channel, join in to interact