Frederic Vasseur expands on the improved tyre management situation from Ferrari since last year, and adding more pressure on Red Bull.

Ferrari were ailing in the degradation department last year with the tyre management becoming a huge task due to the characteristics of its car. Since Zandvoort, they tried a new way and worked upon it for the rest of the 2023 F1 season.

The things they tried worked for them and they have carried them in 2024 too. So far, the tyre degradation has been a win for them even if on raw pace side, they are still slightly behind Red Bull. On certain tracks, they will certainly play a bigger role.

While addressing the tyre management improvements, Vasseur also noted about having a clean weekend right from FP1. That sets the theme for the rest of the weekend where they are able to put larger pressure on Red Bull and other rivals.

“Even last year, it was like this, that I think that we ready quite soon into the weekend,” said Vasseur to media. “But now when you don’t have… when you have small issues or reliability issues or not a clean weekend that you are losing time and when you’re in front of Red Bull, you can’t lose one lap.

“I think it’s from the beginning of the season we have a very consistent sessions from FP1 to the quali. We were a bit disappointed after the quali in Australia because we have the feeling that we could have done a better job. But considering that the race was more based on the tyre management and tyre degradation, it was not a drama.

“I’m not focused at all on the performance of Red Bull. I am focused on the performance of our car. We made a huge step forward, perhaps on the pace of one lap, that it’s true that we were not nowhere last year on one lap pace, but where we made a huge step I think it’s more on the consistency between the two compound, between one stint and the other one, the car is much easier to drive.

“It is much easier to read also for our drivers, by the way much easier to develop, and it’s probably the biggest step that we did compared to last year, to have something that we can not easily manage, but at least to have a good read of the car quite early into the weekend,” summed up Vasseur, who was asked if their development was deliberate in this direction.

He noted that while they cannot take this factor as a development direction, but what they focused on was to make the car easier to drive and not put the drivers in a position of overdriving and creating troubles in tyre management. There is no survival mode now.

“I’m not sure that we can take it as a direction for the development,” said Vasseur. “What is true is that last year, the main issue was the fact that the car was very difficult to drive into the race, then you had to do a step in the pace, you were doing mistakes, damaging the tyres. And then it’s kind of negative spiral.

“This year, it’s much easier I think to read for them, to know where is the limit and to stay just a bit below. And when you have to go tyre management, it’s much much easier and they are… I think, they are much more under control than they were last year when they were a bit in the survival mode and by this you are killing the tyres quite quickly.”

Also, confidence is key factor to have in getting better results and also putting pressure on Red Bull by putting everything together. “Confidence is a huge part of the result in all business,” said Vasseur. “And I think we are building up the confidence over the last month that it was really the case in the last part of the season last year.

“In Australia, I think it’s a good dividends that when we are putting everything together – and I’m not sure that we’ll be able to do it every single weekend – but when we are putting everything together, we can put them a little bit under pressure. And it’s when they are under pressure that they will do also more mistakes.

“It means that we have to continue in this direction. We are much, much more confident on the fact that we can manage this kind of event because that from lap one day one that we were there, we are performant, and it was quite smooth and it’s in this situation that we are doing the best car for ourselves for Sunday.”

Here’s Frederic Vasseur on Ferrari doing well on tracks like Las Vegas

Here’s Carlos Sainz on all about Australian GP win

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