Frederic Vasseur doesn’t thinks inspiration is the right word with regards to how Aston Martin has taken a step up from F1 2022 to 2023.

It hasn’t been the smoothest of starts for Vasseur or Ferrari in 2023 with no poles or wins and just the one podium with Carlos Sainz. On top of that, they are already on their second power unit and Charles Leclerc has had a element penalty to add to their misery.

While there is confidence and optimism still, questions to mount on Vasseur. The fact that Aston Martin has been able to take a step up from 2022 to 2023 in a big way, it reflects a bit poorly on Ferrari, who have more resources than the Silverstone-based team.

But Vasseur doesn’t think inspiration is the right word if they look at Aston Martin’s rise. The Frenchman reckons the concept isn’t a problem as they have showed pace in qualifying if not the race which has been plagued by tyre degradation and lack of performance.

Despite being behind both Mercedes and Aston Martin, Vasseur feels that the Ferrari has good potential and that they are not being able to extract the full potential due to various shortcomings like the hard compound stint in Saudi Arabia which didn’t click.

Race pace not there in Saudi Arabia –

Vasseur: “Its early stages to get a clear picture about this season. So far I think the pace was decent in qualifying because we made a step forward and we opened the gap compared to Mercedes and Aston Martin in qualifying. We were at least with Charles about three or four tenths faster than Aston Martin and Mercedes. The first stint we did pretty well too, Charles had a pretty good comeback but he was on the soft and nobody knows about the different compound.

“But Carlos was on a decent pace on the first stint on medium compared to the others and we lost completely the ground with the others but its why we have to completely understand the main issue and if we have some improvement to do is clearly on the management of the different compound used at the weekend.”

Task at Ferrari more than initially thought about –

Vasseur: “Yeah but I am not thinking about myself but in this situation I am thinking about the team, how to improve the situation but I think we also have to stay calm. It is not that everything is going wrong as we made some improvement compared to Bahrain on the one lap pace, that we at least opened a little gap with the competitors not with Red Bull but with Mercedes and Aston Martin. I think the issue in the race was much more about the pace with the hard tyre if you look at the weekend.”

Aston Martin inspiration –

Vasseur: “Inspiration, I don’t know if that’s the right word. But at least hope: it’s clear that you can develop the car. And I think that in our situation, it’s not that we are always eight-tenths down. Sometimes we are able to be in a good shape, sometimes not. We have to understand what’s happened on this kind of situation. But I think that when we will understand we’ll be able to do a decent step.”

Set-up was Bahrain thing but isn’t the case –

Vasseur: “First you always need to develop the car, even Red Bull will develop the car, and nobody will stop. We did only two races of the 23, we have still 21 to go, and every single team of the grid will continue to develop. Again, I don’t want to push on the positive side, because the results, the outcome of the weekend is not good. And we have to be focused on what is going wrong, not on the positive side. It was difficult to know exactly what was the potential of the Red Bull, because Max didn’t do Q3, but at least I had the feeling that compared to Mercedes and Aston Martin, we did a step forward. And I think we are on the right way in terms of development. The issue is that we have to stay at this maximum potential all over the weekend.”

Focus on straightline led to corners deficit –

Vasseur: “As is with every single team we have a large choice of wings and the level of downforce. It’s always a trade-off at the beginning of the weekend to decide which kind of wings we want to bring. We had probably better top speed than Aston and Mercedes and probably less downforce than them over the weekend. But I’m not sure that is the main reason of the lack of pace.”

Here’s Ferrari trio on Saudi Arabia situation