Frederic Vasseur instills confidence saying Ferrari goes out their to win and has everything to do so, as he adds on engine reliability.
At the end of last season, Vasseur moved from Alfa Romeo to Ferrari replacing Mattia Binotto. He took over earlier this month and is charged with assisting the Maranello concern back to where they belong, at the top. The 2022 season saw a great start for the team but several issues along the way saw Red Bull catch, overhaul and sail off into the distance, winning both titles.
Despite a good jump from where they were pre-2022, it was still not the year that Ferrari had hoped for. The consistent letdowns has led many to question if the Italian outfit has in them to win the modern era or they have lost the charm. New boss Vasseur believes that they have in them to win, but just have to channel it all together.
“First, I’m really convinced that at Ferrari today – and for sure my experience is limited to the last two weeks – we have everything to win,” Vasseur said to F1 media. “I think you can have a look at the reasons of the last decades, the wheel is always rolling, and it’s just a matter of continuous improvement”.
“For me, if we are doing a better job than the others in a couple of months or years, then we will be able to win.” While Ferrari in fairness did have a good 2022, Vasseur is taking his new role very seriously and is taking nothing for granted. However, for sure the guy is looking to finish first.
“It’s not that anything is set in stone and, if you look have a look at some teams, they were in a very dominant situation a couple of years ago, and they are nowhere today,” continued Vasseur. “You don’t have to take these directions that, ‘Okay, it was like this the last decade, or last 20 years, and it will stay like this in the future”.
“F1 is a changing world and we just have to be focused on the job, on the performance, and everything is possible. When you are in a top team, you can’t have another target than to win. You can’t start the season saying you are happy with P2 – it would be a lack of ambition. We have everything to do a good job and the target has to be to win,” summed up Vasseur.
Last season also saw Ferrari suffer some engine issues and while this did not ultimately cost Charles Leclerc the title, it was still a focal part of the maladies they suffered. But Vasseur notes that the performance was not the focal trouble which was largely reliability which they are sorting. He rubbished reports of 30bhp gain.
“The performance of the engine was not an issue,” said Vasseur. “The issue was reliability and the first target is to fix it. So far, it looks OK, but the reality of the track is a different thing. A couple of issues that the teams suffer – and it’s not just true for Ferrari – in terms of reliability are also coming from track operation, aerodynamic bouncing, and vibration. Everyone will have a much better idea [at the pre-season test] in Bahrain in a few weeks’ time. We made some step but it is just about reliability.”
Here’s Frederic Vasseur crediting Mattia Binotto
Here’s Ferrari undertaking 2023 testing
Here’s Charles Leclerc on his extreme training
Here’s Ferrari about its reserve pool
Here’s list of its junior drivers
Here’s Carlos Sainz on Frederic Vasseur