Ferrari‘s performances have seen a decline in recent races, resulting in car finishes at ninth and tenth positions at Silverstone, while seventh and eighth rankings were registered at the Hungary races. The Italian team’s principal, Vasseur believes the team shouldn’t stress too much about matching up to leading pacesetters.
Vasseur reflects on the time when Mercedes was a top contender, a position currently held by Red Bull. “Red Bull are in front but I think the feeling was quite the same when Mercedes was in front a few years ago,” he said. He stresses the importance for Ferrari to focus inwards and work on improving their current standing.
Stressing the need for introspection, Vasseur stated “The most important thing is to be focused on ourselves, to try to get the best from what we have, to minimise the mistakes, do a better job and then comes what will come. To catch up, it’s not that you are thinking about the Red Bull and thinking what do we have to do? We have to work on ourselves.”
The team has been investing in various areas like aerodynamics, suspension and others, pursuing constant development. However, Vasseur emphasises that upgrades alone don’t lead to significant progress. Past experiences with Barcelona and Alfa Romeo have shown him that understanding the upgrades is equally, if not more, important.
The team principal highlights the difficulty of making progress within a season due to the introduction of cost cap restrictions. In relation to this, Vasseur said “I think that everybody is improving. But the reality also of the regulation and the cost cap is that we are improving much less than in the past. It means that when there is a real gap, it’s quite difficult to catch up.”
Vasseur also pointed out that the leading margin for top teams has remained relatively consistent throughout the current season, both in qualifying and race modes. He said, “I would say that it’s like this from the beginning of the season, because if you have a look I think over the quali we are average something like 0.2-3%, and probably 0.7% more in the race, and I think it’s true for everybody, it true for Mercedes. In general it’s more Red Bull with more performance in the race than the others who are slower. And it’s not today, it was probably a bit less true in Spielberg, but overall it was the case all season.”