Ferrari is facing a challenging season in Formula 1, with their drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz struggling with inconsistency in the SF-23 car. This has made it difficult for them to perform well in races. The team has also experienced some key personnel departures, including head of vehicle concept David Sanchez and sporting director Laurent Mekies. However, new team boss Fred Vasseur is determined to turn things around and has recently introduced a major update at the Spanish Grand Prix, which has helped improve the car’s consistency and competitiveness.
Despite the progress made with the car, Vasseur acknowledges that bigger steps are needed if Ferrari wants to regularly challenge Red Bull. He believes that recruiting from outside the team is necessary to fast-track their fightback. However, he also points out that current gardening leave clauses in F1 contracts mean that it can take years for new signings to join the team. Vasseur explains that while the team may appear agile in terms of making quick changes, when it comes to recruiting, the process is much slower. He shares an example of signing a top engineer who will only work on the car in 2025 and 2026.
Vasseur does not disclose the identity of the individual or the team he is coming from to avoid causing any issues during the interim period. Despite the frustrations of having to wait a long time for key staff, Vasseur remains determined to fix the current car and sees it as the best way to learn and avoid making mistakes. He emphasizes that the issues with the car are not just a matter of details but require a more comprehensive approach.
Despite the challenges, Vasseur is confident that the team is making progress with the car. The changes introduced in Spain have helped create a more stable platform, improving the car’s consistency and making it easier to drive. While Vasseur is cautious about drawing conclusions from performance on a unique track like Montreal, he notes some encouraging signs in the race where Ferrari was on the same tire strategy as Aston Martin. He mentions that in the last stint of the race, Ferrari was only one second slower than Fernando Alonso over 30 laps, compared to a 10-second gap a few weeks ago.
Overall, Vasseur remains committed to turning Ferrari‘s season around and believes that with continued development and improvements, the team can make significant progress in their fight to challenge the front-runners in Formula 1.