Fred Vasseur, the team principal of Ferrari, expressed his excitement and the different atmosphere that comes with racing on Italian soil. He highlighted the increased presence of guests and tifosi, the enthusiastic Ferrari fans that have been visiting the factory throughout the week. Vasseur acknowledged the emotional aspect of racing at Monza but emphasized the need to stay focused. He mentioned the positive reactions from the tifosi and how their support is a motivating factor for the team, hoping to deliver a strong performance on Sunday.
When asked about his memories of the first time he came to Monza, Vasseur recalled it was for the F3 race, approximately 30 years ago. He then discussed the team’s FP1 performance, stating that it went well but acknowledging the difficulty in comparing it to other teams due to different run plans, fuel levels, and engine setups. Vasseur expressed confidence in Ferrari‘s low downforce package but noted that a clearer picture would emerge after further analysis.
Regarding the current issues with the car, Vasseur explained that understanding the weaknesses is the first step towards improvement. He acknowledged the challenges of fixing them in the short-term due to the calendar and the upcoming season. However, he confirmed that the car for next year would be significantly different, dispelling any doubts about carrying over the current car.
Vasseur emphasized the importance of focusing on improving themselves instead of constantly comparing to other teams. He mentioned that their main goal is to work on their weaknesses and make the best of their current car. Looking towards next year, Vasseur acknowledged that it would be a different story, acknowledging the progress made by other teams and their own ambitions.
When asked about Ferrari‘s goals for the weekend, Vasseur expressed belief that if they achieved a podium at Spa, it is conceivable to aim for another one in Monza. However, he also highlighted the unpredictability of the closely contested midfield, where the order changes from race to race. Vasseur emphasized the need to focus on their own performance and extract the best possible result.
Christian Horner, team principal of Red Bull Racing, addressed the reception they receive from the tifosi, describing the enthusiastic and passionate fanbase as noisy but respectful. He reminisced about his first trip to Monza, which took place in 1997 during a test session, and marveled at the circuit’s speed and atmosphere. Horner described Monza as the “Temple of Speed” and acknowledged the unique experience it offers.
Horner expressed immense pride in Red Bull‘s record-breaking winning streak, having won 13 consecutive races this season, with Max Verstappen matching the record for consecutive victories by a driver. He attributed the team’s success to the hard work behind the scenes and the dedication of every department involved in creating the cars. Horner also mentioned that they spend minimal time in the wind tunnel, highlighting the comprehensive efforts made by the team.
When asked about the emotions and nerves that come with maintaining a winning streak, Horner emphasized the team’s approach of taking one session, qualifying, and race at a time. He acknowledged that there has been constant questioning about the streak since early in the season but stressed the importance of staying focused on the present.
Horner praised Max Verstappen‘s ability to perform under pressure, highlighting the challenges he faced in the previous race at Zandvoort. Despite all the hurdles, Verstappen emerged victorious, showcasing his resilience and focus. Horner commended Verstappen’s ability to handle intense pressure and described his performance as “insane.”
In conclusion, both Vasseur and Horner provided insights into their respective teams’ mindset and goals for the weekend. While Vasseur emphasized the need to focus on their own performance and improve weaknesses, Horner discussed the dynamics of maintaining a winning streak and praised Verstappen’s ability to handle pressure. With the Monza Grand Prix underway, the stage is set for an exhilarating race weekend.