Ferrari's High Hopes in Jeddah F1 2024

Interview Insights – Ferrari’s High Hopes in Jeddah


Ferrari lacked the pace to challenge Red Bull and Max Verstappen at the opening Grand Prix in Bahrain. However, the race was promising, especially regarding tire performance.

What will happen in Saudi Arabia this weekend? The moment of truth is near for Scuderia: if it fails to challenge Red Bull at a circuit seemingly advantageous for the Reds, concerns may arise.

For now, confidence and optimism are the prevailing sentiments within Fred Vasseur, the team principal.

“The first race of the season confirmed that we’ve been working in the right direction over the winter. At Sakhir, we noticed that the gaps in qualifying have narrowed even further, though the gap to Max Verstappen in the race remains significant.”

“However, it’s encouraging to see we’ve closed that gap compared to last year, which is a good starting point.”

“At Jeddah, we’re facing a completely different test, and we want to check if the positive signs we’ve seen from the SF-24 over the last two weeks hold up on this very different track. The track surface is very smooth, and tire degradation should be minimal. For the first time, we’ll encounter very high-speed turns that will highlight the cars’ aerodynamic downforce and efficiency.”

Optimism Fuels Ferrari

Fred Vasseur expects good results for his team – without committing to aiming for a victory.

“Charles and Carlos have always performed well on this circuit, and I expect them to be at the forefront again, even though, once more, it will be very tight. They should be able to deliver strong performances in both qualifying and the race.”

Jock Clear continues his work with Leclerc… and the Ferrari Driver Academy

On the sidelines of this Grand Prix, Jock Clear, currently a leader at the Scuderia Ferrari Driver Academy (but also continuing to work with Charles Leclerc at every Grand Prix), made an announcement: the addition of Maya Weug as a Ferrari-supported driver in the F1 Academy.

“We’re thrilled to line up Maya Weug as an official Ferrari driver in car number 64. Additionally, we have our academy colleague, Aurelia Nobels in car number 22, supported by our partners, Puma.”

“I believe it’s very important to establish a strong link between all our young drivers and our main F1 racing activity; by maintaining my involvement in every Grand Prix with Charles, I can ensure this close connection.”

Diversity Drives Forward

Ferrari will strengthen its commitment to diversity following Lewis Hamilton’s arrival; however, Jock Clear already emphasizes the Scuderia’s involvement in this regard.

“This season, the F1 Academy will feature drivers from each of the F1 teams, displaying the F1 livery of their team. This is a first in junior formulas, reflecting Ferrari’s desire to promote female talent and integrate them into the F1 team.”

“This opportunity is the perfect springboard for young female drivers, and they will benefit from a promoter with a broad vision, a highly professional organizational structure, and an energetic media team, all key factors for a successful campaign.”

“This generation of young women has the enormous responsibility of paving the way for future generations, and as such, they are true pioneers who must chart the course, create opportunities, and raise public awareness.”

Guidance for Pioneers

What advice would Clear give to his two new drivers, as well as young women wanting to enter motorsport?

“Managing expectations is one of the cornerstones of our work within the SFDA and even in F1; Maya and Aurelia are both very focused and determined to win, it’s my job to keep these emotions in check and ensure they work well with their respective teams and remain objective. As with any athlete, the key to success is to continue learning, striving to improve every day. These are the values we need to impart to Maya and Aurelia, but in turn, they must pass these values on to those who follow them. I stress again that these two young women have a key role to play in ensuring we open doors for the youth of tomorrow.”

“The spotlight is on them, and the pressure will sometimes be strong, but my final advice would be to have fun; they are young, they are pursuing their dreams, and the best way to achieve something is to enjoy the journey.”

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