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Vasseur Commends Bearman's Impressive First Drive

Vasseur Commends Bearman’s Impressive First Drive

10/03/2024

Amidst a tumultuous weekend, Ferrari showcased resilience at the Saudi GP, with Vasseur lauding Leclerc and Bearman’s pivotal roles.

Fred Vasseur was reassured by how the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix went for Ferrari. The Scuderia’s director praised Charles Leclerc’s podium finish and Ollie Bearman’s last-minute replacement in Carlos Sainz’s car.

“It was a good race for Charles and Ollie. It was significant since we had a chaotic weekend, Thursday was tough for us because we had the issue with Carlos on Thursday. I wasn’t very optimistic when we called Ollie at the last minute, but he did a fantastic job, just like Charles,” Vasseur stated.

“I think for a British driver, having Norris and Hamilton behind you is positive! I was balanced on the radio between pushing because you can and avoiding mistakes, but according to the data, he didn’t make a single mistake, and we were relaxed. I don’t know if it’s possible for a rookie to be calm, but we were, and it went very well.”

Speaking to Canal, he recalled that Bearman had to learn everything in a very short time: “We called him just before FP3; he had never taken a start, never made a stop, and he discovered all the procedures, so everything went well.”

“Towards the end of the race, when we informed him of the gap to Norris, he accelerated step by step without taking risks, he didn’t make a single mistake and didn’t hit a wall. I’m proud of the academy, it’s a long effort from everyone starting from F4 with him, and it’s a beautiful reward today.”

“A great weekend if there was no Red Bull”

Vasseur is pleased to see Ferrari’s progress at the start of the season and to confirm it on a circuit with radically different characteristics from Bahrain. But he remains frustrated by Red Bull’s lead.

“It’s good, but we need to focus on Red Bull. We’re not far in qualifications, but it’s tough in the race. We have significant difficulties when we get into dirty air. So, being third is good, it was better in clean air, but we were half a second behind, so we need to continue putting pressure on them.”

“We need to scrape together every hundredth of a second and put them under pressure because they’re not today. It’s a sum of small things that will put them under pressure and make them make mistakes. If it wasn’t for Red Bull, it would be a great weekend since we’re gaining points on everyone else, even though we weren’t confident by Friday noon.”

Melbourne: Next Chapter

“But we need to focus on Melbourne; it will be another story. I’m happy because we performed well in Bahrain and Jeddah, which are far apart in terms of layout and tarmac. But there are still 22 races, so the season will be long!”

Vasseur cannot yet confirm that Sainz will be present in Melbourne, but he is not worried: “Thanks to the Jeddah hospital and all their staff who performed the surgery. I visited him the morning before the race, and he was quite well. He eventually came to the paddock to follow the race.”

“He will rest well this week, and we’ll see if he races in Australia. He says yes, the doctors are confident. I don’t want to rush to tell you therefore that he will be there or something like that, he’s an adult and will make the right decision with the correct advice from specialists.”

Vasseur Commends Bearman’s Impressive First Drive. Vasseur Commends Bearman’s Impressive First Drive

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