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Vasseur Focuses on Ferrari's Immediate Goals

Vasseur Focuses on Ferrari’s Immediate Goals

18/05/2024

Ferrari’s Fred Vasseur dismisses rumors about Adrian Newey, emphasizing the team’s need to concentrate on short-term progress to compete effectively in the current season.

Fred Vasseur does not hide his admiration for Adrian Newey, as the engineer is set to leave Red Bull and could join Ferrari, where the Frenchman is the director. However, Vasseur insists that he is currently managing the team without considering the Briton’s arrival.

“Adrian has an impressive track record. He is the most successful engineer in the paddock. I don’t know the exact statistics, but I would say that’s probably the case. But I have no comment to make on this matter,” Vasseur stated.

Vasseur Focuses on Ferrari's Immediate Goals

“We talk about the long term and the short term, but we are in a phase of the season where the short term is crucial. We are pushing like crazy. I trust the guys we have in the team. Ferrari’s concern today is to improve step by step, little by little.”

“And I trust the people we have in the company; they are doing a good job. If you compare it to what was happening a year ago at the beginning of May in Miami, we were a second behind. Last week, in Miami, we were 0.1 to 0.15 seconds behind. This means we have made significant progress.”

“But it’s not enough, because I think Red Bull is still ahead. It’s much less and not always, but for me, they still have a bit of an advantage. We need to keep progressing hundredth by hundredth.”

“And we need to focus on the fact that it will never be five tenths by five tenths. That would be a mistake. If we need to make up ground and catch up, it will be hundredth by hundredth, and we must not imagine that there is a magic solution.”

Vasseur Focuses on Ferrari's Immediate Goals

D’Ambrosio will need to “kick Vasseur’s butt”

Ferrari has recruited aerodynamicist Loïc Serra and Jérôme d’Ambrosio, who acted as Toto Wolff’s right-hand man. Vasseur confirms that this will also be the Belgian’s role within the Scuderia, to guide him on certain decisions.

“Jérôme is not replacing anyone; he is just added value to the team. We will distribute the roles, and it’s not name by name or box by box; we won’t do it that way.”

“But he will support me. He will kick my butt on occasion. And I need that. And I think he has great experience in motorsport, whether in terms of management, driving, or anything else. He will be a good asset for us in the future.”

“Loïc’s contract was probably signed before Lewis’s, I don’t remember exactly. Simone (Resta) and (Enrico) Sampo will start at Mercedes at the same time. I think it’s the life of a team: we have 1,500 people, and there’s turnover. People come and go, and we shouldn’t take it personally.”

Vasseur Focuses on Ferrari's Immediate Goals

Vasseur wanted to part ways with Sainz with “respect”

The former Alfa Romeo director admits it was difficult to decide to part ways with Carlos Sainz, as he had often sought to recruit the Spanish driver in the junior formulas and in two different Formula 1 teams.

“It wasn’t easy because I have a lot of respect for Carlos. When I arrived, I said that I had tried to have Carlos with me in the junior categories, then at Renault, then at Sauber, and it was never possible. So, I was happy to have Carlos with me when I joined Ferrari.”

“I am fully aware of the work he accomplished last year. He first brought us the podium at Monza, then the victory in Singapore, and he was also instrumental in our recovery after the summer break.”

“He returned to Zandvoort and did a very good job, pushing the team a lot, which greatly helped Charles recover and get back to the front. I want to make it clear that it wasn’t one pushing the other. It was a positive collaboration.”

carlos sainz 2024 Imola Free practice 3

“Recruiting Lewis was an obvious choice”

Vasseur then decided to recruit Hamilton, as the opportunity to have the seven-time world champion was hard to refuse. The Frenchman is pleased with how the split with Sainz was handled and explains the reasons for the early timing of this announcement.

“For the team, the opportunity to recruit Lewis was obvious for many reasons, and I had to make a decision. The decision was tough, but the way we handled it with Carlos and those around him was the best possible because it wasn’t easy.”

“I remember clearly that we closed the discussion by saying, ‘This is how it is. Let’s push until the last corner of the last lap and have a very good season.’ His reaction was good. Instead of saying, ‘You’re a damn bastard, blah blah blah,’ he created a positive dynamic, and I have a lot of respect for that.”

“The fact that we announced it very early surprised people. With Lewis, we could have waited until July, but I think it was also out of respect for Carlos that we wanted to give him the best chance to find a good opportunity, etc. I hope he finds something.”

carlos sainz 2024 Imola Free practice 3

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