Ferrari boss admits Charles Leclerc underperformed

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has analysed the team’s progress so far this season, having only scored three podiums.

In a recent in-depth conversation with Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport, Ferrari’s team principal, Frederic Vasseur, delved into the team’s performance during the initial phase of the 2023 racing season. 

Acknowledging areas for enhancement and addressing driver conduct, Vasseur highlighted the team’s potential for growth.

As the season reached its halfway mark, Ferrari’s leadership took the opportunity to reflect on the team’s achievements and identify areas that warrant improvement. 

Charles Leclerc’s notable podium finishes and Carlos Sainz’s consistent point accumulation have contributed to the team’s standing. 

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Leclerc’s impressive three podium appearances have secured him the fifth position in the world championship rankings, while Sainz’s commendable performance has earned him the seventh spot.

Despite their achievements, Vasseur expressed the belief that the Maranello-based team has yet to fully tap into its potential. 

“There is always room for improvement, both as a team and as drivers,” Vasseur asserted, highlighting the team’s commitment to continuous development.

In assessing Leclerc’s performance, Vasseur acknowledged a less than ideal start to the season for the Monegasque driver. 

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Leclerc’s early struggles were characterised by several accidents during the opening Grand Prix weekends. 

Vasseur, however, offered insights into Leclerc’s trajectory, stating, “Charles [Leclerc] did not start this season as expected and at the beginning he pushed more than he should have. 

“Now, however, he seems to have improved on that.”

Beyond on-track performance, Vasseur also addressed Leclerc’s communication style, noting moments of impulsive remarks fuelled by adrenaline. 

Vasseur acknowledged his reservations about such conduct, emphasising the importance of measured communication. 

“Leclerc has an impulsive character. If something doesn’t go well, he doesn’t hold back either,” Vasseur remarked. 

He went on to elaborate, “However, for his own sake and that of the team, it is sometimes better to calm down before he says something.

“In the heat of the moment, you don’t have all the information to make a definitive judgment. 

“For an open microphone, it is sometimes better to take your time.”

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Ferrari’s ongoing pursuit of excellence has captured the attention of motorsport enthusiasts worldwide. 

While Leclerc and Sainz have showcased their prowess on the track, Vasseur’s insights underscore the team’s commitment to holistic improvement.

With the summer break underway, Ferrari is far behind title-leaders Red Bull in the Constructors’ Standings and both Leclerc and Sainz are unlikely to get close to a top three finish in the Drivers’ Standings.