Ferrari boss makes admission after Hungary disaster

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur promised improvements at the team after they threw away a shot at success in Hungary.

The Hungarian Grand Prix proved to be a trying weekend for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, as team principal Fred Vasseur candidly admitted that they “made too many mistakes” during the challenging race in Budapest. 

Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz faced setbacks, hindering their chances for a more favourable outcome.

Leclerc, who started the race with a P6 grid position, faced multiple hurdles that affected his performance. 

A wheel gun issue during a pit stop and a five-second penalty for pit lane speeding hampered his progress, forcing him to finish in a disappointing seventh place. 

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Sainz, too, had a difficult time during qualifying, starting 11th on the grid. He could only manage to recover to eighth position by the end of the race.

The Hungarian Grand Prix was another in a series of challenging races for Ferrari. 

At Silverstone, they finished in ninth and 10th places, a result that was influenced by McLaren’s improved performance and a resurgent Mercedes team pushing the Italian outfit down the order.

Addressing the team’s performance during the Hungarian race, Vasseur highlighted the pivotal moments that impacted their chances: “It’s not the results that we were expecting coming to Budapest, but I think it was largely compromised yesterday after the quali with a P6 and P11. 

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“We had to take some risks at the start, starting [Sainz] with soft [tires], it was a good choice, but we know also that after the start that we had to fit two sets of hards, and it was quite tough.”

Vasseur acknowledged the team’s lack of optimisation around the alternative tire allocation, which posed a new challenge for all teams. 

He emphasised the need to analyse the weekend thoroughly and identify the mistakes made to rectify them for future races.

The Ferrari team principal recognised that they had fallen short in multiple areas, leading to a performance that didn’t match their true potential: “At the end, the potential was probably better than what we showed yesterday, and then today, at least with Charles, we lost 20 seconds in the race.”

Admitting that mistakes are an inevitable part of the sport, Vasseur discussed the responsibility of the team principal to address these issues and learn from them. 

He drew a parallel with other team principals, like Mercedes’ Toto Wolff, who also face similar challenges in their roles.

As Vasseur assessed his first half-season in charge of Ferrari, he highlighted qualifying performance as a key area that needs improvement: “It’s not the results expected, for sure we were expecting much better. 

“But it is what it is, and we have to work. 

“The feeling is that in quali, it’s very, very close behind Max, and level with Max sometimes. 

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“We have to improve, but we are not that far away.”

Looking ahead, Vasseur emphasised the importance of qualifying results in gaining an advantage on the track, especially against dominant teams like Red Bull. 

Ferrari will focus on addressing their mistakes, refining their strategies, and optimising their performance to make a strong comeback in the upcoming races.