Ferrari boss makes unlikely claim as Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz struggle

Ferrari have claimed just one podium so far in 2023, courtesy of Charles Leclerc in Azerbaijan.

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur is adamant that the Italians can beat Red Bull this season and claim a victory, despite their disappointing start to the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Having made so much progress last season, Ferrari have taken a huge step backwards in the opening stages of this year, with the Italians currently finding themselves fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.

In similar fashion to 2022, Ferrari have once again been let down by reliability problems and driver errors; however, it should be noted that their 2023 car isn’t as strong as their challenger from last season.

The Maranello-based team have watched on as Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have often finished outside the top-five, resulting in their woeful championship position.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Upgrades are being introduced throughout the season though, in an attempt to get Ferrari back towards the front and amongst the podium places, where they expect to be at every Grand Prix.

Vasseur admits the team are “pushing like hell” in Maranello to get all the upgrades ready for an early introduction, with the side having introduced new sidepods this weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Frenchman is confident that his side can turn their poor run of form around and fight for victories, with Vasseur revealing that Ferrari “expect to win” in 2023.

“We are pushing like hell in the factory to bring updates as quick as possible because we are not happy and the results of [Monaco] are not the target and we want to do better,” Vasseur told the official F1 website.

Article continues below

“But we will continue to develop in any case.

“We’ll bring updates and solutions to try to improve on this area but for sure we can expect to win [this season].”

Ferrari are targeting a “step forward” this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, a venue Leclerc was exceptionally quick at last season, prior to an engine failure.

READ: Max Verstappen claims Lewis Hamilton is ‘raising the price’ amid contract talks

Whilst the team are planning several upgrades for almost every race, the Italians are against the idea of introducing a new concept like Mercedes, with Vasseur viewing it as a “mistake” to effectively change cars mid-season.

“It will be an opportunity for us to continue to develop the car with this base and I hope we will do a step forward in Barcelona for sure, but it won’t be the end of the development of the car, we have updates for the next 2-3 races coming in after this one,” Vasseur added.

“Do we have to restart from scratch on the group on the car? I would say that, as long as I’m convinced we can improve on the current car, it would be a mistake during the season to change completely the target.”