Ferrari boss sends positive message to Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz over upgrades

Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have struggled with Ferrari so far this season.

Ferrari’s team principal Frederic Vasseur has stated he believes that the key to unleashing the full potential of the Ferrari SF-23 lies in making the right set-up decisions, rather than constantly introducing upgrades. 

Despite securing two podium finishes, Ferrari currently sits in fourth place in the constructors’ standings, having failed to achieve top-five finishes in four of the ten races so far.

Throughout the season, Ferrari has introduced significant changes to the SF-23. However, Vasseur believes that maximising the performance of their current package from race to race will yield greater gains than continuous upgrades alone. 

Following the British Grand Prix, Vasseur stated, “I’m not sure that it’s development. 

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“It’s also set-up during the weekend. 

“Because the development, at one stage, you will have a kind of asymptote with the upgrade…but with the preparation of the weekend, you can do more than this.”

Vasseur acknowledged the limitations of constantly introducing upgrades and emphasised the need to optimise the car’s performance with the available resources. 

He stated, “You can’t bring every single week upgrades on the car…if I have a look at the [most recent race] weekend, I think we could have done a much better usage of the car that we have.”

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Regarding the upcoming race at the Hungaroring, Vasseur expressed optimism, saying that the circuit suits Ferrari’s current approach and performance. 

However, he stressed that the team’s primary concern is to extract the best performance from their existing package. 

Vasseur believed that their strongest showing so far was at the Canadian Grand Prix, despite a poor qualifying session compromising their result. 

He recalled, “The best pace that we had so far was Montreal…the pace overall was very strong. 

“But it’s true that we scored also good points on the sprint [weekends].”

Vasseur noted that Ferrari has made progress in addressing the SF-23’s main weakness, which both drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr., have previously complained about—the car’s challenging and unpredictable handling. 

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He stated, “Clearly, we improved our biggest weakness of the beginning of the season, the instability, inconsistency.”

However, Vasseur acknowledged that the problem can become more pronounced in race situations, particularly when running in a DRS train. 

He admitted, “It looks like we struggle a lot, perhaps a bit more than some others when we are into the [DRS] train.”