‘That would be bulls**t’: Ferrari boss issues warning at 2023 Monaco GP

With the expectation being that Sunday will see a typical procession, all the teams will be prioritising one lap performance at the Circuit de Monaco.

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur believes his side can challenge for victory this weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix, where qualifying well is absolutely critical.

Whilst Ferrari have struggled with high tyre degradation during the races, the Maranello-based side have looked strong when it comes to one lap performance, something Charles Leclerc proved in Azerbaijan.

Leclerc claimed pole position for the sprint race and the main race at the Baku City Circuit, something which helped him secure the team’s first podium of 2023.

This weekend, the home hero is targeting a third consecutive pole position at the Circuit de Monaco, with Vasseur knowing that if one of his drivers can claim a front row start for Sunday, then “you can expect a win”.

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The team boss knows that everybody will be prioritising qualifying this weekend over race performance, with the Frenchman admitting that any team which says otherwise is speaking pure “bullshit”.

“If you’re on the front row, you can expect a win in Monaco – or at least you have the chance,” said Vasseur.

“It’s definitely a good opportunity for us.

“No one in the field is preparing for the race, that would be bullshit.”

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Whilst Leclerc has claimed pole position at the last two races in Monaco, he’s actually never finished higher than fourth.

In 2021, he crashed at the end of Q3 after setting a time good enough for pole, with further damage having been discovered ahead of the race when he was completing his reconnaissance lap, ruling him out of the race.

Leclerc was looking set to win the Monaco GP last season, until a strategic blunder by Ferrari saw him finish in fourth.

The 25-year-old is hoping his Sunday will go much smoother this weekend; however, Leclerc still believes Red Bull are “the team to beat”.

“I do not believe too much in luck,” said Leclerc, “but it’s true that when you see the records, it’s not always been easy on race day, but Saturday was good, which I hope we can reproduce a good performance this Saturday, with a better Sunday this time.

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“I mean, honestly, I think Red Bull is still the team to beat. With a special lap, maybe we can beat them in qualifying.

“In the race, they are extremely quick – but again on a track like this, overtaking is very difficult.

“And not only Red Bull is quick: Aston Martin will be in the mix. Mercedes arrived with a very different-looking car, which I’m curious to see how it performs. And yeah, then we need to see where we are and what’s possible.”