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Vasseur "convinced" Ferrari has everything it needs to win F1 title

New Ferrari Formula 1 boss Fred Vasseur is “convinced” the team has everything it needs to win the championship, and that targeting anything less would be a “lack of ambition.”

Frédéric Vasseur, Ferrari

Vasseur took over as Ferrari team principal earlier this month following Mattia Binotto’s departure in December, having overseen Sauber’s F1 operation for the previous five years.

He joins a Ferrari team that has not won an F1 championship since 2008, and saw its early promise in 2022 fade through the season.

As well as losing ground on Red Bull in the development battle, Ferrari also struggled with poor engine reliability, strategic mistakes and occasional on-track errors that meant it failed to win a race after the Austrian Grand Prix in July.

But Vasseur downplayed talk of widespread changes at Maranello, believing the right ingredients were already in place for Ferrari to win again.

“I'm really convinced that Ferrari today, and, for sure, my experience is limited to the last two weeks, but we have everything to win,” Vasseur said in his first media call since taking charge of Ferrari on Thursday.

“We have to put everything together to do a good job, but we have everything to be able to win.

“You can have a look on the results of the last decades that the wheel is always running, and it's just a matter of continuous improvement for me.

Frédéric Vasseur, Ferrari

Frédéric Vasseur, Ferrari

Photo by: Ferrari

“If we are doing a better job than the others in a couple of months or years, then we will be able to win. Nothing is set in stone. If you have a look at some teams that were in a very dominant situation a couple of years ago, they are nowhere today.

“It means that you don't have to take this kind of direction to say OK, it was like these last decades or the last 20 years, and it will stay like this the next 40 years.

“F1 is a changing world and we just have to be focused on the job, on the performance, and everything is possible.”

While Ferrari’s runner-up finish in last year’s constructors’ championship marked its best result since 2019, CEO Benedetto Vigna said in an interview that nothing but the title would be good enough and that second was “first of the losers.”

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Asked by Autosport if he felt any pressure to win the championship this year given Vigna’s comments, Vasseur said it was an “obvious target.”

“When you are in a top team, you can’t have another target than the win,” he said.

“You can’t start the season to say, ‘OK I would be happy with P2.’ It would be a lack of ambition. I think we have everything to do a good job, and the target has to be to win.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Ferrari

Vasseur is the fifth team principal to take charge at Ferrari since it last won a championship, following Binotto, Maurizio Arriavabene, Marco Mattiacci and Stefano Domenicali.

At Sauber, he served as both the team principal and CEO of the F1 squad, while Ferrari is known for having greater internal politics through its various strands across racing and the car company.

Vasseur made clear he had no concerns about his level of autonomy at Ferrari, saying: “The situation is crystal clear.

“Even last year at Sauber, I had to report to the chairman of the group, and you have always a boss. It’s not a new situation for me.

“Now that I’m running the team, I have the delegation to do it, and I will do it as I want. We have enough discussion with Benedetto and John [Elkann, Ferrari chairman] on a daily basis to discuss the key points.

“This is crystal clear and it’s working perfectly.”

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