Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Formula 1 Miami GP

Vasseur: Miami GP the start of Ferrari F1 upgrade push

Fred Vasseur says Ferrari will start bringing updates to its 2023 Formula 1 car in Miami as it looks to address its race pace deficit to Red Bull.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Charles Leclerc took Ferrari's first pole of the season in last weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix but in the race he was powerless to keep the much faster Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen behind as Ferrari was soon resigned to tyre saving.

Leclerc gave Ferrari a much-needed first podium in third behind the two Red Bull drivers, but his 21-second deficit showed the Scuderia still has a lot of ground to make up in race trim.

According to team principal Vasseur, the team's upgrade programme will bear its first fruits in this weekend's Miami Grand Prix, with further smaller updates planned for the following European races.

"We will start to bring updates on the car from Miami and for the next couple of events and we will see how the car will react to the updates," he said.

"The update is one thing but the fact that you are able to extract all of the potential out of the update is another one."

Vasseur wouldn't want to be drawn on whether Ferrari's deficit is purely mechanical or if there is an aerodynamic component to it. And while he reckoned Ferrari "shouldn't bullshit" itself over its form, he did feel the car's more consistent behaviour was a step in the right direction.

"Overall, they were faster than us and we don’t have to bullshit ourselves,' he said. "Then to understand if it is coming from aero or mechanical is another story.

"I think so far what is obvious is that we are struggling with consistency. It's true this weekend, all over the lap, all over the corners and all over the race. [But] I think the car was much more consistent this weekend and we are going in the right direction."

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

One of Maranello's areas of focus is trying to figure out how Red Bull has managed to gain a huge advantage with its DRS overtaking device, which enabled it to sail past the Ferraris on the straights, whereas others struggled to overtake in Baku's shortened DRS zone.

"Clearly, one of the strengths of the Red Bull today is the DRS effect. We need to understand what they're doing and I think we're on it.

"We compensated part of the gap compared to last year, because it was already the case last year, but we still have mega room for improvement."

Vasseur stressed that F1's new sprint format with just one hour of free practice, which debuted in Baku, is encouraging teams to implement smaller upgrades at a time and re-think on which type of circuit it will deploy them.

During sprint weekends it is much harder for teams to truly get on top of wholesale changes when practice is so limited, and even getting the maximum potential out of an existing package is fanciful at best.

Read Also:

The new format bit Alpine hard when reliability issues completely derailed the weekend of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon amid its first major upgrade debut, and McLaren also found it tough to extract the most out of its highly anticipated set of updates.

"The format of the weekend means it is difficult to get the potential that I think is there," Vasseur acknowledged. "It is difficult with this format to introduce an update on the car, but it is the same for everybody and it is part of the game.

"It is true we will have to consider this in the approach for the next couple of events. Monaco is not the best place to develop the car, so we will bring small updates.

"This format pushes the teams to bring small updates and not to bring a big package."

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation

Related video

Previous article McLaren feared sick Piastri would miss Baku F1 track action
Next article How F1 teams chased big top speed gains in Baku

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe