All Ferrari fans are aware that 2023 hasn’t been their best season, and team principal, Frederic Vasseur, agrees but has expressed frustration over the inertia present in F1 that prevents large changes moving quickly. It’s due to these frustrations that he believes will prevent Ferrari from a resurgence this year.
Ferrari are experiencing plenty of behind-the-scenes drama with high-profile departures including Ferrari head of vehicle concept, David Sanchez (who has moved to McLaren), and sporting director and deputy team boss, Laurent Mekies (who is set to take over as team principal at AlphaTauri).
While Ferrari have made a key hire, that person will be unable to have an impact on the team until 2025.
“The issue in F1 is inertia,” Vasseur told Motorsport.com.
“On one hand we look very agile. We change things, and overnight sometimes you have an issue, and you can fix it from one race to another one.
“But the reality of our business is that when you want to steer the boat a little bit, then we are not agile anymore. We know that if we want to recruit, we are speaking not in days, we are speaking in years.
“I signed a top guy a couple of weeks ago to join in 2025. He will only work on the car in 2025 and 2026. It seems a long wait. But on the other hand, if you don’t do it, it will be even worse in six months. You have to accept it as a basic of F1. If you stop at one stage, it means you will postpone again even more the impact.”
Ferrari have introduced upgrades that heavily altered the sidepods, but it hasn’t improved their standing very much, despite a good showing in Canada. Once again, Vasseur is ruling out the possibility of introducing a B-spec car.
“I will never give up [on] this one because for us to fix it is the best way to understand and to avoid a mistake,” Vasseur explained.
“For sure when you are developing, you are trying to develop different areas, and you are trying to do a better job on the car. But I think the issue we have is not a matter of details.
“We are developing the car into this direction to try to get consistency, and to have something a bit easier to drive. Step by step, we are going on [sic] the right direction.”
However, Vasseur gave the Tifosi a glimmer of hope given the team’s encouraging performance in Canada relative to Aston Martin.
“In the last stint, we had the same tyres as [Fernando] Alonso, with almost the same number of laps. It was plus or minus one second over 30 laps.
“For sure that you can always say that Verstappen was not flat out, but I don’t think it was like this. Compared to two or three weeks ago, we finished 10 seconds behind [Alonso]. It was almost the gap that we had at the end of lap 1.”
While it is a far cry from where they were last year, if Ferrari can close the gap to Aston Martin it’s at least a sign of progress.