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Charles Leclerc “Completely on Board” with Vasseur’s Direction for Ferrari

Considering there was little faith to be found in the previous team principal, Mattia Binotto, this is high praise from Leclerc....

Charles Leclerc has expressed his faith in Ferrari team principal, Frederic Vasseur, and the direction in which he’s taking the team. Considering there was little faith to be found in the previous team principal, Mattia Binotto, this is high praise from Leclerc but he hesitates to make direct comparisons.

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Vasseur. His first year as team principal saw Ferrari drop from second in the Championship to third, but only three points separated them from Mercedes in second and they were the only non-Red Bull team to win a grand prix.

Despite that, Leclerc believes in Vasseur’s long-term plan for Ferrari.

“With Fred, I obviously have a lot of discussions,” Leclerc told the media.

“I’m completely on board with the long-term and mid-term vision that he has for the team. That also gave me the confidence in believing in the project for the future.”

This year’s SF-24 is the first car designed under Vasseur’s leadership, and Leclerc says that his leadership style is having a profound influence on the team.

“To go into the specifics of exactly how things changed is more difficult, because it’s just a different way of working with Fred,” Leclerc explained. “There are so many particularities that are different.”

While 2023 didn’t see Ferrari consistently challenging Red Bull like they had hoped, the team are feeling optimistic heading into the season because of the progress they made in the second half of 2023.

“I’ve felt this feeling for six months already,” he said. “Six months ago, since we started that second part of the season, there was a really big motivation from the whole team.

“I remember very clearly the moment we ran our particular test in Zandvoort in the free practices, we came back from Zandvoort and we all sat down and we had very clear results in front of our eyes.

“That gave a huge motivation to the team because we were like, ‘Okay, so now we understand what are the weak points of the car, where we need to work, which direction we need to take.’ And from that moment onwards, everybody has been fully on board with the directions that we have been taking. Everything made sense.

“After three or four races we brought a new floor in Japan and straight away it was a step forward. In terms of sensitivities with the wind, but also in terms of the front, I speak very often about wanting a strong front and that was a step forward as well.

“I really hope that this car can follow up the momentum that we’ve had since the second part of last year. But I don’t think it’s a new optimism right now – I think it already started six months ago – but it’s a good thing to see and it’s exciting for the future.”

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