Ferrari The season in Bahrain did not start on the right foot: charles leclerc dropped out due to engine failure Carlos Sainz he finished off the podium after being easily overtaken by Fernando Alonso and his Aston Martin. The Saudi Arabian GP also starts ‘uphill’ for those from Maranello, since Leclerc will be penalized with ten positions on the grid on Sunday after launching his third electronic control unit in the SF-23.
Fréderic Vasseur, who this year took over from Mattia Binotto at the helm of the Scuderia, begins to feel the pressure of the position and is already the subject of harsh criticism, especially in Italy. But despite everything, the Frenchman is convinced that throughout the course they will be able to correct their course and catch up with the Red Bulls. He stresses that “in Bahrain we had some issues with balance over the weekend, which means we have a lot of room for improvement. With what we had in Bahrain, I think we enjoyed a lot of room in terms of driveability, but most importantly is to remain focused on the current situation to try to make the best of what we have today”.
“We are going to improve the situation and the competitiveness of our package. We must bear in mind that Bahrain is not always representativeand secondly, we are still in the early development phase of the car, and that means we only did three days of testing and one race, so we need to have a better understanding if we want to bring updates,” said Sainz’s boss. , who at the Sakhir circuit complained about the excessive degradation and recalled that “it is almost as bad as last year”.
“Part of the explanation comes from Bahrain because the asphalt is very aggressive, and that increases the wear parameters. It is also true that if you have a lack of rhythm, you must push harder to stay at the maximum, so you damage everything more. It means that I would focus much more on pure performance and potential than anything else,” Vasseur said.
In a more critical tone, the French engineer acknowledges that “we cannot be satisfied with the current situation and I want to take a step forward. The characteristics of Saudi Arabia are very different from those of Sakhir in terms of grip, roughness, track layout, the track, so that’s a different story. It will adapt a bit more to what we have and we will also bring some updates to Jeddah. There is a long list of things to improve and I hope that in Saudi Arabia we will have a reaction.”
The most powerful engine
From the opponent’s perspective, in Red Bull They consider that Ferrari has to correct its degradation problems but it has the best engine on the grid. Helmut Marko advises that “we do not have exact figures for power units, but based on various comparisons and information, we generally assume that Ferrari is the most powerful engine. Next comes Honda, ours. And Mercedes is more or less on par. Renault is at the rear,” he says.
The Red Bull adviser considers in this sense that Ferrari has taken a step forward in speed, but has worsened in degradation: “Top speed has improved significantlybut tire wear, the crucial thing, hasn’t improved at all. And I would say it’s almost gotten worse compared to us.”