Vasseur: Ferrari updates 'a step forward' but inconsistency remains


Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur invoked a familiar theme to justify his team's underperformance in last Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix: its SF-23 car's persistent "inconsistency".

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were at opposite ends of the grid in Barcelona, with the Spaniard exploiting his car's single-lap pace on Saturday to set the second fastest lap while his teammate was a distant P19, suffering a humiliating exit from Q3.

On race day, Sainz was unable to hold his own at the top of the field, let alone challenge authoritative race winner Max Verstappen, as he battled his SF-23's usual ailment: tyre degradation.

Meanwhile, Leclerc, whose car had received a new rear end in a bid to remedy the handling quirk suffered by the Monegasque in qualifying, clocked in a distant P11 after a taxing first stint on Pirelli's hard compound tyre.


Vasseur's post-race comments to the media were a succession of familiar grievances.

"You can't compare Miami and Barcelona in terms of layout, tarmac and energy on the tyres, but I would say that the global picture is the same," the Frenchman lamented.

"We are there in qualifying, and we are not there in the race. We are still inconsistent on the same car between compounds and sometimes between the same compounds."

Solving Ferrari's lack of consistency enigma is the top priority of the team's engineers back in Maranello.

"We have 1,000 people on this now and it is very difficult to understand and to fix it because it's not always the same.

"It's true that in qualifying, you are in free air and in the race you are not. I think Chrles struggled a lot in the first stint as he was a lot closer to the car in front of him.

"The main issue for us is not the potential on the lap on [high-speed] corners, the main issue is the inconsistency.

"On Charles' car for example, between the first and third stints with the same compound [the hard tyre], one the balance was out of place, and the last one was okayish, and with Carlos, he did a decent first stint, and in the middle, he lost 15 or 20 seconds."


The Scuderia's lacklustre performance in Barcelona came in the wake of a new sidepod/floor package implemented on the Italian outfit's SF-23.

Vasseur suggested that the new elements delivered a performance boost, but the latter was subverted by the inconsistency trait hiding under the SF-23's revised bodywork.

"We made a step forward in terms of potential," he said.

"In qualifying pace at least, we were able to put Carlos on the front row which is probably a step forward, and in the race, you could consider we made a step forward to Aston Martin.

"But it's not enough as we still have a huge delta performance to Mercedes, qualifying to race.

"We have to put all the focus of the company to come back and have a good race on Sundays and score points."

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