Vasseur: Maximising opportunities an imperative for Ferrari in 2024

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Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur says the Scuderia suffered a significant points shortfall this year because it failed to exploit too many opportunities that came its way.

In a season marked by its inconsistencies and performance fluctuations, Ferrari finished its campaign P3 in F1’s Constructor’s standings, but just three points short of runner-up Mercedes.

From the outset, Ferrari's campaign was marred by struggles. The car, which lacked the raw pace to challenge Red Bull, failed to deliver the expected results, leaving the team on the backfoot in its season-opening race in Bahrain.

Compounding Ferrari's woes was a litany of self-inflicted setbacks and unforced errors, including reliability issues and strategy mistakes. Vasseur admits that these missteps cost the team precious points throughout the season.

Charles Leclerc's campaign was particularly plagued by misfortune. An engine penalty in Saudi Arabia, coupled with retirements in Australia and the Netherlands, severely hampered his championship aspirations.

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Additionally, a disqualification in Austin and a formation lap crash in Brazil due to reliability issue further weighed on his points haul.

Carlos Sainz also experienced his share of challenges. A fuel system issue in Qatar forced his retirement, while a collision with McLaren's Oscar Piastri in Belgium added to the team’s frustrations.

Vasseur, who conducted an evaluation of the points Ferrari left on the table this season, has urged his team to eliminate avoidable errors in 2024.

"We started on the wrong foot in Bahrain when we had to stop, we were P3 and [got] the penalty for the second race. It meant for Charles it was almost 25 points of penalty [points shortfall]," he said, quoted by 

"Plus the points that we were giving to the others with the two Mercedes that were behind us.

"But again, it is not only this one – you can do the list. Trust me, I have done the list a couple of times and have it in my head the classification without the issues and overall, I think that you have ups and downs during the season.

"For sure, we gave up more points than our competitors and that means it is another topic that we need to work on for next year, to be more opportunistic and more efficient."

Vasseur has made clear to his troops at Maranello that they must not dwell on the past but focus on preventing in the future the recurrence of mistakes and lost opportunities.

"I will keep this [lost points tally] in my mind because I hate to race with 'if', because everybody can race with 'if' and do a better job," the Frenchman said.

"It means that this is completely forbidden at the factory to work with 'if' but it is important. It is not to find an excuse at all because it is our fault.

"It is where we have to improve. It is clearly a huge potential in terms of points."

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