Vasseur cautious on Ferrari tyre issues being fully solved


Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur is urging caution despite early signs that the team's struggles with tyre management might be a thing of the past.

Last year, tyre degradation was a major thorn in the side of the Scuderia.

Strong one-lap performance in qualifying was all too frequently followed by struggles with tyre wear on race day, which in turn hampered the ability for Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to compete consistently.

However, productive work carried out by Ferrari’s vehicle dynamics engineers and aerodynamicists in the latter part of last season and over the winter has yielded excellent results.

The Italian outfit’s SF-24 has shown promise so far this year, with Carlos Sainz winning the Australian Grand Prix in dominant fashion.

But despite the positive signs, Vasseur remains cautious.

The Frenchman is eager to observe Ferrari's car performance across various tracks under cooler conditions, given that the initial rounds of 2024 were held in warm weather.

“I think from the beginning of the season we are much better on the tyre management,” Vasseur commented at Suzuka last weekend.

“And degradation – we were I think able to do the fastest lap in Jeddah and Melbourne on the last lap. It was almost the case today for one-tenth, I think.

“And I think we did a very good step forward on this one, we worked a lot on the weaknesses, and we improved massively on the tyre management, drivers, strategy, and the team.

“And yeah, for sure that now we have some other weaknesses, and we have to improve somewhere else for sure if we want to do a better job.


“But I think this one is very well under control now. But what is true one day, it's not true the other day, on the tyre management. And we don't have to consider that this is done.

“Next week in China will have another tarmac, different weather conditions, and it will be a new challenge.”

Queried on Ferrari’s prospects in China in a potentially cooler environment, Vasseur was unsure the Scuderia’s cars would be “in better shape”.

"In China, we will have the opportunity to test in colder conditions. But I don't know, because also we did only FP3 [in Japan] in colder conditions,” he said.

“I'm not sure that we are in a better shape, you never know about the engine settings, level of fuel. The deg was under control for us on Saturday, but also for them. And it was almost the same today.”

As for Sainz and Leclerc’s performance in Japan, where the pair finished respectively third and fourth, Vasseur reckons Ferrari collectively achieved its maximum result at the venue.

“I think that everything went very well on Sunday,” he said. “The strategy was the good one for both cars, the defending of the position on track, tyre management was under control, the pitstops went well, the pace was okay.

“I'm very convinced that we need a good Sunday. And if we have to change something, it's more the Saturday that we have to improve, rather than the Sunday. But it was a good job, and a good teamwork.”

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