Ferrari needs to work out why it is so inconsistent during race weekends if it wants to get closer to challenging Red Bull, according to team principal Fred Vasseur.
Carlos Sainz finished fifth and Charles Leclerc seventh in the Miami Grand Prix last weekend, just one week after Leclerc was on pole for both races in Baku and finished on the podium. Leclerc crashed in qualifying in Miami while Sainz slipped back two places in the race, and Vasseur believes Ferrari has the pace to fight with Aston Martin and Mercedes but isn’t able to produce it on a regular basis.
“We were able to match (pace) with them, but not consistently enough over the race,” Vasseur told SpeedCity Broadcasting. “We had a good part of the race with Carlos – he was matching Fernando (Alonso) on the first stint – and with Charles for the last part of the race, but even within the same stint we are a bit too inconsistent.
“But we also have to consider both sides of the situation, the positives and the negatives. The positive is that we are able to have a good pace when we put everything together; the downside is that we are too inconsistent.”
Ahead of the trip to Imola, Vasseur said there will be more new parts brought to the car, but that a significant step can be made from solving the problems with the current platform.
“Yeah for sure we will bring updates, we always have room for improvements on the updates and we will bring updates to Imola, but when you look at the race (in Miami), it’s much more about being able to extract the potential of the car,” he said.
“We are able to do it on some occasions, over one lap or even in the race – if you look at the trace of the race we are not nowhere on some laps, and some laps are much more difficult. The first target is to understand why we are so inconsistent.”
Vasseur believes Ferrari’s struggles appear greater than they really are due to how tight it is between the three teams behind Red Bull, as well as the rest of the field also being close in terms of raw pace.
“What is true is that when you are in a normal situation – I don’t want to speak about (Max) Verstappen, because he was probably on another planet – but when you are in the group,sometimes a couple of tenths or a mistake means you are out of position and it’s very difficult to come back.
“You can change the weekend completely and flip the situation for almost nothing and little details. You can see that some cars are moving out of Q1 to be in Q3 the week after, and by the way it’s also difficult when you are fighting in this group, but for us we have to be much more consistent. I think that’s the first target.”