Ferrari Encouraged By 'Clear Step Forward' Compared To Red Bull

Tuesday, 12 March 2024 at 07:30
carlos sainz ferrari car30
Ferrar team principal Fred Vasseur discussed his team's gap to the leading Red Bull after the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
During the second race of the season, Ferrari confirmed their status as currently the second fastest team on the grid. Charles Leclerc scored P3 and snatched the fastest lap of the race.
On the one hand, it is now clear that Scuderia is the closest team to Red Bull. On the other hand, the Monegasque driver still lacked 18 seconds on the leading Max Verstappen when crossing the finish line. Trying to evaluate where his team stands, Vasseur told the media:

"It's never easy to have a clear picture on race performance because you don't know when the guys are pushing."

While estimating speed based on race pace is challenging, Vasseur sees clear progress. In 2023, Ferrari finished the same race 35.876 seconds behind the Red Bull of the triple World Champion.

"But if you compare with one year ago that, plus or minus two tenths, we were at 1.1s in Jeddah, today we are four, five, sixth tenths at the gap."

The positive thing is that Ferrari outperformed all its rivals, such as Mercedes, McLaren, and Aston Martin, with its development throughout the winter break. But Vasseur made it clear that the goal is to compete in the championships, and that requires catching up with Red Bull.

"We are just fully focused on the fact that we have to catch up, that it's clear that they have an advantage on us and that we have to continue to develop and to push."

After the first two races of the season, Ferrari is the only team besides Red Bull to stand on the podium. Vasseur added that seeing the progress is encouraging for everybody within the team.

"But I think it's a clear step forward today [Jeddah], was already a good sign last week in Bahrain, but a clear step forward today. And it's very encouraging for everybody, and it's the best way to get everybody fully motivated."