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Ferrari's hero-to-zero form a new norm in Formula 1, says Vasseur

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur says his team’s recent performance swings are a new normality for F1

Ferrari team principal says Fred Vasseur hero-to-zero moments like his team experienced at the Canadian Grand Prix are the new norm in a super-tight Formula 1.

Just a fortnight on from Charles Leclerc's triumph in Monaco that had thrust Ferrari into championship contention, the Maranello squad came crashing down to earth in Montreal after a lacklustre qualifying and then a double retirement.

While the extreme highs and lows seemed quite dramatic, Vasseur has explained that it is the kind of scenario that can be expected now, where he thinks that all that Ferrari needs to win the championship is "one tenth of a second per lap."

Speaking to the James Allen on F1 Podcast that has been released on Thursday, Vasseur said the margins in F1 were so small now that any slip up would trigger big consequences.

"The fight now, it's so tight that from one weekend to the other, you can move from P1 to P8," he said. "Or P8 to P1. Red Bull was struggling in Monaco and they came back in Canada. It's been that from one weekend to the other one. From one upgrade to another, from track layout or tyre compound or the weather conditions, the grid will change.

"It means that we have to accept that it will be like this, to score good points when we are not in good shape. And it's where we fell also in Canada because it was a tough weekend.

"We didn't score points but we have to keep this momentum and this approach and not be too emotional."

Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari, 1st position, takes a photo with John Elkann, Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari, 3rd position, Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari, in Parc Ferme

Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari, 1st position, takes a photo with John Elkann, Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari, 3rd position, Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari, in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

In the wide-ranging interview, where Vasseur opened up on the new attitudes he was trying to instill at Ferrari and reiterated his desire for more risk-taking, Vasseur said one of the most critical things he was pushing for was in making everyone understand the value of their individual contribution.

"The most important thing is to convince everybody in the company that they are all a performance differentiator," he said.

"Every single team member will have to contribute to the performance. It's not just the chief engineer, it's everybody. In production to be able to produce a bit quicker, a bit lighter a bit cheaper or less expensive. And everybody is like this.

"And if we are all pushing in the same direction with this kind of positive attitude, it will work."

While Ferrari has closed up the gap to Red Bull in F1, there remains the prospect of all its work being derailed by the change of regulations for 2026 that risks blowing apart the grid.

Vasseur said this was not something that hugely worried him though.

"We don't have to be scared," he explained. "It's true that with the current regulations, you have a kind of convergence of performance. And after three or four years, we have the feeling that three, four, sometimes five teams could do the pole position.

"This is a great feeling for the championship and even for us as a competitor. You are going somewhere and you don't know if you will be a P1 or P10. I prefer P1, no misunderstanding, but in terms of competition, it's a great feeling.

"This is thanks to the stability of the regulation and to the cost cap. For sure when you open a new regulation you have always the risk that someone could have a big technical advantage. But this is more from a fan perspective.

"As an engineer, I think it's a huge opportunity to create something and to develop something. It's a good feeling for the team that you have to start from scratch and to launch a new project."

 

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