Ferrari explain why focusing on Red Bull, Mercedes, Aston Martin would be a ‘mistake’

Michelle Foster
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc trails Red Bull's Max Verstappen in Bahrain.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc trails Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Don’t ask Fred Vasseur about Ferrari’s deficit to Red Bull because the team boss is adamant the Scuderia’s sole focus must be on improving their own performance – and only then can they compare themselves to their rivals.

Ferrari’s results in the opening three races of this season have, it’s safe to say, not been what they expected with the team going into the new season believing they could fight for the World titles.

But woefully off the pace they’ve instead slumped to fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, the only one of the top four teams yet to reach the podium.

Two retirements from Charles Leclerc, the first engine related in Bahrain and the second a crash in Australia, were not helped by Carlos Sainz’s penalty at the Albert Park circuit that meant that Sunday Ferrari didn’t score a single point.

Amidst a barrage of criticism, the latest aimed at Sainz, Ferrari have called for patience as they try to resolve their issues which involve an unbalanced car that lacks downforce.

The team is said to have trialled a major upgrade with reprofiled sidepods in the simulator, that delivering “positive numbers”.

But are they enough to close the gap to Red Bull, or even Aston Martin or Mercedes? recommends

‘Ferrari are starting to get tired of Carlos Sainz, future is on the wire’

The Baku blow for Ferrari which could make them more vulnerable to rivals

F1 is back! Five big questions as hectic schedule begins in Azerbaijan

“To be focused on Red Bull or Mercedes or Aston Martin, I think it would be a mistake,” Vasseur said as per

“We have to get the best from what we are doing, and to be focused on ourselves. But we made a good step for me between race two and race three.

“And if we’re able to bring a couple of updates like this… I think the issue in Melbourne was not the potential of the car, it was more the job that we did as a team to extract the best from this, and that we have to be focused on this.

“Baku will be crucial, because in Baku you have the two qualifyings and the two races and we have to be able as a team to do a better job and to attract the best potential of the car.

“Then the layout of the track in Baku is completely different. But most important is to get the best from what we are doing, and to be focused on ourselves not on the others.”

It’s been widely reported that the upgraded Ferrari won’t be on the track at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Ferrari instead waiting until the next round at Imola.

But having already made inroads in Australia, Vasseur believes Ferrari will be on a better footing in Baku.

“I will never say what we did on the car and what was the impact on the behaviour of the car,” he said. “But for sure we are looking for something a bit more consistent. And I think that we achieved it.

“I want to have the confirmation in Baku that we’re in a different situation. Baku very often is an extreme track, because it’s windy, and between the buildings the wind is changing completely direction from corner to corner. And it will be a good exercise for everybody.

“But I think we took the right direction in Melbourne, and we have to confirm it next race.”

Ferrari are fourth in this year’s Constructors’ Championship with 26 points, 97 behind the rampant Red Bull team.