Ferrari boss wants ‘shi**y part of season’ over in one weekend after Canada double DNF

Thomas Maher
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 2024 Canadian Grand Prix.

Fred Vasseur hopes all the 's***ty parts' of the 2024 season are now behind Ferrari.

After the highs of Monaco, Ferrari suffered a nightmare weekend in Canada as a lack of pace combined with unreliability and race incidents to ensure no points were scored.

Charles Leclerc, fresh from his dominance of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, never troubled the top 10 in Canada after an early engine issue triggered a gamble to switch to slick tyres – a move which came to naught.

Ferrari endure difficult Canadian Grand Prix

Leclerc’s power unit experienced an engine issue right from the get-go in Montreal’s wet/dry race, which became more and more noticeable as the conditions improved.

Unable to make progress and complaining over team radio about the issue which sapped him of straight line speed, Ferrari brought Leclerc in for a power reset and tyre change, gambling on a switch to the slick tyres as the crossover point appeared at hand.

But, haemorrhaging time on the incorrect tyre, Leclerc pitted again to switch off the slicks and, shortly after, retired on Lap 43. Vasseur explained afterward that it wasn’t the engine itself, but rather the engine management systems that had caused the issues.

Carlos Sainz also had a nightmare weekend, picking up damage after contact with Valtteri Bottas before a late spin resulted in a collision between himself and Williams’ Alex Albon.

Having failed to qualify in the top 10 before their difficult Sunday, the marked difference in performance compared to their incredible Monaco weekend meant a bit of head-scratching for team boss Fred Vasseur as he spoke to the media afterward.

“The pace was strong on Friday,” Vasseur said.

“The conditions were tricky yesterday [Saturday] and I think a couple of cars had the same issue.

“But we were quite confident with the pace for today. At the beginning, everything went wrong, and I hope that we put all the tough, s***ty parts of the season on the same weekend!”

More on the latest Ferrari F1 news:

👉 Unearthed Charles Leclerc radio lays bare Canadian GP frustrations

👉 Carlos Sainz issues apology to rumoured F1 2025 team-mate after Canada collision

Fred Vasseur: Ferrari won’t change approach after Montreal disappointment

Having remained firmly lodged in the bottom half of the field throughout Saturday and Sunday, Vasseur was asked whether Montreal had been his toughest weekend as team boss at the Scuderia.

“It was not the best one. The most difficult, I don’t know,” he said.

“Sometimes, [you can] have the feeling that everything is going wrong and everything is going against you, but we won’t change our approach. We are working as a team with the drivers in the good and the bad moments, and we will keep the same approach for next weekend.

“I’m not scared of this kind of weekend. It’s like it is, and it’s racing.”

With Leclerc having been vocal in his frustration over team radio as he sought answers as to the nature of the problems affecting his car, telling his race engineer he didn’t “want this type of answer” when he wasn’t being given specifics, Vasseur said he could understand his driver’s stance.

“For sure for Charles when you are fighting in a group, you see that you are missing 10 or 15 kph and you have no chance to overtake, your engineers are telling you we are losing something like 80 horsepower, I can perfectly understand that the motivation is difficult to find in this kind of situation,” Vasseur explained.

“I perfectly understand the frustration. If he was not frustrated in these conditions, I would be worried.”

Worryingly for Ferrari, their downturn coincided with strong showings from McLaren and Mercedes – the Brackley-based squad scoring its first podium of the season as George Russell claimed third.

But while Ferrari were unable to join in the fight at the front, Vasseur believes there will be performance swings up and down for every team based on the specific circuit characteristics.

“Last week [in Monaco], it was a tough weekend for Red Bull and, this weekend, it’s a tough weekend for us,” he said.

“There are three or four within one-tenth, or something like this.

“We will have tough weekends, but we have to keep in mind that we still have 15 or 16 races to go. It’s almost a season of 2018 or 2017, doing 15 or 16 races a year.

“We have still a championship in front of us. For sure, we’ll have tough weekends, we’ll have good weekends. The most important [thing] is to keep the same approach, to continue to develop and to continue to fix the issues.

“We are not World Champions after a good weekend, and we are not nowhere after a tough weekend. We will be back in Spain and back into the pace.”

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