Fred Vasseur gets spiky with Jacques Villeneuve after Ferrari nightmare in Canada

Jamie Woodhouse
Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur with hands over his face at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix.

Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur.

Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur and 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve got a little tense in their post-qualifying conversation after a double Q2 elimination for the Scuderia in Canada.

Ferrari went into qualifying with work to do after a final hour of practice which saw Charles Leclerc their highest finisher in P10, but with the track grip and pecking order continuing to evolve, while the threat of rain lingered, the battle for pole was wide open.

Fred Vasseur gives spiky reply to Jacques Villeneuve

But Ferrari would not be part of the battle for pole, as Leclerc and Carlos Sainz dropped out in Q2 after failing to make the cut on their final runs with used soft tyres.

Vasseur would speak to Sky F1 after qualifying, where Villeneuve, serving as a pundit for the broadcaster this weekend, told Vasseur that “before the start of the weekend, I was convinced that Ferrari…”.

Vasseur would cut Villeneuve off at that point to say: “Yeah, but sometimes you are wrong.”

Villeneuve then continued: “But I was convinced that you had all the ingredients, that this track was perfect for Ferrari with the slow-speed corners, change of direction, and it didn’t work out.”

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve had been resurfaced ahead of the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix, so Villeneuve asked Vasseur whether this new asphalt or the track temperatures could have contributed to Ferrari’s Q2 exit?

Vasseur replied: “No, new asphalt is the same for everybody.

“I think the conditions are a bit extreme with the drops [of rain] and so and the cold conditions and it’s really difficult to switch on, but it’s not an excuse at all.

“The conditions are the same for everybody and we have to deal with the conditions.”

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Vasseur confirmed that Ferrari’s use of the used soft tyres for their final Q2 run was not a risk that went wrong, rather they did not have another new set available.

“We didn’t have a new set anymore, the last one you get it for Q3,” he clarified.

“We are all in the same situation, except Mercedes, because they put just one set on Q1.”

Having been on pole for his home race last time out in Monaco, Leclerc will line-up P11 for the Canadian GP and Sainz P12, though all hope is certainly not lost for Ferrari, considering rain is once more in the forecast for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

“Tomorrow the weather forecast is not very good,” Vasseur pointed out, “it means that it could be a chaotic race and race pace was okay.

“Let’s see tomorrow. We have to do the best in these conditions. When it’s not going very well, you have to be able to be opportunistic and to get the maximum points.”

Mercedes’ George Russell and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen made history as for only the second time in F1 history, identical lap times were set in the battle for pole, Russell taking that honour.

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