Fred Vasseur unfazed by potential repeat of Canadian struggles after Ferrari's tough weekend

Scuderia Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur remains undeterred by the prospect of future setbacks, stating he is “not scared” of experiencing weekends similar to their recent struggles encountered by his side last weekend in the Canadian Grand Prix at the 4.361-kilometre Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal.

Following the Maranello team’s strongest performance of the 2024 Formula 1 season, there was optimism for another successful outing in Canada, on a track that was expected to suit the characteristics of the SF-24 single-seater. However, the Montreal weekend turned out to be anything but that, partially also due to the weather conditions that affected the car’s ability to bring the tires into the optimal operating window.

With the team riding high after securing pole position and a one-three finish on the streets of Monaco in Monte Carlo, expectations were high for Scuderia Ferrari to once again compete closely with Red Bull and McLaren at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Instead, the SF-24 lacked pace despite the performance seen in Friday’s free practice sessions was not bad, and both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz faced challenges in managing the car on Saturday and Sunday.

Despite the tough weekend, Frederic Vasseur firmly asserted that it would not alter the team’s strategy moving forward, emphasizing that he is not fearful of encountering similar difficulties in the future.

“You know that sometimes the feeling [is] that everything is going wrong and everything is going against you, but that won’t change the approach,” he French manager explained in a recent interview for the media – “We are working as a team with the drivers, that [is] in the good and the bad moments, and we will keep the same approach for next weekend. We continue to work together but I’m not scared of this kind of weekend but like it is and it’s racing.” – the Ferrari team boss pointed out following the Canadian Grand Prix.

Qualifying on Saturday dealt a blow to both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz as they failed to progress beyond Q2, relegating them to the 11th and 12th positions on the grid, respectively.

The woes continued into Sunday’s race. The Monegasque driver encountered a power unit issue early on, hampering his race progress. A strategic misstep during a pit stop compounded his troubles, necessitating an extra stop to correct the tire choice amidst changing weather conditions. Consequently, he fell behind the leaders, eventually succumbing to his Ferrari’s engine woes, forcing an early retirement.

Meanwhile, his Maranello teammate Carlos Sainz found himself battling in the lower points positions until lap 53, when he spun at Turn 6, coincidentally just after Sergio Perez’s incident at the same corner. As the Spaniard re-entered the track, his car collided with Alex Albon’s Williams, resulting in retirement for both drivers.

With Max Verstappen clinching victory for Red Bull at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, the gap in the constructors’ championship widened from 24 to 49 points ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. Despite the double DNF in the Canadian Grand Prix, Frederic Vasseur was prompt to assert that it wasn’t the most challenging weekend the team had encountered.

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