For Frederic Vasseur, the first year at Ferrari has not been easy; however, a man with his experience had already anticipated this, but what perhaps he did not expect was that the SF-23 would be so capricious, and Red Bull so strong. Fans, on the other hand, had high expectations for the French manager, believing that the 2023 Formula One season was the right time for the coveted Championship. And so, some criticisms have already been showered on the new team principal, who, behind the scenes, has started significant restructuring efforts.
This is what Italian journalist and Formula 1 expert Carlo Vanzini also states in the recent edition of Autosprint, commenting on the Christmas dinner held in Maranello between Italian media and Fred Vasseur, whom he praised for his composure and steadfastness:
“Let’s start from here, from experience. The team principal was evidently convinced that the SF-23 was a Championship-winning car because, otherwise, someone of his racing ‘seniority’ would never have committed, along with the rest of the group, to bellicose statements against Red Bull. Time teaches that there is always something to learn, and that is what he wanted to emphasize, not making grand proclamations during the Christmas lunch. It’s better to wait, firmly believing in the solid progress seen in the latter part of the past season, effectively bringing about a change compared to the now decade-long and chronic performance loss in the second half of the championship.” – the Italian journalist pointed out.
“The stormy start with the departures of David Sanchez and Laurent Mekies would have bent an oak, and yet he always held his ground, with that laugh that, for those who hadn’t yet understood, is his way of taking a few extra seconds to formulate the most correct response. Never a misplaced phrase, from the first weekend in Bahrain when he identified the setup as one of the car’s limitations, and time, being a good man of the track, proved him right.” – Carlo Vanzini added.
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“In the beginning-of-the-year statement, he wasn’t asked for the moon: ‘This approach and his leadership are what we need to grow Ferrari with renewed energy,’ quoting CEO Benedetto Vigna’s words, but a growth that has indeed occurred in all departments, including the drivers. The group has come together, understood that the captain knows and has a correct vision of the ‘battlefield.’ He didn’t slip into our traps with questions tailored to elicit a headline response. He didn’t go so far as to say ‘I’m not p***ed,’ Mourinho-style, but he lets you understand it in the look of ‘you’re trying to trick me,’ didn’t let himself get ‘tricked,’ concluded Carlo Vanzini.