Despite unfortunate incidents like Carlos Sainz’s manhole cover incident in Las Vegas, Ferrari faced several reliability issues in the 2023 Formula One season, following a less than exceptional 2022 in this regard. Between Charles Leclerc’s retirement in Bahrain towards the end of the race and the double DNS in Qatar and Brazil, both due to technical glitches, Frederic Vasseur had much to lament about the final position occupied by the Prancing Horse in the Constructors’ Championship.
Ferrari, Vasseur laments reliability issues in 2023
“We started on the wrong foot in Bahrain when we had to stop,” said the French manager. “We were in third place and received a penalty for the second race (in Jeddah, editor’s note). For Charles, it was almost 25 penalty points, plus the points we were giving to others with the two Mercedes behind us.”
“But once again, it’s not just about that. You can list them. Believe me, I’ve listed them a couple of times, and I have the standings in mind without the problems. Overall, I think there are ups and downs during the season.”
“Surely, we’ve dropped more points than our competitors. This means it’s another area we have to work on for next year, to be more opportunistic and more efficient.” – he explained.
Except for Williams, the Maranello team was the most affected by reliability issues during races or even before the start. In addition to the example mentioned by Fred Vasseur in Bahrain, Ferrari couldn’t even field both cars in Qatar due to a fuel system leak and in Interlagos due to an abnormal hydraulic system leak.
“I’ll keep track of the lost points because I hate running with ifs and buts,” Fred Vasseur adds. “Everyone can run with ‘ifs’ and do a better job. It means that in the factory, it’s absolutely forbidden to work with ifs. It’s not about finding an excuse because it’s our fault. It’s an aspect we have to improve. It’s clearly a huge potential in terms of points.”
“In the factory, words like ‘would be’ or ‘if’ are taboo. We have more than 1,000 employees. Everyone has to do their part. If every individual could find a few thousandths, we’ll make a big leap.” – Fred Vasseur added.
Finally, the Frenchman promises that the team will do everything possible to get as close as possible to Red Bull by the first race of 2024: “Red Bull doesn’t have a silver bullet. It’s simply well-positioned from every point of view. We have to stay on their heels and put pressure on them. In the second part of the season, we saw that sometimes they make mistakes and don’t always get the setup right. It’s a relative game: if you find a second, but your opponents find one and a half, you look stupid. If they only find half a second, you suddenly become the hero.” – the Ferrari team principal concluded.