Vasseur unhappy with Qatar GP track but confident Ferrari can take on McLaren

Ferrari trail Mercedes by 20 points in the 2023 F1 constructors' championship

-

Fred Vasseur backed Ferrari to pin back McLaren at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, despite criticising a ‘tough’ Losail International Circuit after sand, wind and the sunset combined to produce a difficult Friday.

Ferrari are chasing down Mercedes for second in the constructors’ championship and only trail by 20 points, but a resurgent McLaren may be a bigger challenge in Qatar after the Woking-based outfit secured a double-podium at the Japanese GP.

Ahead of the sprint events, FP1 at Losail saw a low sunset and sand on the track enrage session leader Max Verstappen, with plenty of drivers struggling for grip on the slippy, dusty track and a high wind causing all sorts of problems on corner exit.

“This weekend, I think it’s quite difficult to read but we did FP1 on a tough track,” Vasseur told the media.

“We have to go directly now into quali but it’s very windy, conditions will completely change at night and the level of sand will change a little bit for the qualifying and it will be a tricky one. So far on this kind of format we did pretty well and we can be confident.”

Vasseur: Sainz self-confidence boosted in Singapore

Carlos Sainz celebrates winning the 2023 Singapore GP

Vasseur added how important Carlos Sainz‘s Singapore GP win was for the Spaniard, as he broke Red Bull‘s clean sweep of victories in 2023.

Sainz finished second in Qatar free practice after a late surge by the Ferraris, and has been the better driver for the Scuderia over the 2023 season.

He outclassed Charles Leclerc for his Singapore win after also endearing himself to the Tifosi with a battling performance for third at Monza, and Vasseur stressed it’s been a transformational few weeks for Sainz.

“It was important for the self-confidence, I was also thinking about Carlos,” Vasseur added. “It’s not just a win but it’s a popular win for me. With the good strategy in the last 10 laps he was able to stay calm, to stay cool to manage the situation and knew that it was in his interest to keep Lando in the DRS zone and he did very well.

“I think for him for sure it’s a step forward that to win is one thing but to win with the pole position and this kind of race it’s another step.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Fernando Alonso ahead of the Emilia Romagna GP at Imola

Fernando Alonso gives candid admission on performance amid Aston Martin struggles

0
Fernando Alonso believes he's not been good enough individually as Aston Martin have struggled to recapture their 2023 form...
Andrea Kimi Antonelli tests the Mercedes W12 in Austria in his first taste of F1 machinery | Mercedes F1 team

Max Verstappen offers Mercedes starlet Andrea Kimi Antonelli advice on joining F1

0
Max Verstappen has given his advice to Andrea Kimi Antonelli on the biggest changes he should expect if he...
Yuki Tsunoda of Visa Cash App RB ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Unwanted Yuki Tsunoda eyes Aston Martin switch as Red Bull say no

0
Yuki Tsunoda revealed he could be tempted to abandon the Red Bull program for Aston Martin ahead of the...
George Russell at 2024 Japanese GP | Mercedes

Russell explains how Mercedes are closing gap on Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari –...

0
Mercedes are getting closer to Formula 1's current frontrunners Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari according to George Russell, who...
Charles Leclerc during the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix weekend | Suderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc reveals Ferrari’s key target to beat Max Verstappen in Monaco

0
Will 2024 be the year that Charles Leclerc finally breaks his Monaco Grand Prix curse? He’s hoping so as...
Max Verstappen during the 2024 Monaco GP press conference | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen warns Red Bull to avoid ‘stressful’ repeat at Monaco GP

0
Max Verstappen has warned Red Bull they cannot risk a repeat of what happened at Imola as the team...
Nyck de Vries of AlphaTauri, leads Kevin Magnussen of Haas, and Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo during 2023 Monaco GP practice | Sam Bagnall / LAT Images

Monaco GP 2024 F1 Schedule and Start Times

0
The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix sees the Formula 1 circus head to one of the one of the most...
Jake Dennis looks on at the 2024 Berlin E-Prix | Formula E

Jake Dennis downbeat about Formula E title chances: I need s**t to happen now

0
Reigning Formula E champion Jake Dennis isn’t optimistic about the chances of retaining his title, ahead of the 2024...
Formula E will visit the Shanghai International Circuit for the first time in 2024 | Formula E

Formula E returns to China as it takes on the Shanghai International Circuit

0
The drivers are certainly being kept on their toes this season. Formula E is heading to yet another new...
Dan Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara of ERT during the 2024 Misano E-Prix I Formula E

Where to watch Formula E 2024 Shanghai E-Prix

0
The 2024 Formula E World Championship returns to China for the first time in four seasons, bringing the electric...
- Advertisment -