Ferrari Team Principal Vasseur Says “Everything Went Wrong” In The Tough Canadian GP Race

Fred Vasseur Ferrari
Fred Vasseur Ferrari

After being called a favourite to win by multiple competitors going into the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, Scuderia Ferrari was quickly faced with an unpleasant reality. Although their pace was very good on Friday during practice, when Qualifying came around on Saturday, both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were shockingly knocked out of Q2 and qualified only P11 and P12 respectively.

With Qualifying being crucial on the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve, it was suddenly clear that the red cars will have a tough race ahead of them if they want to finish in front.

“The pace was strong on Friday. Conditions were tricky [on Saturday] and a couple of cars had the same issue — I won’t go deep into details — but we were quite confident for the [race] pace,” Fred Vasseur, the team principal of the Maranello-based squad, summarized.

However, it turned out the wet-to-dry race conditions did not help Ferrari either, and following engine issues on Leclerc’s side and damage from contact on Sainz’s side, both drivers had to retire the car.

Vassuer explained: “With Charles, on lap two we lost part of the power. We were expecting a red flag to do a power cycle and to try and come back, but the red flag never happened.

“It was not just the engine itself; I think it is the control of the engine that we had to stop the engine completely. We went through a cycle, but it was 30 or 40 seconds.”

When pitting for hard tyres, the Monégasque tried to reset his car, which saw him lose a lap and when it was clear he could not make up for it, he eventually retired.

“For Charles, when you are in the car, fighting in a group and see you are missing 10 or 15 kp/h, you have no chance to overtake, your engineer is telling you you are missing 80 horsepower… I can perfectly understand that motivation is difficult to find in this kind of situation.

“If he was not frustrated in these conditions, I would be worried.”

Leclerc was already very frustrated after Qualifying, where the team made a strange strategy call and decided not to use a new set of soft tyres — probably saving them for Q3 and the fight over pole positions, into which they didn’t even get.

“And on Carlos’ side, he was not in a good position after turn two,” Vasseur continued to explain the tough situations his drivers found themselves in during the race.

“And at one stage, I don’t remember exactly when, because the list was quite long, but he had contact with [Daniel] Riccardo or [Valtteri] Bottas, he damaged the front wing and the floor.

“The issue is that at the beginning, everything went wrong and I hope that we put all the tough, all the shitty parts of the season on the same weekend. But it is like it is,” Vasseur concluded.

After a weekend that was probably one of the hardest ones in his time with Ferrari so far, the team boss still insists the approach won’t change, and the squad won’t be affected by their mistakes and unfortune at the next round of the Formula 1 calendar in Barcelona.

“Sometimes you get the feeling everything is going wrong and going against you, but we don’t change the approach. We are working as a team with the drivers in the good and bad moments and we will keep the same approach for next weekend and continue together.”

“I’m not [bothered] at all by this kind of weekend, it is what it is.”

Bringing home exactly zero points from the double DNF, Red Bull’s lead on them in the Constructors’ Championship more than doubled and Ferrari is now in second place, missing 49 points on the defending champions. Same with Leclerc being the runner-up in the Drivers’ Championship, currently needing 59 points to catch Max Verstappen.

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