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Ferrari identify 'important step' despite disappointing weekend

Ferrari's challenging start to the 2023 F1 season continued with a point-less weekend at the Australian Grand Prix, but team boss Frederic Vasseur believes that the squad still made an "important step" forwards.

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur has identified an "important step" that the team made at the Australian Grand Prix, despite coming away with no points. After Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc lined up in P5 and P7 respectively on the starting grid, Leclerc found himself out of the running by the end of the first lap after contact with Lance Stroll into Turn 3 sent the Ferrari spinning off into the gravel trap. Sainz spent much of the event running in the points before colliding with Fernando Alonso at the penultimate race restart on Lap 57. The Spaniard was hit with a five-second time penalty, pushing him down to P12 in the final order. Despite this, Vasseur believes that there is a key positive for Ferrari to take away from the weekend in Melbourne.

Vasseur praises 'good recovery' for Ferrari

"On the performance side, I think we had a good recovery compared to Jeddah," Vasseur told British broadcaster Channel 4 . "We [had] a good pace [in] the race, if you have a look. "Even [when] we had to compensate the extra pit-stop for Carlos, he was pushing on the tyres, but the deg [tyre degradation] was okay. "At the end, we were fighting in a good lap time. That is an important step for us. But, for sure, the taste is a bit strange."

Ferrari taking positives after 'disappointing' result

Vasseur acknowledges that the result in Australia was not what Ferrari had hoped for, but hopes that the team can continue to take steps forward ahead of Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 30 April. "There [are] positives if you have a look [back] on the weekend," the Frenchman explained. "I think that [on Saturday] we were disappointed with the results, but the level of performance was there. We didn't put everything together. "[On Sunday] the pace was good. We had to do an extra pit-stop but, except [for] this, the pace was okay. "It's a real step forward compared to two weeks ago in Jeddah, and now we have to do another step for Baku."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Monaco Grand Prix - Free Practice 1