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Ferrari refuses to set end-of-season targets

A disappointing campaign sees the winless Scuderia languishing in fourth place in the Constructors' Championship.

Sainz Belgium wet
To news overview © XPBimages

Ferrari Team Principal Fred Vasseur has said his team is not setting any specific targets for the rest of 2023, and is instead simply aiming to improve in every area.

Hopes of a title challenge this year were high at Maranello after a bright start last season but a disappointing campaign thus far has left the Scuderia fourth in the Constructors' Championship with 191 points - Charles Leclerc's second place in Austria the team's best result so far this year.

"We have to improve the package but we are going to improve what we are doing on track and try to get the best from the package that we have," Vasseur told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"That's where we have to be focused. I don't want to fix a target to say that we have to do this or this.

"As long as we have room for improvement, we have to be 100 per cent focused on this, and that it's clear that on every single topic and every single pillar of the performance, we have to make a step forward."

Red Bull superior 'on every pillar of performance'

Ferrari's travails stand in stark contrast to Red Bull, which has taken a clean sweep of all 12 Grands Prix and three Sprint events so far this year with a level of dominance rarely seen in F1.

Despite Red Bull's superiority, Vasseur said there was not one particular area where the drinks-backed squad is out-performing the rest, instead suggesting that Red Bull's dominance is down to marginal gains in several discrete areas.

"I'm not sure that they are an area where they are much better than someone else. It's everywhere they are out-performing on every single pillar of performance – drivers, engine chassis, aero, suspension, strategy, and that’s where we have to improve," said Vasseur.

"We have to try to get the best from what we have in every single area, and to do a small step everywhere.

"[Red Bull's advantage] is either two-tenths on aero, or ten times two-hundredths, and I think it’s more ten times two-hundredths."

Ferrari looking to leapfrog Mercedes

Behind Red Bull, the order has been changeable throughout 2023, with different teams legitimately laying claim to being the second-fastest team at different points in the year.

Discussing the closeness of the fight for second place, Vasseur hailed the excitement this was providing spectators with.

"We have a group behind Red Bull – Mercedes, Aston Martin, McLaren and sometimes Alpine able to fight for the front row. That means it's an exciting challenge and an exciting situation, because you never know if you'll be P2 or P10," said Vasseur.

"No misunderstanding – I want to be P1 and P2, but it is nice for the Championship that it is so close behind them."

Despite the closeness of the second-place battle throughout the season, Ferrari is currently 56 points behind Mercedes, and Vasseur added that he hoped an anticipated step forward would help the Scuderia close the gap to the Silver Arrows.

"There is a huge gap to Mercedes in terms of points, but when I look back at the first half of the season, we missed too many opportunities. That means we have to do much better in the second half and be more opportunistic," said Vasseur.

"If we want to catch up with Mercedes, we need something special, but the most important thing is that we close the gap in terms of pace. That means staying ahead of them in performance and in Qualifying and being faster than Mercedes in race pace.

"I don't know if we'll finish second in the Championship or not, but I want to do a step forward in terms of performance compared to Mercedes in the second part of the season."

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