Ferrari Team Principal Frederic Vasseur has confirmed that Ferrari's 2024 Formula 1 car, which will launch on February 13, is changing “95 per cent” of its car components.
The Italian squad endured a difficult campaign this year as it slipped to third place in the Constructors' Championship.
It commenced the season aiming to contend for a title before rivals Red Bull dominated the year, winning 21 out of the 22 races.
Hopes for a clean sweep were halted by Ferrari at the Singapore Grand Prix when Carlos Sainz secured Ferrari's only win of the year.
Ferrari was largely unable to contend against Red Bull across the season, but speaking to media including RacingNews365.com, Vasseur backed himself after his first year at the helm of the squad.
“One year ago was quite a challenge because I joined quite late,” he said. “It was a huge wave of things to manage, to understand and to discover in a couple of weeks.
“It was four weeks before the launch and five or six weeks before the Bahrain race [when I joined].
“But now I think it’s a much more comfortable situation. I know almost everybody in the company, the system, I have a better understanding of this. I think I'm doing a good job, a better job than last year, let's say.
“We need to keep the momentum and I think that even if the last part of the season went pretty well. It's never enough and we don't have to stop this.”
Viewed by others:
Ferrari's season started in dismal fashion when Charles Leclerc retired at rounds one and three in Bahrain and Australia respectively.
Sainz also failed to pick up points in Australia leading Vasseur to question pre-season advice that had been given to him.
“Everybody told me that 'you will see at Ferrari that you start the season very well and then it's going down',” he said.
“And trust me, after Jeddah or Melbourne, I said 'what the f***? If this was the good part of the season, we will be in big trouble'.
“The perception that you have from an external point of view of Ferrari is probably wrong.
“When I was outside, I was always thinking that the team would overreact to every single event.
“But the team was very, very calm after Melbourne. We were cautious of the situation and the weakness of the car.”
Leclerc and Sainz's input
As it looks to bounce back from a troubled season, Vasseur confirmed that vast changes are being made to next year's car.
“I don’t know if revolution is the right word. We have the same regulations now three years in a row that you can't change massively. It’s a matter of tenths of a second.
“For sure, we have to do a step on that, we don’t underestimate the step. We are changing 95 per cent of the components, perhaps you can consider that it's a revolution, I don't know if it will be.
“The expectation is that we are focused on ourselves, we are doing a good step forward. But in the end, it's always a matter of comparison, you can improve by 100 steps but if the others are improving by 120 you will look stupid.”
With Leclerc and Sainz returning to Ferrari for the fourth season as team-mates, Vaseur stated the duo had heavy involvement in the new car.
“They had a lot of involvement into the development of the car from the beginning. They are quite pleased with the situation.
“It's important to have them on board from the beginning. Carlos and Charles were both quite exhausted after the season. They said 'okay, we'll have a break for the next two, three weeks, and they will be back on the 9th or 10th of January'.
“And I think it's good also for them to manage their time. It will be even worse or more difficult next year.”