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Ferrari

The 'snowball effect' building at Ferrari

It has been quite the change at Ferrari since Fred Vasseur took charge.

Leclerc qualy Canada
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Fred Vasseur believes there is "a snowball effect" building inside Ferrari which has led to a greater degree of risk taking.

Vasseur has overseen considerable change inside Ferrari since taking over the role as team principal just over 17 months ago.

The Frenchman has adopted a no-nonsense approach, making crucial adjustments to working practices and staff, but at the same time empowering those beneath him to have the confidence to execute their jobs.

Although Ferrari slipped to third in the constructors' championship last season, it was seen as a transitional campaign as Vasseur eased his way into his role - bearing in mind he started weeks before the 2023 car was launched - and the changes took effect.

This year, Ferrari has again forced its way back into contention for pole positions and race wins, with drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc scoring race victories in Australia and Monaco respectively.

Despite the bitter disappointment of a wretched weekend in Canada recently, Ferrari is only 49 points adrift of Red Bull in the team standings, with 15 races remaining.

With a much-improved team spirit now existing inside Ferrari, explaining the knock-on effects in an interview with The New York Times, Vasseur said: "It's the capacity to take risks.

"If you are self-confident, if you are working as a team, to be sure that you won't be pointed out if something happens, it's my job with the team to reinforce everybody.

"We have made some adjustments in terms of people but good ones. It's a kind of a snowball effect. If you are more confident, you make better decisions, and this brings extra confidence.

"It's quite quick that you can build or destroy something, and it's easier to destroy than to build."

Over his relatively short time at the helm, Vasseur has had to make crucial decisions, not least of which was opting to sign Lewis Hamilton and release Sainz, who was the only driver to win a grand prix last season other than Red Bull.

Vasseur has previously stated it was "a no-brainer" signing Hamilton, and while other decisions have also been difficult, he knows they have been recognised to be for the good of the team given the atmosphere that now exists.

"I'm just doing my job in the best way," added Vasseur. "It's a very demanding job for me, but more than for me, it's very demanding for every single team member, and every single mechanic, and I think I'm in a comfortable situation compared to them.

"But at least, we can work in a good atmosphere. It's no more difficult or easier for me to be the nice guy or the bad guy.

"At least it's the easiest way to thank the people around me for the effort they are making, to collaborate in a positive atmosphere.

"Now, I don't want to say that I don't have to take harsh decisions, changing people, because this is for the benefit of the team, but at least on the difficult days, I think it's much easier to smile than to not smile."

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