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Frederic Vasseur

Ferrari wind back clock to stoke fire for current F1 title fight

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has highlighted the F1 calendar length as a reason to not be concerned about the Scuderia's disappointing Canadian GP.

Vasseur Canada 3
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Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has moved to quell concern surrounding the Scuderia after a dismal weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix, citing the length of the F1 calendar as a reason not to worry.

The team failed to get either driver into the final stage of qualifying and suffered a double retirement during the race itself - Charles Leclerc going out due to reliability issues before Carlos Sainz's mistake at Turn 6 saw him collect Alexander Albon, ending his afternoon early.

With Mercedes making considerable gains over two rounds - following in the footsteps of both McLaren and Ferrari, who began challenging Red Bull after upgrades in Miami and Imola - the top four teams now appear capable of fighting for race wins. 

However, Vasseur does not believe that, nor Ferrari's poor weekend in Montreal, will change the dynamic, instead focusing on the fact there is almost an entire F1 season ahead.

"It doesn't change compared to last week," he told media including RacingNews365 when asked if he saw it as a four-way battle at the front for the rest of the year. "Last week [in Monaco], it was a tough weekend for Red Bull. This weekend, it's a tough weekend for us.

"And we are three or four [teams] [with]in one tenth [of a second], or something like this. It means that we will have tough weekends. What we have to keep in mind is that we have still 16 [15] races to go. It's almost a season of 2018 [or] 2017 - we were doing 15 [or] 16 races a year. I think that we have still a championship in front of us, for sure. We'll have tough weekends, we'll have good weekends."

Vasseur resolved in championship fight

Whilst the F1 calendar was 20 and 21 rounds in 2017 and 2018 respectively, F1 did traditionally operate a 16 round season as recently as the early 2000s, meaning there is still plenty of time to make up ground.

What compounded the disappointment in Canada for Ferrari was the juxtaposition to the previous round, in Monte Carlo. On the pace all weekend, Leclerc took pole, which he subsequently converted into a first home victory in F1. Team-mate Sainz finished in third-place. 

After Monaco, the Maranello-based outfit had reduced Red Bull's lead in the constructors' championship to just 24 points, leading to hope and speculation that a title fight could be about to unfold.

However, after the Italian team's underwhelming weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the gap is back up to 49 points following Max Verstappen's hard-fought victory.

To Vasseur, however, it is important to not let outside factors impact how the team operates. The Frenchman was keen to point out that one good or bad weekend will not make or break the season ahead.

"The most important is to keep the same approach, to continue to develop, to continue to fix the issues, and not to be pinned down into the motivation or the approach," the 56-year-old said.

"We are not world champions after a good weekend, and we are not nowhere after a tough weekend. We'll be back in Spain and back into the pace."

Also interesting:

Max Verstappen hit back after an out-of-sorts Monaco GP, Sergio Perez floundered again - and into a controversial retirement. How much damage can Ferrari and McLaren inflict with Red Bull fighting with one hand tied behind its back, did the Milton Keynes-based team re-sign Perez too soon? After a thoroughly entertaining Canadian GP, host Nick Golding is joined by Ian Parkes and Samuel Coop to analyse all things.

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here

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