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Charles Leclerc

Vasseur invokes Roger Federer to make Leclerc, Sainz point

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur oversaw a late charge from the team to try and grab second in the Constructors', spear-headed by an outstanding run of form from Charles Leclerc.

Leclerc Vasseur Abu Dhabi
To news overview © XPBimages
Ferrari's late-season surge in the Constructors' was not entirely down to a Japanese Grand Prix upgrade, Team Principal Frederic Vasseur has explained.

After a slow start with the SF-23, Ferrari's fortunes improved after the summer break, taking five of its seven pole positions, and six of its nine podiums, including Carlos Sainz's win in Singapore that denied Red Bull a clean sweep of wins.

However, it was Charles Leclerc who was the form driver at the Scuderia following Singapore, banking three podiums in the final five races to go with three poles. He did finish third in the United States, but was disqualified for excessive plank wear.

While Vasseur noted the improvements made to the SF-23 technically, he also observed that the form of drivers themselves can fluctuate, invoking Tennis icon Roger Federer to make his point.

Vasseur on Ferrari's surge

"We had a small upgrade in Japan, in terms of pure performance, it was not something mega, but in terms of comfort, it was very important and beneficial for Charles," Vasseur told media including RacingNews365.

"But sometimes it is a matter of details that have to happen, you are at a track that you like, and at the end of the day, we are talking about tenths of a second.

"From one weekend to another, we have to accept that they are sportsmen and [Roger] Federer can win one day at Wimbledon, but lose the next, and I am taking the [drivers] as sportsmen that can go up and down [in terms of form].

"What is true though is that five years ago, if you look at the Mercedes guys, they can [make a mistake] on one corner, and still be on pole position, but today if you miss a corner, you are out in Q1.

"The two McLarens were out in Q1 [in Las Vegas], and were fighting for pole [in Abu Dhabi]. It is true for everyone, perhaps not [Max] Verstappen but it is true for [Sergio Perez].

"We don't have to draw too big of a conclusion after one change, but Charles was in a much better shape in the last part of the season, the last six or seven races.

"We had five pole positions from the last nine races, this was a positive dynamic, but we need a step on the consistency given we provided them with the car.

"I am more than pleased with the last two events because it was completely opposite pictures. Las Vegas was very high-speed and cold conditions, and Abu Dhabi has a lot of medium-speed corners and very hot conditions and in both situations we were there."

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