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Frederic Vasseur

Vasseur claims he 'doesn't care' about Red Bull and McLaren

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has asserted he does not "care" about rivals, despite the Italian squad only trailing Red Bull by 24 points in the constructors' standings.

Vasseur Monaco
To news overview © XPBimages

Frederic Vasseur insists he does not "care" about what Ferrari's competitors are doing as anticipation over a potential title fight with Red Bull and McLaren continues to rise.

The Scuderia team principal is remaining focused on what Ferrari can be doing to improve, highlighting it is still too early in the season to pay attention to the performance of rival teams.

Talk of an impending championship battle has amped up in recent weeks after the Italian squad and McLaren brought substantially updated packages to Imola and Miami respectively. 

The Woking-based outfit used those upgrades to win in Florida, whilst Ferrari were victors at the most recent round, in Monaco.

Courtesy of Max Verstappen, Red Bull narrowly fought off McLaren to win the race in between, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but Vasseur feels chatter surrounding a three-way fight is premature, even though his team now trails the champions by just 24 points in the constructors' standings.

"It's not me - I'm not speaking about that," the 56-year-old told media including RacingNews365 when the prospect of a fight with Red Bull, and increased noise on the matter, was put him after the Monaco Grand Prix.

"We are fighting with McLaren and Red Bull for first. I'm only focused on myself. I don't care about the others. The target is to do a good job to improve the car, to do a good job with the drivers. 

"Then we are fighting with the guys who are with us on the grid. I'm not focused at all on someone because we have still 17 [16] races to go."

'I was not thinking about Red Bull...'

The developments introduced at Imola looked promising for Ferrari at first, especially when compounded by Red Bull's struggle to find form.

However, its performance fell away in qualifying, with the Milton Keynes team renewed. In the race, this left Charles Leclerc to take a podium in third, with Carlos Sainz finishing fifth - but the Monegasque's trip to the rostrum was significantly aided by Oscar Piastri being demoted from second to fifth on the grid. 

At the subsequent round, the McLarens and Ferraris again ended the race in alternate positions, but there would be no recovery for Red Bull this time - Verstappen finishing where he started, in sixth. Vasseur was quick to highlight how close the two leading teams were around the streets of the principality, whilst waving away any talk of the reigning champions. 

"McLaren is a contender, but for sure, today, we were one-three, they do two-four - we had exactly the same pace," highlighted the Frenchman. "I think yesterday [in qualifying] it was a matter of one-tenth of a second.

"And they were in front of us last week in Imola, and it will be like this until the end [of the season]. I was not thinking about Red Bull, and I'm not doing a fixation on Red Bull at all."

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, join Ian Parkes, Sam Coop and Nick Golding as they look ahead to the Canadian Grand Prix, Red Bull's struggles potentially continuing and the news that Esteban Ocon will leave Alpine at the end of 2024.

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