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Vasseur highlights advantage in tackling 'bad side of Ferrari pressure'

Fred Vasseur has transformed Ferrari since his arrival - and being French may just be paying dividends.

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Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur believes that being French has allowed him to make his mark on Ferrari since joining the team almost 18 months ago.

Vasseur is the first non-Italian boss of the Scuderia since compatriot Jean Todt departed at the end of 2007 after overseeing the most successful era in Ferrari history, with the team winning six constructors' titles and five drivers', with Michael Schumacher at the helm.

After four Italian team principals in the meantime, Vasseur has been charged with bringing the F1 titles back to Maranello at a time when Red Bull is dominating since the introduction of new aerodynamic regulations at the start of 2022.

Vasseur is slowly transforming the team, adopting a more relaxed culture and hiring relevant personnel, with the results starting to materialise, highlighted by the victory for Charles Leclerc last time out in Monaco that has pulled him to within 31 points of drivers' championship leader Max Verstappen.

Asked pointedly in an interview with this writer for The New York Times whether not being Italian had led to a different dynamic within the team, Vasseur replied: "This I'm sure. I'm sure because I'm less affected to the bad side of the pressure."

Vasseur puts stop to Monday review

"I'm not impacted by the Italian press. I have less of a connection with the Latin aspect of the team. I think I have a Latin control, but all the discussions, not speaking Italian, I'm a bit more far away.

"I'm more focused on what I'm doing, on the team than on the blah, blah, blah. This I think, at the end, it's an advantage."

The work of previous team principals has been subjected to intense scrutiny by the Italian media which, at times, has made for an uncomfortable situation.

In order to protect both himself and the team, Vasseur has adopted a different mentality he feels is paying dividends.

"I'm never very affected by the press," he said. "I don't have Twitter. I don't have Instagram. I don't have Facebook. I don't read the press. When I arrived, I asked to stop doing the press review on a Monday morning, which was the same at Sauber and Renault.

"That's more my approach rather than the fact that I'm in an Italian team. This is how you are mega, mega strong. I don't know if you can be strong enough to read the comments and then not act in relation to that."

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