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Ferrari

Vasseur highlights where he is 'not a world champion' at Ferrari

Fred Vasseur knows there is one area he could improve as team principal at Ferrari

Vasseur
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Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur has pinpointed one area of his leadership he knows he needs to improve.

Vasseur has been in charge of the Scuderia for 17 months, becoming the first Frenchman at the helm since Jean Todt departed in 2007 after a run of four Italian bosses.

Vasseur has overseen positive change inside the team, and after a transitional year under his leadership last season, is fighting at the front alongside Red Bull and McLaren this term.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have both scored a victory apiece, and although Ferrari's performance in the last race in Canada was a shock given the latter driver's stirring triumph in his home country of Monaco two weeks previously,  the team is just 49 points adrift of leaders Red Bull in the constructors' standings.

On a personal level, despite seemingly steering Ferrari in the right direction, the 56-year-old recognises he has scope to change for the better.

"Probably one of my defaults, at least what my wife tells me, and I have to trust my wife, is that I'm always focused on the negative points," said Vasseur, in an interview with The New York Times.

"Probably, it's a professional aspect that I'm always trying to get the best and to improve where we are weak, and I'm not focused on what I'm doing well.

"Sometimes she's telling me, 'You have to say 'good job' to someone'. It's true that I'm not the world champion for this.

"I'm more focused on where we have to continue to improve, to have a better reaction, better anticipation. If we have room for improvement, it's on this and I'm focused on this.

"It means that if you speak about me, I have to say that, as a team principal, I have to probably be a bit more positive with everybody sometimes.

"At the end of a race, for example, each time they say, 'Okay, let's take to the radio to say thank you', I'm focused on my mess and I say, 'Oh, too late'."

Vasseur outlines initial Ferrari changes

Despite his personal negativity issues, on- and off-track at Ferrari, Vasseur is changing the approach of the team.

Assessing what he feels has changed inside Ferrari during his time in charge, Vasseur highlighted two key areas.

"It's still early stages because in a racing team, you have two different time schedules," said Vasseur.

"You have the recruitment of people, and this is a very long process because when you are recruiting people they join 12 to 18 months later.

"First, you need to identify the weaknesses, then you identify the people, to recruit them. The overall process, it's more a two-year project."

Referring to the recent acquisition of Loïc Serra from Mercedes as Ferrari's new head of chassis performance, Vasseur added: "He will join at the end of the year, and he will work on next year's car. This is typically the mid-, long-term project."

With regard to short-term, he said: "It's more about putting everything together, to have a good team spirit. It's probably the only thing that you can do in the short term, to reorganise some departments, to change people, but this is more a matter of mindset in the end. We did it quite quickly last year, and I think it's paying off.

"Perhaps as a team principal, what you can change quickly is a little bit the mentality or the ability to take risks, the self-confidence, this kind of team spirit, let's call it. This I think we have made a decent step forward."

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