Ferrari Team Principal Fred Vasseur has insisted he does not need the team's hierarchy to tell him to be upset over finishing third in last season's F1 Constructors' standings.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were forced to deal with numerous reliability issues in the opening stanza of the campaign as Red Bull and Max Verstappen ran away with proceedings, leaving the Scuderia firmly in a battle for second in the order with Mercedes and, at the time, Aston Martin.
But the SF-23 soon began to demonstrate pace - Leclerc in particular impressing over one lap while Sainz secured the only non-Red Bull victory at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna had been quoted as suggesting 'second is the first of the losers' and asked if there had been any discussions with the hierarchy over last season's third-place finish, Vasseur explained: "We didn't wait for the end of the championship to discuss it but the advantage at Ferrari is that we have daily discussions, we are not far away."
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'Nobody can be happy with what we did'
"Nobody can be happy with what we did at the beginning of the season," added Vasseur, who joined Ferrari from Sauber last winter.
"We had too many issues with reliability and I was the first one upset with this - and performance.
"But I think, more than everything, that the reaction of group, the reaction of the team, the fact we were able to... I am not a big fan of statistics, but we had something like five pole positions out of the last eight events, the fact we were able to fight with Max on some occasions during the races also was a good step forward.
"Even if we are not happy - and again, I am the first one, I do not need Mr Vigna or Mr Elkann telling me, I am not happy with P3, this is clear - but I am more than happy with the reaction of the team and I think this feeling is the same for everybody."