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Frederic Vasseur

Vasseur soothes Ferrari fears after failed F1 upgrade

Frederic Vasseur has addressed the ongoing problems with Ferrari's SF-24 Formula 1 car.

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Ferrari will be stuck with its SF-24 problems for the upcoming F1 Hungarian Grand Prix, but boss Frederic Vasseur has soothed concerns around its upgrades.

A package introduced by the Scuderia in Spain has not had the desired effect, with the team suffering a slump in performance in the last four races, including a double DNF in Canada and two non-scores for Charles Leclerc in Austria and Britain. 

The problem with the car is an aerodynamic one, with porpoising re-appearing for the team, especially in Spain where it had an impact on Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. 

For the British Grand Prix, Ferrari scaled back the upgrade and spent the weekend back-to-back testing the packages to find a way forward, something Leclerc felt worked well.

When questioned about the performance of the car, team principal Vasseur praised Ferrari's upgrade pace during his tenure and added that he felt the team was on the verge of a breakthrough in understanding.

"It is an aero problem, yes, because we changed the aero parts and the bouncing appeared in Spain," Vasseur told media including RacingNews365.

"To fix it, you have tons of solutions, solutions with and without compromise on performance, or developing a package and I think we are there now.

"We will have to deal with it at the next race with the current car, and the sooner the better we will bring an upgrade with less bouncing.

"Honestly, I cannot speak about 2020, 2021 or 1994, but in the last 16 months, all the upgrades we brought had a very, very good correlation with what we did in the wind tunnel.

"It was one of the assets of the team over last year to bring smaller upgrades that paid off each time, but for this one, we had an issue."

Difficult Ferrari call the 'right' one

Ferrari's hopes of back-to-back testing at Silverstone were slightly impacted by the weather, with cold and wet conditions across the weekend, with Vasseur labelling the decision to "sacrificing" Friday practice as "difficult."

However, he felt that the call to not focus on out-right performance as normal and work to understand the problems of the SF-24 was the right decision.

"Compromising or sacrificing Friday sessions when you know that you are losing time during the weekend, that it is okay to forget about FP1, FP2, to be focused on the mid-term, this is a decision that as a team was very difficult," he said.

"You start the weekend, and it was even worse in Silverstone because of the weather, and we put ourselves in a tough situation, but at least we knew beforehand. We took the decision before the weekend and I think it was the right call to do it. 

"Correlation is okay, the downforce and the correlation is okay. I think it is still a question for everybody that sometimes the bouncing pops up, and it is quite difficult to correlate because you don't have bouncing in the wind tunnel.

"I don't want to go deep into detail, but we all have metrics and you cannot anticipate that you would have more bouncing with this upgrade path than another one, but to know if it would have a negative impact on performance is another story."

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