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Frederic Vasseur

Vasseur warns Red Bull over 'comfort zone' elimination

Red Bull suffered its second defeat in six races last time out at the Miami Grand Prix, with Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur optimistic over closer competition this season.

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has stated Red Bull is no longer in a “comfort zone” regarding its gap over the rest of the field.

The Milton Keynes-based squad dominated the competition in 2023, winning all but one race en route to double championship success.

However, it has already been defeated twice across the opening six rounds this year with Ferrari prevailing in Australia before McLaren won out last time out in Miami.

Lando Norris claimed his first race win in the Florida city as he extended his opening stint before pitting under a favourably timed safety car.

When asked if McLaren's win in Miami offers a taste of the remainder of the season, Vasseur noted little has changed from the opening round.

“It’s almost [been] like this from the beginning of the season, depending on the track,” Vasseur told media including RacingNews365.

“I think honestly that Red Bull is still ahead, probably Max could have won without the story of the Safety Car.

“I don’t want to draw conclusions on this, but [he had] a pole position and they still have a small advantage.”

Red Bull no longer in the 'comfort zone'

While Red Bull was often challenged across one-lap pace in 2023, its ability to win out over a long sting was unrivalled, resulting in statistically the most dominant season in F1 history.

However, in Miami, Norris was able to extend the gap to Verstappen after the safety car - leading Vasseur to note Red Bull's shrinking advantage.

“What is true is that, compared to one year ago, when we are able to do a good job and to put everything together, we are there,” he said.

“It means we are putting them a little bit under pressure [and] they have to be a bit more aggressive with the strategy.

“They are not anymore in the comfort zone of last year where it doesn’t matter what happened – after Lap 2 they were in front. I think that’s a game changer in the management of the race.

“I think this is an opportunity for us, because if we are doing another small step, I think we will be in a really good position to fight with them every single weekend.”

Also interesting:

Join RacingNews365's Ian Parkes and Nick Golding as they are joined by ex-Formula 1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer to discuss the 'silliest of silly seasons' as well as McLaren and Lando Norris' victory at the Miami Grand Prix.

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