Fred Vasseur: Ferrari cannot be afraid to take risks

27 Feb, 2024

F1 is preparing to start its season with the opening Grand Prix in Bahrain. Pre-season testing showed the RB20 was the reference for the field – with Ferrari just behind. However, establishing a definitive running order is very difficult. Fred Vasseur explained when more definitive conclusions can be reached:

“From Thursday onwards, in free practice, we will see the true values on the field. And we will understand the real extent of the work done by us and from our adversaries.”

Bahrain: Useful track to evaluate sensitivity to external factors and tyre wear

“Charles and Carlos confirmed that they were comfortable behind the wheel of the SF-24. And this was exactly the objective we set ourselves when we began designing the car,” confirmed Vasseur last weekend.

The Ferrari Team Principal is curious to see the SF-24’s level relative to other teams.

Charles and Carlos proved to be in excellent shape. The car seems competitive. I see the whole team concentrated, and we are determined to achieve a good result.”


“Bahrain is also characterized by changes in environmental conditions. In particular, track temperature and wind, which have quite an impact on performance and car balance. 

“So the ability to follow them and adapt will be fundamental,” explained Matteo Togninalli, Head of Track Engineering Ferrari.

Starting from Bahrain, the car’s sensitivity to external factors when being pushed in qualifying will be tested. “Tyre degradation will be a key point.”

Among the aspects that could make the difference in these first races, there are also “Reliability and understanding of the car,” explains Togninalli:

“Whoever has done a better job in understanding the single-seater has a clear idea of ​​how to extract the potential to have an advantage.”

Reliability problems, on the other hand, only become apparent with higher mileage. Only then, if they become apparent, will it be possible to work on them.

The Ferrari SF-24 is proving to be a good working basis consistent with the simulator data

One of the priority items in the development of the Ferrari SF-24 was better driveability.

This was seen “in terms of feedback from the drivers the car improved in driveability and solidity as conditions varied. Especially in terms of race pace to manage the tyres,” confirmed the Head of Track Engineering Ferrari.

It is still early to understand the true value of the SF-24 compared to its rivals, just as the understanding of the new Ferrari is still in an embryonic state.

“Three days of testing are clearly not enough, but we are already in a position to have a first overall picture.”

In the tests, Ferrari focused a lot on understanding the new SF-24 platform. Another positive was that a good “correlation with simulations and simulator, as well as the wind tunnel” was found. Togninalli underlined the importance of this factor.

“We found on the track what we expected after the simulator sessions with the drivers and also the car’s responses to the different changes.”

Performance was especially impressive in their long runs. Ferrari tested substantially different set-ups on day two and day three of testing with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.


This is also a fundamental aspect for the future development of the Ferrari SF-24, aware that the Maranello tools provide a good simulator-track correlation.

In this respect, and not only, Team Principal Fred Vasseur’s vision is very clear:

“We will compete with very strong and fierce rivals, and I want to see the same approach from us with which we ended last season.”

In reference to the strategies and the team’s approach to development in 2024, Vasseur outlined his objectives:

We must not be afraid to dare if we believe that a certain choice can make the difference in our performance.”

Author: Paolo D’Alessandro

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang