Fred Vasseur praises Sainz and Leclerc for Bahrain drives

Jaden Diaz

The Ferrari garage is divided into two like moods. The sensations coming out of Bahrain are in fact a mix of satisfaction for having seen the Ferrari SF-24 confirm itself as the second force. Still, there will be some disappointment.

Charles Leclerc’s race was heavily influenced by a brake problem, and the final gap from Red Bull was higher than expected. 

Even though Max Verstappen appears out of reach today, Team Principal Frederic Vasseur does not lose hope and looks at the positive notes, ready to face the second GP of the season in Jeddah.

Charles Leclerc: “Frustrating race; first 15 laps were impossible”

The first race of the season was not lucky for Charles Leclerc, who has an open account with fate with Bahrain.

Leclerc suffered a brake problem which heavily influenced his race, making the initial phase especially very complicated. “The first 10-15 laps were impossible,” explained the #16 driver.

The problem was especially evident in turns 9 and 10, but the Ferrari SF-24 number 16 also stalled a few times during the difficult braking at turn 1.

“The problem is that there was a 100° difference between the front right and left, it very, very much.”

As a result, breaking balance was completely off, which compromised Leclerc throughout the event. To make things worse, the SF-24 seemed to go to the right when braking, further complicating his evening.


The situation did not improve, although it stabilised over time. The times actually also improved after the pit stop, and Charles Leclerc gradually adapted to the complicated situation, once again showing his talent.

In a very complicated situation, he managed to adapt to the SF-24, which still remains a new car, and bring home an important fourth position.

“We have to make sure it doesn’t happen again because it was horrible,” commented the Monegasque. 

His disappointment at the end of the race was visible, both in words and with his facial expression.

“We worked so hard for this first race, and we won’t know what could have happened without problems,” he stated. 

Leclerc was unsurprisingly frustrated. Seeing the result achieved by Sainz, he believed a podium result was possible.

Fred Vasseur: “Carlos recovered and put pressure on Perez. Charles took P4 despite the problems”.

The Scuderia emerges as the second force from the Bahrain weekend and is preparing to go to Jeddah to get more answers from the SF-24.

Third and fourth position are an honorable result that did not leave the Team Principal completely dissatisfied, even if the expectations were a little different.

“We expected a smaller gap, but given the circumstances it was a good result” explained Frederic Vasseur. The Spanish driver did not have a very good start.

Still, he recovered and had excellent tyre management. Before long, he overtook his teammate and George Russell for a podium place.

The Monegasque, however, had a brake problem which heavily penalized Leclerc’s race, and we didn’t expect such a problem.”

Fred Vasseur underlined that the Bahrain GP was not ideal, but the team is in a better place then 2023.

“At the end of the season we were fighting with them on some circuits and if we manage to develop at the pace of last year, we will be able to fight.”

Also, on this aspect, he said he was confident. Fred Vasseur reiterated how the SF-24 is a more sincere and understandable car: “We understand where we are weak and where to improve”


He didn’t say he was surprised about Carlos Sainz’s match, expecting a reaction from him despite the farewell announced at the end of the year.

Indeed, the Ferrari team principal reiterated:

“We did it also for this reason. I have no doubts about his professionalism, and I expected such a reaction from him.”

The group has become very compact, with a gap halved compared to last season for the Top 10. Very close values ​​can change based on a problem, as happened with Charles Leclerc, or even based on the track.

For this reason, Jeddah, very different from Bahrain, could also provide new answers.

“We will all start from scratch on a very different track. The smoother asphalt will have a positive impact on degradation, explained Frederic Vasseur.

There are no predictions ahead of the second Grand Prix of the season. At certain circuits, there will be optimism that Ferrari’s SF-24 is more competitive.

No judgment or ranking, at least “until Melbourne. From there, we will have a clearer idea of ​​the values”

Author: Paolo D’Alessandro

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang