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Ferrari’s Frédéric Vasseur: Australia result “does not reflect the progress we have made”

Scuderia Ferrari left the Australian Grand Prix empty-handed, adding zero points to the tally after a tough race for the team. Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur said that, due to the unfortunate circumstances the team faced, their result at Albert Park Circuit was by no means representative. 

“Today’s result, not scoring points, does not reflect the progress we have made as a team. We have taken a step forward in terms of pure performance and even more importantly, we had a decent and consistent race pace on the various tyre compounds, including the Hard. Only yesterday’s qualifying did not match our potential.”

The race began with Charles Leclerc spinning off into the gravel on the race start after contact with Lance Stroll, causing his retirement. In the final stages, Carlos Sainz was handed a penalty for his incident with Fernando Alonso on the second restart, putting him out of the points.

Vasseur said that Leclerc’s collision was a case of bad luck, with him getting tangled with the Aston Martin while battling for position through turn three. 

“Our initial reaction is one of frustration, with Charles clearly unlucky to be involved in a racing incident at the start.”

Sainz’s race was looking to be off to a strong start with the decision to take a cheap pit stop under safety car conditions, though the following red flag saw him lose out– he was down to eleventh for the restart after starting the race fifth. 

Vasseur said that this setback didn’t hinder Sainz extensively, with the Spanish driver working his way back up the field with solid pace. 

“It was a good call to bring Carlos in under the first Safety Car, but following the red flag, he had to start again from P11, from which he recovered very well.”

The collision with Alonso led to Sainz receiving a five-second time penalty which, due to the neutral conditions of the race’s final lap, saw him drop down to twelfth. Finishing last of the classified drivers after an incredibly hectic race, Sainz was unable to recover points for the team. 

Vasseur said that, in spite of all the chaos of Australia, the team will return to their base with confidence in their package and their plans for further development of SF-23. 

“The penalty had a devastating effect on the final result for him but despite this, we go back to Maranello knowing that we are moving in the right direction and we now have three weeks to keep working on optimising and updating the SF-23 for the coming races.”

Credit: Ferrari Media

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