Fred Vasseur has conceded to Ferrari being “exposed in some departments” which has resulted in a fervent recruitment process since his arrival just seven months ago.
Slowly but surely, Vasseur appears to be putting the blocks in place to rebuild the Scuderia despite its second-place finishes in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships last season.
That campaign, however, exposed flaws inside the organisation which resulted in the departure of former team principal Mattia Binotto.
Vasseur has inherited the legacy of Binotto’s regime, leading to a mixed campaign to date, with the occasional good result offset by poor performances and a current fourth place in the constructors’ standings, 56 points behind second-placed Mercedes.
The Frenchman is adamant there is not something inherently missing within the team as to why it is lagging so far behind this season, and instead, it is a matter of sourcing the right people to make the strides that are required.
“I’m not sure that we have to change something,” said Vasseur, speaking to invited media, including Speedcafe, to preview this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix. “We have to improve everywhere, in every single area, in every single department.
“We need to recruit because we are perhaps a bit more exposed in some departments, and we are doing it, reinforcing the team in some areas. The processes are ongoing.
“I don’t want to say, and I’m really convinced that it’s not the case, that something is missing.
“The team spirit is there, the passion is there, the budget we are okay, the facilities we are okay, although we always have to improve facilities.
“If you think you are at the level then you are dead. It means that every single week, you have to improve everywhere on every single topic, and this is the mindset.
“It’s where I want to push the team, to never be happy with what you have, to always try to get something better, and to try to improve. If you start to say ‘I am okay’, you are dead.”
The issue for Vasseur is that trying to recruit the people he wants ” is a very long process”, with key staff, in particular, tied into contracts with lengthy periods of gardening leave.
Vasseur has confirmed new staff will be arriving “in a couple of months”, but also “we have people starting in the company on the first of January ’24, some July ’24, some the beginning of ’25.
“It’s a bit frustrating because you have the feeling you are working for two or three years from today. On the other side, if you don’t start to do it, you will never get it. That means that we have to push on.
“We have made a good step forward. We have had good recruitment.
“We just need to be efficient, to choose the right people, to take time to understand where we are weak, where we have to improve, and to take the good ones with a good project.”
Vasseur is loathe to mention any names at present for fear of jeopardising potential deals, and out of respect for the rival teams involved.