Ferrari boss questions McLaren's claims of gaining a second with the upgrades this season
Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur has countered McLaren team principal Andrea Stella's comments on gaining a one-second advantage in the 2023 F1 season to be the second-fastest team in the sport.
There is no doubt that McLaren has improved quite a lot since the beginning of 2023, especially considering how horrendous they were at the start.
Speaking on F1 Nation before the Japanese GP, Stella gave his opinion that a team needs to shave at least one second worth of lap times through upgrades to become the second-best team or at least compete for it.
“I think realistically, to be the second-best team [at Suzuka], you needed to be one second quicker than when we were in Bahrain, so pretty much, I think the math is correct. The performance is a consequence of having been able to develop the car,” he said.
On the other hand, Vasseur claimed that McLaren was feeling this way simply because the team was so far behind at the start of the season.
The Ferrari team boss told Autosport:
“I’m not sure if we have exactly the same reading of the season. I think that they had a big issue at the beginning, and then they recovered pretty quickly because, even in Barcelona, they were on the second row.”
Vasseur further stated that there are other factors that play a major role in becoming the second-best team, like the drivability and pushing the drivers to perform better.
The Ferrari team principal also stated that McLaren and other teams are still miles behind Red Bull.
“And this kind of track [Suzuka] is probably suited more with their car than us. But for sure it’s not just a matter of pure potential, it’s a matter of driveability also. Each time you will do a step forward you will also help the driver to do a step forward, and this can be a kind of snowball effect. Still, a small step compared to Red Bull!” Vasseur added.
Red Bull boss congratulates Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz for beating his team at the Singapore GP
A few weeks ago in Singapore, Red Bull's long reign of dominance came to an end as Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz clinched the top spot.
Max Verstappen lost his race-winning streak as well, ending at 10 races in a row. Although Red Bull team boss Christian Horner would have been disappointed with losing the winning streak, he congratulated Sainz for his brilliant drive.
“Congratulations, it was an impressive performance. And if anyone had to beat us, I'm glad it was you,” Horner said as per as.com.
Carlos Sainz and Christian Horner have a history with each other as the Spanish driver used to race for AlphaTauri (formerly Toro Rosso) when he was young.