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Formula 1 Hungarian GP

Vasseur: Ferrari “made too many mistakes” in F1 Hungarian GP

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur admits the Maranello Formula 1 outfit “made too many mistakes” across a difficult Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc finished only seventh after his race was compromised by a wheel gun issue in a pitstop and a five-second penalty for pitlane speeding, while his team-mate Carlos Sainz could only recover to eighth after a disappointing qualifying session saw him start 11th.

The result followed another tough race at Silverstone where Ferrari finished ninth and 10th as McLaren’s improved form and a resurgent Mercedes pushed the Italian squad down the order.

“It's not the results that we were expecting coming to Budapest, but I think it was largely compromised yesterday after the quali with a P6 and P11,” said Vasseur when asked by Motorsport.com about the team’s Hungarian race.

“We had to take some risks at the start, starting [Sainz] with soft, it was a good choice, but we know also that after the start that we had to fit two set of hards, and it was quite tough.

“And on Charles' side I think the race was probably much better because the pace was there, but it was largely compromised with the penalty and then an issue with the wheel gun.

“We lost another eight seconds on the pitstop I think, plus then the traffic. It would have been probably P5.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Vasseur admitted that aside from the specific errors in the race the team hadn’t optimised its weekend around the alternative tyre allocation, which provided all teams with a new challenge.

“First, we need time to understand what we did right and wrong, because the format was different,” he said. “It's not so easy to analyse the perfect weekend, and you need to get all the results to be able to do retro engineering on this.

“But I think on our side, it's much more the fact that we made too many mistakes from the beginning to the end, but it's not just about the pitstop or the pit entry or the quali yesterday or the management of the tyres and so on.

“At the end the potential was probably better than what we showed yesterday and then today at least with Charles we lost 20 seconds in the race."

Asked what he could do to address the mistakes, he said: "I spent the last 35 years of my life on the pitwall and every single Monday of my career you have to do the list, and you have a long list of mistakes.

“Sometimes you can see it, sometimes not, but the job of the team principal is to do the list with team members and to fix it.

“I'm very open with you to say that we are going to make mistakes. But I think it's true if you ask the question to Toto [Wolff]."

Assessing his fist half season in charge of Ferrari, Vasseur stressed that qualifying performance is one of the key issues that the team has to address.

“It's not the results expected, for sure we were expecting much better,” he said. “But it is what it is, and we have to work.

“The feeling is that in quali it's very, very close behind Max, and level with Max sometimes. We have to improve but we are not that far away.

“On the race pace Red Bull is miles away from everybody. We know also that the quali results is crucial to be in the clean air.

“Every single car is very affected with the dirty air. As soon as you are starting P2 you are in a much better shape.”

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