Vasseur not worried ’at all’ about Leclerc slump

"The season is long"


7 April 2024 - 06:54
Vasseur not worried 'at all'

Frederic Vasseur insists he’s not worried "at all" about Charles Leclerc’s currently flagging form.

Earlier at Suzuka, Formula 1 journalist Marijn Abbenhuijs asked the 26-year-old driver if he is worried that his currently unemployed-in-2025 teammate Carlos Sainz is shining brighter in this year’s Ferrari so far.

Specifically, the Algemeen Dagblad reporter wondered if the pressure of being chosen as Lewis Hamilton’s 2025 teammate over Sainz has piled on too much pressure.

"No, that’s not the case," Leclerc insisted. Abbenhuijs even pointed out that Leclerc lost his temper with a malfunctioning microphone during his interview, grumbling "I’ll stop, this makes no sense" before being urged by his press officer to persevere.

"In short," the journalist noted, "high tension is radiating from Leclerc, while Sainz coolly continues to perform better."

Sainz is even being linked with the plum Red Bull seat alongside Max Verstappen for 2025, having once again out-performed Leclerc at Suzuka.

"Sainz is in incredible shape," said Red Bull consultant Dr Helmut Marko. "We heard Leclerc say on the radio that he doesn’t even know where that gap comes from."

Even Leclerc, who was earlier quoted by Corriere dello Sport as admitting he needs to "wake up", confesses that he’s at a loss as to what went wrong.

"It felt like a good lap to me," he said on Saturday. "Then you look at the classification and suddenly you’re far behind and it’s a disaster. I’m still looking for an explanation.

"I didn’t make any mistakes or slip-ups, I was just slow," Leclerc admitted.

As for Vasseur, he has paired Leclerc with Lewis Hamilton for 2025 and beyond - who will be 40 when he pulls on red overalls next year, following three seasons of struggling to stay on terms with George Russell at Mercedes.

"I’m not worried about it at all," Ferrari team boss Vasseur told Sky Italia at Suzuka.

"Charles finished second in Australia, which I think is something 18 other drivers on the grid would like to have done.

"Today he lost only one tenth to Carlos and he knows very well where he needs to improve. We are talking about only one lap - one segment. The season is long. I’m not worried about it at all," the Frenchman repeated.



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