Frederic Vasseur is confident that Ferrari’s large deficit to Red Bull in Bahrain was down to set-up choices, rather than the car’s overall concept.
Red Bull dominated the opening round of the year on Sunday, with Max Verstappen taking the victory ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez.
Although Ferrari was close to Red Bull in qualifying trim, race day saw the Milton Keynes-based squad sprint away from the competition.
Charles Leclerc was on for a podium finish before he retired with a mechanical problem, but was running over 22 seconds behind Verstappen before he ground to a halt.
Vasseur shed light on Ferrari’s woes and asserted that its pace deficit is not simply down to the design of the car.
“I’m completely convinced about this, to match the pace of Red Bull and to able to race, then it’s a matter of setup and some choices on the car,” he said.
“But it’s not a matter of concept at all. So we don’t have to go into this direction.”
Ferrari focused on improving reliability over the winter break, as it was an issue that hurt it at several races in 2022.
It endured a trouble-free pre-season test, making the breakdown in Bahrain a surprise – but Vasseur has cooled suggestions that it is a detrimental situation for Ferrari.
“It’s never good to start with a DNF and I would’ve preferred to finish for sure,” he said.
“But, I want to stay consistent in my position. I told the team before the test in Bahrain two weeks ago that the championship won’t be over in Bahrain.
“Doesn’t matter the result in any case, and it was true for the winter test, and it’s true for today, that the team experienced a different situation in the past.
“The most important thing now is to be able to have a clear picture of the situation where we are failing and to do a proper analysis on this and to conduct a stronger response.”