Ferrari needs to make small steps “in every single area” if it is to eventually overhaul Red Bull Racing in Formula 1, according to team boss Frederic Vasseur.
Red Bull has dominated the season so far, winning all 12 grands prix, and could clinch this year’s Constructors’ title as soon as next month’s Singapore round.
Ferrari holds fourth in this year’s standings with three podium finishes, with two of them coming in the last four races, having started the campaign on the back foot.
“I’m not sure they have one area in which they are so much better than everyone else,” said Vasseur ahead of this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix.
“We’ve already had this discussion, it’s not a joke, so it’s not a matter of concept or anything like this, I think they’re performing in every single pillar of the performance: drivers, chassis, engine, aerodynamics, suspension, strategy, and that’s why we have to improve.
“I think it would be a mistake to think, ‘okay, they are much better than us in this area, let’s go for a full push on this one.’
“We have to try and get the best out of what we have in every single area, and to do small steps everywhere. We’re talking about 0.2s and it’s not 0.2s in aero, I think it’s more one hundred times 0,002s or 10 times 0,02s.”
Vasseur outlined that new faces are due to arrive at Ferrari and, while conceding contract lengths inhibiting earlier start dates are frustrating, it does not mean the squad’s title ambitions need readjusting.
“We have some people that will be joining us in a couple of months, some other people will be starting at Ferrari on January 1st next year, others on July 1st next year and some will start at the beginning of 2025,” he said.
“It’s a very long-term process and somehow it’s a little bit frustrating because you have the feeling that the results of your work will only be there in two or three years from today.
“But, on the other hand, if you don’t start this process you’ll never get to the end of it.
“I’ll never accept that we have to wait for these guys to get an improvement because I also trust the guys we have in the team.
“We need to improve but we can also do a better job with what we have today, so we have to be focused on trying to get the best out of what we have: that’s the next challenge and I’m sure we have a lot of room for improvement, with the current situation.
“I don’t want to postpone any target, because that would be the wrong message, the wrong motivation and, at the end, it’s a never-ending process because it’s not because we have three, five or 10 people in the next 18 months that we’ll completely change the philosophy and the potential of the team.”