“We learnt plenty during Monza especially about our weaknesses,” the Monegasque driver said.
“After Monza we understood more things which are good for this year even though it will be a small step in the right direction but mostly for designing next year’s car which is positive.
“First of all the 2024 project is very different to the car we have this year. And with everything we’ve learnt so far it reaffirms that it’s a good choice what we’ve gone for next year.
“The more we learn, the better it is for doing the last few details for next year’s car. It’s super important and it was really good to understand that before the end of the season as we still have quite a few races so we can maybe push a bit more in that direction.
“There were things we tested in Monza to make sure that it was really the case, and it was. So Zandvoort and Monza we learnt a lot and that is good for this year even though I don’t think it will turn our season around, for sure not.
“It’s a good step forwards and for next year this is a really good step forwards. It will be easy to say that we’ve understood everything now.
“We understood good things in the last few races, whether this is all or not it’s difficult to say until we’ve actually achieved our development programme and confirmed it was that.
“So I’m not confident this is everything we had to find to close the gap to Red Bull but it’s a step in the right direction for sure.”
With Ferrari set to follow a new philosophy next season, Team Principal Frederic Vasseur is confident that the team will not suffer in a similar manner to Mercedes in its pursuit of the ‘zeropod’ concept.
Mercedes opted to stick with design following a strong finish to the 2022 season, which included a maiden victory for George Russell in Brazil – Mercedes’ only win of the season.
However, the project was abandoned by the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix after a lack of performance in the early stages of the season.
“For sure this will help for the future – it’s a better understanding of the car, better understanding of the set-up of the car,” Vassuer said, optimistic that the SF23’s development will translate into next year’s project.
“I would say mainly it is a step forwards in terms of confidence for everybody and this is the best way to prepare the future.
“I think we have to stay calm. We know that when we had a tough [run of results] to not draw conclusions that everything is going badly and that we have to change everything and it’s not that after two weekends that we are world champion.
“We have to stay calm, we need to keep the same approach, to try and develop step by step. But there is nothing magic in this business and you won’t find a bullet for four or five tenths – if you want to do a step you have to do tonnes of small steps and it is what I think I have appreciated into the direction of the team after a tough weekend.
“And also into the confidence, because I think it was probably in Zandvoort that we unlocked something on the understanding of the set-up and we build up the pace of Monza, part of this in Zandvoort, and probably a large part of the pace this weekend.”