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F1 News: Ferrari want to challenge Red Bull “every weekend”

Although McLaren grabbed most of the F1 news headlines last weekend, Ferrari has reason to be optimistic.

Ferrari is a team that traditionally receives heavy scrutiny for its operational shortcomings. Poor pit stops and questionable strategy calls have characterised the team in previous years. However, under the leadership of Fred Vasseur, this narrative is changing. The Italian team is performing at a very high level, optimising the impressive SF-24 package. With upgrades, the Ferrari team principal is confident that Red Bull is within striking range.

It would be a mistake to overstate Red Bull’s predicament. They are still first in the Championship, and, at least for now, the RB20 is the fastest car on the grid. The Austrian suad will also bring some updates to Imola as the factory in Milton Keynes responds to rivals’ advances.

Still, Ferrari and McLaren are in far stronger positions than at any time in the last eighteen months. After being lapped at Miami last year, McLaren has continued last year’s mid-season trajectory with another set of upgrades. The innovations brought to Miami unlocked approximately four-tenths per lap. This was enough to defeat Max Verstappen, albeit with some luck, in Florida last weekend.

Ferrari, meanwhile, will perhaps be more encouraged than McLaren by last weekend. Of course, it was not Charles Leclerc or Carlos Sainz who claimed victory. However, considering the SF-24 had no upgrades fitted, its competitiveness was very high.

After a concerning weekend in Shanghai, Ferrari returned to their usual performance in Miami.

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Ferrari confident they can bring the fight to Red Bull

Speaking to the media post-race, team principal Fred Vasseur discussed his ambitions to put pressure on Red Bull:

“They are not anymore in the comfort zone of last year, when that doesn’t matter what’s happened after lap two,” SB Nation quotes Vasseur as saying.

“I think, a game change in the management in the race.

“It’s an opportunity for us, because if we are doing another small step, I think that we will be really in a position to fight with them every single weekend.”

Since the beginning of the year, Ferrari has worked to force Red Bull into mistakes. Thanks to the SF-24 being relatively close to the RB20, the reigning Champions do not have the same buffer they enjoyed last season.

The objective at the Imola GP will be to take things one step further. If the upgrades from Maranello are even comparable to those brought by McLaren, more race victories will be on the cards for Ferrari.

Moreover, successful updates would confirm that Scuderia is on the correct development path. F1 news headlines surrounding the team’s mid-season development could be telling a very different story this year. For the remainder of 2024 (and even 2025), these updates bode well for a competitive F1 grid.


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