Frederic Vasseur has revealed Ferrari plans to upgrade every race for the rest of the 2023 season as part of an aggressive development plan to take down the dominant Red Bull team.
Red Bull is the runaway leader in 2023, having won every race of the five races so far to take a 122-point lead over Aston Martin in the Constructors’ Championship.
In the drivers’ standings, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, meanwhile, are 14 points apart in the drivers’ standings with the latter 30 points ahead of Fernando Alonso.
Despite being the only other team to claim pole position this season, Ferrari has made a disappointing start to 2023 and is fourth – behind Mercedes – ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Like Mercedes, which is debuting a heavily revised W14 car in Monte Carlo, Ferrari have not strayed from their development path with the cancellation of the Emilia Romagna GP and have introduced new parts this weekend, including a new rear corner and rear wing.
Vasseur says this is the first step of an aggressive plan for the Scuderia, with further additions planned for next week’s Spanish GP and next month’s Canadian GP and around the time of the British and Austrian rounds in early July.
According to Autosport, he said: “We’re not supposed to bring updates to Monaco because it’s a tricky one.
“And we want to be much more focused on the set-up and riding over the weekend.
“But what we were supposed to bring in at Imola will hit the track this weekend. And next week we have another step forward in Barcelona.
“It’s not the easiest thing to update the car in Monaco, because I think it’s more important that the team is focused on the driving and the set-up.
“But if you were supposed to have something in Imola according to plan, we’d be stupid not to put it on the car. And we would have a little update in Imola, and we’ll bring it tomorrow [Friday].
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“Barcelona will definitely be an update of the car, but we don’t plan to bring a big package every five races.
“We will bring a little update every race. And I don’t want to say it’s Barcelona or nothing. After Barcelona, we have a small update in Montreal and another one in the UK/Austria.
“We plan today to bring updates every race through the end of the season.”
Vasseur insisted the development plan is not driven by Ferrari believing they retain a chance to win the 2023 title, but that the team is keen to get more performance out of each race into the next.
“I think it would be a mistake to think about the championship,” he added. “Not that I’m desperate, it’s that we’re taking [it] race for race.
“And I think it would be exactly the same if we lead the championship. I think the worst case scenario is to overreact in one case or the other.
“And we’re still pushing, still trying to bring updates, good updates on the car to try to understand where we need to improve.
“But I’m sure the others will do exactly what we did. And it doesn’t mean we’re stopping the championship or anything like that.
“The best way is to push everyone to be motivated and fully in the race and it will be a mistake to say, okay, let’s forget this one.”
Carlos Sainz led the first practice session in Monaco and seemed to confirm suspicions that Ferrari could battle for a maiden win of 2023 this weekend.
Vasseur is excited to see what can be achieved if at least one of his drivers can secure a front row start for Sunday’s race.
“From the start I think we were always able to fight for pole position,” he added. “And if you have to start from the front row, I think you can expect to win in Monaco, or at least you have a chance to do it.
“And it is certainly a good opportunity for us. Now let’s see what happens [on Friday] and Saturday for Sunday’s race. Step-by-step.
“What you can say for Monaco is that the qualitative pace is much more important than a few weeks earlier in Miami or Baku.
“It means we are fully focused on qualifying, but like everyone else, nobody prepares the race on the grid, it would also be bull****.
“We are completely focused on quali. And I think we were in pace in qualifying in Miami or Baku, and maybe the track is also a little more on the car than some of the others.
“We are hopeful for the qualifying session.”