Vasseur pinpoints qualifying as main weakness of SF-24

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Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur pinpointed the qualifying pace as the main weakness of the Scuderia's 2024 F1 car, and urged his team to find the rights setup for the all-important Saturday session for the Monaco Grand Prix where starting position is usually decisive for the race result.

Since the introduction of the ground effect cars in 2022, Ferrari's F1 cars have excelled in qualifying trim, but lost relative performance to its main rivals on Sunday. It was associated with the poor tyre management of Ferrari's 2022 and 2023 F1 car which became such an issue last year that the Scuderia deliberately steered its design path over the winter in a way that its new car could look after the tyre better than its predecessors.

The opening races have clearly shown that the SF-24 can cope with the heavy fuel load much better in race trim, displaying an encouraging tyre management. However, in turn, the team has slightly lost its form in qualifying conditions which saw Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz struggle for one-lap pace on several race weekends.

With the sport heading to Monaco this weekend, every team is well aware of the importance of qualifying which often decides over the race outcome given the difficulty of overtaking on the narrow streets of the Principality. As a good track position is everything in Monaco, teams usually opt for a one-stop strategy, in order to maintain it.

Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur commented: "It’s generally accepted that, with the current generation of cars, overtaking is harder here than at any other track on the calendar, which means qualifying takes on even greater importance than usual. We will therefore be looking to make a step forward in this discipline, as so far this season we have lacked what it takes to be quickest of all.

"With this in mind, we have been working hard in the simulator and during engineering meetings, preparing everything down to the smallest detail and we fully intend to be front-runners."

The Monaco Grand Prix is Charles Leclerc’s home race, but he has had contrasting fortunes so far on home turf. The Monegasque has twice taken pole position on this, the shortest track on the calendar at 3.337 kilometres in length, but so far he has not fared so well on the Sunday.

"A few days ago, it was our home race in Imola and this weekend, Charles will be on home turf in Monaco, a race that is unfinished business for him and we’d like to help him put it to bed. Carlos also loves racing in the Principality, where he took his first podium at the wheel of a Ferrari, so they are both very motivated," concluded Vasseur.