AUGUST 31, 2023

Focus on the car, not the driver lineup

Ferrari's current focus is on speeding up its Formula 1 car - not thinking about a change of drivers, according to CEO Benedetto Vigna.

Carlos Sainz, Dutch GP 2023
© Ferrari

In recent weeks, and despite Carlos Sainz's eagerness to enter talks about life beyond his 2024 contract, team boss Frederic Vasseur says the lineup for 2025 will only be discussed at the end of the season.

But that hasn't stopped a barrage of new rumours linking Lewis Hamilton with a move from Mercedes to Maranello - perhaps to replace the increasingly frustrated Charles Leclerc.

When asked about the rumours, Ferrari CEO Vigna said: "Right now we have Charles and Carlos and they are doing a fantastic job.

They are friends but they are also in competition with each other. For us, the main priority is for the car to be more competitive, he said in an interview with CNBC.

We currently have a car that is the fastest for us so far, but it is not the fastest on the track. So we have to keep improving.

Vigna was speaking ahead of Ferrari's home race at Monza, with Spaniard Sainz asked if the team's fans can expect the drivers in red to be able to take on Max Verstappen.

Everyone makes mistakes when you manage to put them under pressure, Sainz told Sky Italia.

The problem is that he doesn't have too much pressure now. Even where he could have made mistakes, he and Red Bull did a perfect job.

Red Bull's Verstappen was also asked by the Italian broadcaster if he wouldn't mind if his string of victories is ended by a Ferrari driver at the Italian GP.

No, we want to do a one-two, he smiled. It would be nice for a Ferrari to be third.

Some believe Verstappen's utter dominance has made Formula 1 boring.

Is it 'Formula Max' now? F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said.

My perspective is that if a driver is making history and becoming a legend, it only reinforces the uniqueness of our event and the spectacle.

Former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger, meanwhile, thinks there is always a chance that the Italian team could surprise this weekend at Monza.

In a situation like this, they need to work and find good people, he told Kronen Zeitung newspaper.

We also shouldn't make the mistake of saying there's no chance. Remember, Monza is very special, with hardly any wings on the car for the long straights.