June 14, 2024 New York

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This Week In Motors - ThisWeekInMotors > Blog > Formula 1 > Vasseur says Ferrari and McLaren can ‘come back at Red Bull’ as he makes ‘gamechanger’ title race forecast

Vasseur says Ferrari and McLaren can ‘come back at Red Bull’ as he makes ‘gamechanger’ title race forecast

Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur remains optimistic about the potential for rapid changes in the championship battle due to the narrow margins between the leading teams. He believes that both Scuderia Ferrari and McLaren have the opportunity to challenge Red Bull over just a couple of weekends.

During the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Max Verstappen maintained a comfortable lead for much of the race but faced a late surge from Lando Norris. Norris closed in on Verstappen and finished only 0.725 seconds behind. Earlier in the race, Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari was chasing Norris, and although Leclerc couldn’t keep up, he still finished a few seconds behind, securing third place.

When asked if this indicated a closer title fight this year, Vasseur emphasized that it’s still early in the season, and the standings could shift dramatically given the small gaps between teams.

“First, we’ve only completed seven races out of 24, which means there are still 17 to go,” Vasseur said. “Last year at this point, we were 100 points behind Aston Martin and ended up 100 points ahead of them. The championship is far from decided after just seven races. This year, it’s even more significant because the competition is so close. We have six, maybe eight cars capable of winning a race.”

Vasseur highlighted that a single bad performance could see a team drop from first to eighth place, almost scoring no points, which could rapidly change the championship standings.

“This is especially true if any team experiences a retirement, as we saw in Australia during Round 3 when Verstappen and both Mercedes cars had DNFs,” Vasseur added. “A crash or a DNF can be a game-changer. If one team has a one-two finish and another team has a DNF, teams like McLaren or us can catch up to Red Bull.”

With 17 races still to go, Vasseur stressed the importance of focusing on each race. “Let’s concentrate on Monaco and take it one race at a time. We’ll have plenty of time to talk about the championship later.”

The next event on the calendar is the iconic Monaco Grand Prix, scheduled for May 24-26.

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