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Vasseur stands by decision amid Ferrari's rising tensions

Vasseur stands by decision amid Ferrari's rising tensions
© Reuters
The atmosphere is intensifying within the scarlet confines of Ferrari's cockpits.

The atmosphere is intensifying within the scarlet confines of Ferrari's cockpits.

Up to this point, team leader Frederic Vasseur has consistently avoided detailed discussions about the year 2025, when Lewis Hamilton will replace Carlos Sainz as Charles Leclerc's teammate.

Currently, Sainz is performing exceptionally well and is on the lookout for a new team for the upcoming seasons. Even Leclerc has acknowledged that "it's as simple as he's doing a better job."

Some are of the opinion that Vasseur may have reasons to regret his decision to prefer Hamilton and Leclerc over Sainz.

"Regrets, that's not the word," he expressed in an interview with Ouest France newspaper from Shanghai. "I have enormous respect and admiration for Carlos."

"I spent ten years trying to work with him, and I will have had him for two seasons with some exceptional times. He took me to my first podium in F1!" Vasseur declared.

"He creates a positive dynamic in the team, but we have choices to make in life and I think that a team today cannot not try to have Lewis."

However, the 'positive dynamic' between Sainz and Leclerc reached a critical point during the Shanghai sprint race on Saturday, when their Ferraris clashed as they battled wheel-to-wheel.

"He fights me more than the others," Leclerc communicated over the team radio.

After the race, Leclerc spoke to the media, stating, "It was a little too aggressive. I think Carlos went a little over the line today."

"We need to discuss this, as we always do, but Carlos and I have a great relationship. I don't have any worries about that," he assured.

Sainz later issued a public apology.

The remainder of the season may also prove challenging for the Ferrari drivers clad in red, even though Vasseur is confident that his decision was the right one for the team.

"In our sport, there is also the motivation of 1500 people, and also recruitment, the building of a team, of a project," the Frenchman noted.

"Lewis is unique and we also need this form of stability and reference that you don't necessarily have when you have two young people," Vasseur continued, "regardless of the talent of the drivers and the friendship that I have for them."

"With Lewis, we will have that - he's the absolute reference at this level. He is also someone who knows how to balance his life wonderfully well between racing and outside of it, and that too will help Charles in his progress."

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Max Verstappen during Chinese Grand Prix sprint race qualifying on April 19, 2024.
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