Ferrari to make marginal changes to race team, says Vasseur

Motor racing-Ferrari SF23 Formula One car launch
Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur with Ferrari's pilots Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz stand next to the Motor racing-Ferrari SF23 Formula One car at the company's base in Maranello, Italy February 12, 2023. Ferrari Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

MARANELLO, Italy, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Ferrari will make marginal changes to their Formula One race team but anything more substantial can wait until after the opening rounds of the season, new boss Fred Vasseur said on Tuesday.

The Frenchman started work at Maranello only last month after being appointed as replacement to principal Mattia Binotto.

"It’s short notice before the first race but I'm using the days to know everybody in the company and go deeply in detail," Vasseur said at the launch of the team's new SF-23 car at their Fiorano track.

"It’s difficult to have a big change into the organisation, but we will do some marginal changes... on the race team operation," he added.

"And then let’s see after Bahrain and the first couple of races, what we will do."

The season-opener at the Sakhir circuit is on March 5.

Ferrari finished runners-up to Red Bull and now double world champion Max Verstappen in both 2022 championships, their challenge let down by strategy errors and poor reliability as well as mistakes by drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Vasseur has been clear that Ferrari are targeting both titles this season and finishing second again will not be good enough.

The season will have a record 23 races and sporting director Laurent Mekies said there would be more rotation of staff between the factory and racetrack to "create the best environment".

"We are rotating our teams where possible," he explained.

"Of course it doesn't apply to every team member but where we feel that a rotation is possible... we have light rotations in such a way that people can have perhaps a little less long calendar and also have a stronger connection with the factory."

Mekies said Ferrari had conducted a "very, very extensive" 360 degree review of last season, looking in detail at the strengths and weaknesses.

"We have been reviewing our processes, we have been reviewing the way we are working in order to make sure that each individual can express itself at best individually and, of course, collectively," he added.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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