Vasseur warns Ferrari not to ‘get carried away’ after sensational Australia 1-2

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Ferrari Team Principal Frederic Vasseur celebrates with his team

Ferrari recorded their first 1-2 in Australia since Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barichello achieved the feat all the way back in 2004, but despite picking up a maximum score that included the bonus point for fastest lap, team boss Fred Vasseur was keen to keep his feet firmly on the ground.

Carlos Sainz broke Max Verstappen’s win streak by grabbing victory in Melbourne from second on the grid just two weeks on from surgery, while Charles Leclerc had to work slightly harder to fight past Lando Norris and take second, with the Monegasque driver also picking up the fastest lap accolade.

READ MORE: Verstappen explains 'really weird' cause of early retirement from Australian Grand Prix

While on paper it was a very strong result for Ferrari, there was the caveat that with Verstappen retiring on the third lap, the Scuderia didn’t beat the dominant Dutchman in a wheel to wheel battle – although such had been their form all weekend long, many believed they had the pace to take the fight to Verstappen regardless.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Carlos Sainz of Ferrari  is congratulated by his race engineer

The whole Ferrari squad were keen to join in the celebrations in Melbourne

“I’m not focused at all on the performance of Red Bull, I’m focused on the performance of our car. We made a step forward,” Vasseur said post-race when the champagne had been sprayed and his drivers sent off for a well-deserved rest.

“Confidence is a huge part of the results of this business and I think we are building up the confidence over the last month, and it was already the case in the last part of the season last year.

READ MORE: ‘Life is crazy sometimes’ – Sainz overjoyed after ‘rollercoaster’ ride from hospital bed to Australian GP victory

"It is already the case this weekend that when we are putting everything together – and I don’t think we’ll be able to do it every week – that when we are, we can put them under pressure and when they are under pressure they can make mistakes so we need to continue in this direction.”

Vasseur was quick to praise Sainz, the Spaniard having completed a remarkable recovery from the surgery that side lined him in Jeddah. Sainz was quick from the off in Melbourne despite admitting he tried to take it easy on Friday, out-qualifying his team mate and then passing Verstappen for the lead in the early stages of the Grand Prix. He recorded his third victory for the Scuderia, and the first where he didn’t start from pole.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Race winner Carlos Sainz of Spain and Ferrari celebrates with his

Sainz put a stop to Verstappen's winning streak once again

“Carlos deserves a special mention because a little over two weeks ago he was undergoing surgery. Now it’s as if that never happened and he managed to stay focussed throughout, to round off a sensational weekend,” Vasseur said.

“We have been quick all weekend right from the first free practice and I think we have made a good step forward compared to where we were one year ago, when we left Melbourne having failed to score points.

"We were not disappointed with our results in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, nor are we getting carried away because of this one-two finish. We must continue with this approach in the coming races because that’s the only way we are going to get the results we want.”

READ MORE: Perez admits Ferrari’s ‘very strong’ pace in Australia took him by surprise as he eyes Red Bull fightback at Suzuka

Ferrari are just four points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ championship now, with Leclerc also leapfrogging Sergio Perez to sit second in the drivers’ championship.

But if Singapore last year is anything to go by, Red Bull tend to bounce back strongly from disappointment. Vasseur will be wary heading into Suzuka, but with his team showing huge signs of progress – especially with their tyre management – there is plenty of cause for optimism at Maranello.



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