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Ferrari's Frederic Vasseur unfazed by F1 rivals in championship buzz

Ferrari's Frederic Vasseur has asserted that he was indifferent to the actions of Ferrari's competitors despite talk of a championship battle with Red Bull and McLaren.

Vasseur emphasized his commitment to Ferrari's progress, stating that it was too early in the season to focus on the performance of rival teams. Recently, discussions about a potential title fight have intensified after Ferrari and McLaren introduced significant updates at Imola and Miami. McLaren's upgrades propelled them to victory in Florida, while Ferrari clinched a win at the latest round in Monaco.

Red Bull, led by Max Verstappen, narrowly edged out McLaren to secure victory at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Despite this, Vasseur dismissed the hype around a three-way championship fight, even though Ferrari trailed Red Bull by only 24 points in the constructors' standings.

"I'm not talking about that," Vasseur told reporters after the Monaco Grand Prix when asked about the potential rivalry with Red Bull. "We are fighting with McLaren and Red Bull for first. I'm only focused on myself. I don't care about the others.

"The target is to do a good job to improve the car, to do a good job with the drivers. Then we are fighting with the guys who are with us on the grid. I'm not focused at all on someone because we have still 17 [16] races to go."

The updates Ferrari introduced at Imola initially seemed promising, especially given Red Bull's struggles. However, Ferrari's performance dipped during qualifying as Red Bull found their rhythm. In the race, Charles Leclerc managed a third-place finish, and Carlos Sainz took fifth, with Leclerc's podium aided by McLaren driver Oscar Piastri's demotion from second to fifth on the grid.

In the following race, both McLaren and Ferrari finished in alternating positions, with no recovery for Red Bull, Verstappen ended in sixth.

Vasseur noted the closeness of the leading teams in Monaco, downplaying any focus on the reigning champions.

"McLaren is a contender, but for sure, today, we were one-three, they do two-four, we had exactly the same pace," Vasseur said. "I think yesterday [in qualifying] it was a matter of one-tenth of a second. And they were in front of us last week in Imola, and it will be like this until the end [of the season]. I was not thinking about Red Bull, and I'm not doing a fixation on Red Bull at all."

The F1 calendar has now progressed, the next challenge is set to be the Canadian Grand Prix, scheduled for the weekend of June 7-9. The race, set for 70 laps around the 4.361-kilometer Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, promised another thrilling chapter in the unfolding season.

Vasseur's focus has remained unwavering on Ferrari's internal improvements, setting the stage for an exciting continuation in the 2024 F1 championship race.

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