What F1 team principals tell you as Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso can still challenge Max Verstappen

Red Bull have laid down the gauntlet for the 2024 season with their dominant win at the Bahrain GP. Max Verstappen cruised to victory with a 22-second lead over teammate Sergio Perez and it was a 1-2 finish for the defending champions. Since it was the perfect start Verstappen and Perez could have hoped for, many speculate whether Red Bull could do a clean sweep in 2024. So, does that mean nobody else like Charles Leclerc or Fernando Alonso has a chance to win this year? Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur doesn’t seem to agree with that notion just yet.


While many are writing off the season due to the dull nature of the Bahrain season opener, Vasseur feels Red Bull won’t run away with the championship this year. According to RacingNews365, Vasseur said, “We have 24 races.” 

The Frenchman highlighted that towards the end of 2023, Ferrari got five poles from 7 races, which indicates the closing of the gap to Red Bull Racing. On top of this, he added how there is “room for development” to catch up further for the Italian team.


After being competitive during qualifying in Bahrain, the SF-24 showed improved tire degradation and a better race pace. Still, given the Sakhir track is an outlier for high tire degradation, Vasseur believes that they’ll “have other occasions to start from pole and also occasions to win races.”

The Ferrari boss, therefore, believes that Red Bull may not be the dominant force as they were in 2023. Ferrari have development plans to develop the SF-24 and, till now, the car has performed well, barring Leclerc’s braking issues in Bahrain. So, Vasseur highlighted that they will “continue to push” to get closer to Red Bull.

Aston Martin boss also dampens chances of a complete Max Verstappen clean sweep

Just like Frederic Vasseur, Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack is also singing the same tune of a long season and developments in the pipeline. However, it is pertinent to note that Krack is making such remarks even though the Silverstone-based outfit had a disastrous season opener in Bahrain this past weekend.

Fernando Alonso qualified P6 in Bahrain but the AMR24 fell off in the race for the Spaniard. As a result, he could only finish P9 and score two points for the team. Despite the same, Krack is confident they can perform much better as the 2024 season moves along.

According to Motorsport.com, Krack said, “When you have race one, the development is not at race one level, it’s further ahead. And we see some encouraging development there. So that makes me confident.”


While Krack is not certain about Aston Martin closing the gap to Red Bull, he is optimistic about the level of competition being much better than the season opener. Krack referred to how teams like McLaren made recoveries via in-season development in 2023.

Is this wishful thinking from Krack and Vasseur to give their drivers Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso some hope? Or can Ferrari or Aston Martin actually level up to match the impeccable dominance of Verstappen and Red Bull? Only time will tell, as 23 races still remain, and a lot can happen throughout such a long season.

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