Fred Vasseur says Ferrari’s recovery since early in the season is something to be proud of after continuing to build confidence with victory in the Singapore Grand Prix.

Ferrari struggled in Saudi Arabia in just the second round of the season, finish ing over half a minute off the pace in sixth and seventh, but Vasseur says the reaction to that has been impressive, with it culminating in his first win as team principal courtesy of Carlos Sainz at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Sunday.

“Honestly, it was a strange feeling for me on the pit wall, because I was not too stressed the last couple of laps,” Vasseur said. “I was much more stressed when I watch back the last couple of laps when I was out of the race than during the race, and perhaps that’s the feeling that Carlos was really under control of the situation.

“On the podium it was a bit emotional because it was the first one. But at this stage, I was more thinking about what we did from Jeddah. Jeddah was a tough weekend for us, and we had a very good recovery after Jeddah, good teamwork. I think we built up the confidence step by step and the pace. I’m more than proud for the job done by the factory and the team guys.

“For sure it’s difficult, if you compare with Zandvoort, to imagine that we would be in such good shape in Singapore. But I think it’s also linked to the fact that we had a good weekend at Monza, from lap one, FP1.

“We built up the confidence in Monza, and Singapore is also the consequence of this one. And the fact that we have Carlos so quick at the beginning of the weekend was also very helpful to us, and he did a very good job from the first lap to the last one. And with Charles, we had (good information) and it’s the best way to improve.”

While much of the race went to plan for Ferrari as it started Charles Leclerc on soft tires to help him jump George Russell off the line and be able to protect race leader Sainz, Vasseur was impressed with the way the Spaniard used Lando Norris in the closing stages without his team-mate nearby.

“It was the idea of Carlos. I don’t want to say (anything against McLaren) but he knew that he was more at risk with Mercedes than with Norris, with Norris we had the same tires and almost the same pace from lap one, and we were not really at risk with Norris except if we lost the tire. And it was a clever move from Carlos to keep Norris in the DRS.”