Reports from Italy during the winter break claimed Ferrari have found an extra 30 horsepower increase with their power unit compared to last season.
Speaking to media for the first time since replacing Mattia Binotto as Ferrari’s new team principal, Vasseur stressed the Italian outfit’s off-season development had been focused on reliability.
“The numbers, I don’t know where the numbers are coming from, but it’s just a joke,” Vasseur said.
Vasseur added that early indications suggest Ferrari have addressed the reliability problems that plagued their 2022 campaign.
“We made some steps but it is just about reliability,” he explained. “I think the performance of the engine was not an issue at all. The issue was the reliability, and the first target is to fix it.
“So far it looks OK, but the reality on the track is a different aspect.
“I think there are a couple of issues that the team suffered and it is not just true for Ferrari, but in terms of reliability it is also coming from the track operation, bouncing and vibration. Everybody will have a much better picture in Bahrain.
“I think and I hope that it’s under control today, that they did what looks to be a good job over the last couple of months.”
One of Ferrari’s other major weaknesses last season was strategy.
The Scuderia made several high-profile strategic blunders that cost Leclerc as he missed out on the world title to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Vasseur has vowed to work on improving Ferrari’s decision-making.
“I am trying to understand exactly what happened on every single mistake last year and to try to know if it is a matter of decision, of organisation, of communication,” he said.
“Very often on the pit wall the biggest issue is more the communication and the number of people involved than the individuals.
“If you put too many people discussing about the same things, when you have the outcome of the discussion the car will be on the next lap.
“You just need to have a clear flow of discussion and communication between the good people in the right position. It’s a work in progress.”