As we said on last night’s podcast, the team boss silly season continues this December with Ferrari announcing that Frederic Vasseur will replace Mattia Binotto at Ferrari.
Ferrari press release:
Maranello (Italy), December 13, 2022 – Ferrari N.V. (NYSE/EXM: RACE) (“Ferrari” or the “Company”) today announced that Fred Vasseur will join Scuderia Ferrari on 9 January as Team Principal and General Manager.
Vasseur has over 25 years of winning motor racing experience, commencing in the junior formulas and over the last decade in Formula 1. During this time, he has also been widely acknowledged for his success in fostering leading driver talent, claiming the GP2 series in both 2005 (Nico Rosberg) and 2006 (Lewis Hamilton).
Vasseur has most recently held the position of CEO and Team Principal of Sauber Motorsport (currently Alfa Romeo F1 Team) since 2017. Prior to this he was the Team Principal of Renault F1 Team in 2016.
Commenting on the appointment, Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna said: “We are delighted to welcome Fred Vasseur to Ferrari as our Team Principal. Throughout his career he has successfully combined his technical strengths as a trained engineer with a consistent ability to bring out the best in his drivers and teams. This approach and his leadership are what we need to push Ferrari forward with renewed energy.”
Fred Vasseur commented: “I am truly delighted and honoured to take over the leadership of Scuderia Ferrari as Team Principal. As someone who has always held a lifelong passion for motorsport, Ferrari has always represented the very pinnacle of the racing world to me. I look forward to working with the talented and truly passionate team in Maranello to honour the history and heritage of the Scuderia and deliver for our Tifosi around the world”.
Now, I’m a fan of Fred’s and I felt that perhaps Renault let go of the wrong person when they parted company with him several years ago but I’m curious about this fit at Ferrari.
IF you think about it, Mattia knows Ferrari inside out and maybe that’s not a positive in the minds of Ferrari leadership. Perhaps Fred’s outsider position makes him attractive as a replacement.
There was a time in Ferrari’s history when they hired another Frenchman named Jean Todt and that turned out pretty well. Also, I think Fred’s appointment there would seem to suggest the weight that Charles Leclerc has at the team is significant.
At first blush, I am not 100 percent convinced that Fred is they guy to take Ferrari back to the top but I could be completely wrong about that. I mean to be fair, I thought he was the guy for Renault so what changes?
Ferrari is a different beast and the pressure is massive and expectations, now, will be huge. Fred has proven he can run a tidy team but Ferrari is far from a tidy team. It’s a machine and Fred’s good standing with Leclerc is helpful but he has a lot of work to do at Ferrari and time will tell if he has the chops to go from tidy team boss to world champion team boss.