The information was first reported by Sky Italia earlier today, but it has now also been confirmed by reputed Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport: starting from January 2023, Frederic Vasseur will be the Ferrari team principal, replacing Mattia Binotto.
Fred Vasseur, 54, is a French engineer, which had already been approached last summer by the Ferrari president John Elkann because the top management of Maranello were evaluating an alternative to Mattia Binotto, a prospect which at that time had not materialised. Among the figures evaluated by the John Elkann there was also Fred Vasseur, thanks to the relationship with the top management of the Stellantis group built up in these years of leading Sauber, branded Alfa Romeo.
Frederic Vasseur represents a managerial turning point, given his curriculum as a true racing man, with a past of management of many teams in the minor leagues, unlike the more technical origins of Mattia Binotto, former chief of engineers and Ferrari technical director, before becoming a team principal.
Mattia Binotto pays the price for a four-year period 2019-2022 during he was not able to fight for the title, not even this season, a bit like what happened with the management of Maurizio Arrivabene. It’s true, the Prancing Horse’s team principal deserves credit for having brought the team back to success this year after two difficult seasons, with the hope that Ferrari can open a cycle with the new technical regulation introduced in 2022.
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But, for one reason or another another, the team has always lost its way from mid-season onwards, and this 2022 was no exception: after a great start, competitiveness was lacking in the second part of the season and Red Bull won the drivers and constructors’ titles by a wide margin. Furthermore, there have been strategic errors and confusion in the garage on many occasions: a sign that there is still a lot to sort out within the team.
Under Mattia Binotto’s management there was also the controversy of the power unit affair in 2019, which ended with a secret agreement between Ferrari and the FIA that left many shadows and technical repercussions in the following two years. It is hard to believe that these aftermaths have not been taken into consideration when making the decision to change at the top of the team.
Also one other factor which should not be excluded (even if for decisions of this importance and level, the opinion of the drivers counts for little), the discontent of Charles Leclerc, which showed itself well in Brazil last race weekend. In the summer there had already been a face-to-face meeting between the Monegasque and Mattia Binotto for the management of the Silverstone race, which followed after a clarifying dinner in Monte Carlo. But that the relationship had become a bit conflicted was no mystery. And in this scenario, it is not entirely irrelevant to remember that Charles Leclerc made his F1 debut at Sauber, under the management of Vasseur.
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