The 2023 Formula 1 world championship is fast approaching. With just over a month to go before the pre-season testing session in Bahrain, the various teams are busy assembling and defining their respective single-seaters. The first season of the new regulation era, marked by the return of ground effect cars, allowed Ferrari to return to a level of competitiveness sufficient to take four race victories in 2022.
The expectations placed in the past season can be summarized by the change at the top of the Ferrari Racing Division, with Mattia Binotto being replaced by Fred Vasseur, which marked the end of the very long militancy of the Italian manager in Maranello.
The revolution imposed by the regulation changes in 2022 was supposed to be an unrepeatable opportunity to compete for the world championships at least until the final stages of the championship. The brilliant start to the previous F1 campaign fueled the ambitions of the historic Maranello team. However, the course of the championship has brought to light clear shortcomings which are however caused by problems within the team.
The change at the between Mattia Binotto and Fres Vasseur could only be painless if Ferrari is able to capitalize on its mistakes and learn from them. From a technical point of view, project F1 675 will be the latest car designed by the working group created by the Italian-Swiss manager. In this sense, the French manager will have to make use of his managerial skills to manage a transition phase which will inevitably change the organizational structure of the Ferrari Racing Department.
Formula 1 is a multifaceted discipline. From the point of view of the drivers it is undoubtedly an individual sport. Although their collaboration is an essential element in the progression of the team, in the minds of Charles and Carlos the primary objective always remains the same: to beat their teammate.
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In 2022, Mattia Binotto’s management of the drivers was too devoted to equal opportunities, especially in the obvious phases where Charles Leclerc was clearly more comfortable with the F1-75 than Carlos Sainz. Such an approach is usually reserved only for those who have the dominant single-seater, a scenario adopted for example by Mercedes during the first years of the hybrid turbo era.
Although the F1-75 was an excellent car, the advantage over the competition could not allow for an internal duel between the two Maranello drivers. For teams, Formula 1 is increasingly a team sport, thanks to the greater importance given to the constructors’ title compared to previous decades. It is therefore undeniable that the success of a team is largely due to the talent of the drivers, managers and engineers.
The Prancing Horse would never have experienced its golden age without the talent of Michael Schumacher at the wheel, the workaholicism of Jean Todt in the control room, the brilliant vision of Ross Brawn alongside the technical skills of Rory Byrne. In essence, the working group must be the correct discipline that acts as a glue between the areas of the team and, at the same time, each of them must excel to ensure success.
The challenge taken up by Frederic Vasseur is titanic. Expectations are clearly higher than last season, a scenario that includes only one result: to win again. The glories of the Jean Todt era are now faded memories and the Italian team bears a pressure directly proportional to the 15 years of waiting for a new F1 world championship.
A result equal to or lower than the one achieved last year would clearly be a failure. The French manager is aware of this and in a recent interview he tried to lower the expectations placed on his work: “The weight of teamwork is quite important compared to the individual one, much more than it was until a few years ago ”.
A true statement, the result of a style aimed at making the management reporting to him more responsible. The individual, in this case Fred Vasseur, is assigned the mission of coordinating the team’s technical and operational structures in the most effective way.
Many top figures in the organizational chart designed by Mattia Binotto, according to the information gathered by Formula One Technical Analysis, will no longer enjoy the “shield” guaranteed by the engineer from Lausanne. On the contrary, they will have to earn Fred Vasseur’s trust with immediate positive results to be able to continue at Ferrari, a context that will not take into account their long time with the Maranello team as a key factor when their work will be “judged”.