Fred Vasseur’s “dilemma”
Just over a year ago, Frederic Vasseur offered his willingness to the Ferrari leadership to take over from Mattia Binotto in case the then-team principal and managing director of the Maranello Scuderia would end his tenure prematurely (Binotto’s contract was valid until the end of the 2023 Formula 1 championship).
The French manager had the opportunity to immerse himself in a unique world, where it’s challenging to determine what wins out between the honors and burdens of leading the most passionately followed Scuderia in the world. The 2023 season hasn’t yielded the expected satisfactions so far; the victory count remains at zero, but the same goes for all competitors except the dominant Red Bull.
As a guest on the Beyond the Grid podcast, Fred Vasseur explained what he would ask Enzo if given the chance: “If Enzo were alive, I would ask him if he’s proud of what Ferrari is today. I don’t know what he would say, but I’m sure that as a ‘competitor,’ he would want better results and a stronger focus on performance. As a businessman, I believe he would be very pleased with Ferrari’s current image in the world.”
“I remember Enzo used to say that the best Ferrari was always the next one,” Fred Vasseur added. “I think this is a good message in terms of innovation and quality, that the best must always come. As a team leader, I like to say that tomorrow we must do better than today; I don’t want to look too far ahead.”
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Ferrari’s Formula 1 title drought has lasted over 15 years, and bringing Ferrari back to the top is an “obligation” that Fred Vasseur primarily feels towards the fans: “If you go to Silverstone, there are McLaren, Mercedes, and Ferrari fans. If you go to France, there will be Alpine and Ferrari fans. If you go to Germany, there will be Mercedes and Ferrari fans. Around the world, half the people are Ferrari fans; it’s magic, and I would be extremely happy to win for them, to thank them for all the support over these title-less years,” he concluded.