F1 technical market, Ferrari looks to Red Bull
In the first five races of the 2023 Formula 1 season, Red Bull has dominated and crushed the competition, taking home five wins, three with Max Verstappen and two with Sergio Perez. The superiority of the car masterfully designed by Adrian Newey emerged in all its arrogance in the recent Miami race, where Max Verstappen was able to easily climb to the top from ninth on the grid to a stunning victory by a significant margin, with the first of the rest – Fernando Alonso – trailing by 26 seconds. The Dutchman thus notched up his 38th Formula 1 victory with disarming ease, showing himself to be the number one candidate for the final victory, which only his teammate could challenge him for.
Leaving rivals behind, especially Mercedes and Ferrari, struggling with cars far from expectations and clearly difficult to drive for their excellent drivers. To recover, Ferrari is looking at engineers from other teams to reinforce the technical structure of the Prancing Horse, and it is no secret that some offers have been made to some of Red Bull’s leading technicians. In recent weeks, the name of Enrico Balbo had emerged, with contradictory rumors circulating, and Christian Horner had strongly denied this possibility.
Waché-Ferrari, Helmut Marko’s refusal
What is not a rumor, but official, is the fact that Laurent Mekies – currently the Ferrari sporting director – will move to Alpha Tauri, with whom he has reached an agreement to be the next team principal. But the Frenchman has a contract with Maranello valid until the end of 2023 – so much so that he was present on the pit wall in Baku and Miami – and it is not yet clear when he will return to Faenza.
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Journalist Ralf Bach, writing for F1-Insider, revealed a market backstory: “Ferrari would release Mekies early, only by obtaining three high-level engineers from Red Bull in exchange. One of these would be Frenchman Pierre Waché, Adrian Newey‘s right-hand man.”
But Helmut Marko is not having it and assured that not even the 48-year-old Frenchman will move from Milton Keynes: “We all want Ferrari to be competitive. But it doesn’t work like that; we are not an Arab bazaar. And then our Waché doesn’t want to change teams. We will not accept these conditions,” the 80-year-old Austrian pointed out.