“How come we were the only ones on the track with hard tyres?” – this was the clearly dissatisfied comment of Ferrari chief executive officer Benedetto Vigna after the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix, as the Ferrari CEO left the meeting without waiting for an explanation from team principal Mattia Binotto.
In 2022, the Italian side made strategic mistakes on too many occasions, sometimes surprising slip-ups which were not seen at any other team. Losing a one-two finish in Monaco, where Ferrari eventually had to settle for a P2 and P4, was an unfortunate combination of factors that aligned perfectly for Red Bull, greatly damaging the Maranello team which, in any case, allowed its rivals to win on the streets of Monte Carlo, depriving Charles Leclerc of a victory in front of his home fans, which the Monegasque has been waiting for since his Formula 1 debut.
Silverstone, Budapest and Interlagos (in Qualifying) remain episodes that are more difficult to explain and for this reason, with the arrival of Frederic Vasseur, it is logical to expect some changes regarding the responsibilities of the strategies that will be adopted in the race.
The problem, as today’s edition of Il Corriere della Sera underlines, is that it is not easy to poach important names from the competition in such a delicate sector as the tactical one: “With Fred Vasseur being a man of racing, it will be up to him to review the organization and establish the points firm” – informs the Milan-based newspaper – “Laurent Mekies, who was Mattia Binotto’s assistant, should maintain a central role, while it appears more complex to reinforce strategies (the Spaniard Inaki Rueda has been in doubt for months), given that the best elements active in other teams do not seem available on the market”.
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La Repubblica also underlines that Laurent Mekies’ position is not at risk and summarizes what is currently the situation in terms of personnel in red regarding the race strategies: “The pit wall could be put under examination, where the ones who will lead the strategies are Englishman Ravin Jain and Iñaki Rueda. The two, with the chief of track engineers, Matteo Togninalli, use the data from the remote garage in Maranello, made up of about forty technicians led by Marco Adurno. Racing director Laurent Mekies will remain”.
In listing the tasks on Frederic Vasseur‘s agenda, La Stampa includes “reorganising the team, reviewing the decision-making processes, avoiding the many strategy issues”: elements that ultimately can all be resolved with a single process (if effective), although currently it seems difficult to find the right cure.
It will not be an easy task for the new team principal and general manager of Scuderia Ferrari.
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