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Ferrari wants Vasseur: what challenges will the team boss face?

Ferrari wants Vasseur: what challenges will the team boss face?

23 November - 15:12


Things remain unsettled behind the scenes at Ferrari. The Italian formation made several mistakes this season in terms of strategy, technique and management, leaving Ferrari barely able to compete with Red Bull Racing. This is possibly going to cost Mattia Binotto his job, while Frederic Vasseur is said to be ready to succeed him. What can Vasseur add to the team? And how much of a detriment is the successful team boss?

Vasseur first entered Formula 1 in 2016, when Renault appointed him to take the team by the hand. The Frenchman had already gained a lot of experience in motorsport, so he set to work with conviction, but he soon ran into the wall. Renault proved unwilling to change a few things, so he left after just one season.

A year later, Sauber decided to bring him in and he took on the role of managing director and CEO. Vasseur was immediately given many strings and put Charles Leclerc, among others, in a Formula 1 car in 2018. It proved to be a golden move, as the Monegasque immediately showed his talent and managed to secure a spot at Ferrari as early as the new season.

Meanwhile, the team boss quietly continued to build. Where at his arrival it was still at the bottom of the standings, Alfa Romeo, as the new name was called in the meantime, managed to fight its way towards the middle ground. Vasseur proved capable of convincing names like Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas to come out for his team. As a result, this season he even took sixth place among constructors with Alfa Romeo.

Vasseur can bring much of his accumulated experience to Ferrari. At the same time, he will also have to deal with other aspects. For instance, the expectations at Ferrari are a lot higher than he is used to and he will have to prove himself at the top.

Why does Ferrari choose him?

At Ferrari, the situation is clear. The team was hoping to win another world title for the first time since 2007, but could not make a fist against Red Bull this year. Although it had a better car at the beginning of the season, the Austrian formation managed to stay close to its rival and overtake it on several fronts during the race year.

The Italians, therefore, seem to agree that a different wind needs to blow within the team. It is not surprising that Ferrari ends up with Vasseur, as the Alfa Romeo team boss has proven his ability to develop a team in recent seasons. Among other things, the Frenchman possesses a calm personality towards the outside world.

In addition, it seems to be a helping hand towards Charles Leclerc, who would not talk to Binotto in recent months. Vasseur allowed Leclerc to make his Formula 1 debut at Sauber in the past and maintained good contact with his former pupil in recent seasons. Ferrari hopes to go for the world title with the Monegasque, doing everything in its power to keep him happy.

What does this mean for the drivers?

The possible choice of Vasseur also means a clear sign for Sainz. The Spaniard, along with his father, repeatedly made it clear that he also has the goal of one day winning the world title with Ferrari, but seems to be on the back foot with Vasseur. The signal is thus clear: Sainz will be the runner-up from now on.

For Leclerc, it could actually be an extra reason to work even harder at Ferrari. The driver has everything to take the top prize one day, but has not always looked sharp in several areas this year. Vasseur will know which aspects he needs to hit with Leclerc to get him in top form and allow him to take the next step in his career.

How big is Vasseur's challenge?

It is expected that Binotto will not be the only Ferrari chief to leave the team, as Inaki Rueda and Laurent Mekies would also be told that they will no longer be part of the racing stable next season. It would have an immense effect on the magnitude of Vasseur's challenge, as with an almost entirely new management, it usually takes some time for everyone to get used to each other.

Vasseur will want to take the long view. His past at Renault shows that he demands time from his teams to put his stamp on the policy to build something, where he will desperately need Ferrari's support. It will possibly be accompanied by a lot of criticism from the outside world as well as lesser results, which is going to ensure that the pressure will be on directly.

Moreover, he will have to deal with a sporting great: Max Verstappen. The Dutchman proved in his 2021 battle with Lewis Hamilton that he is capable of winning the world championship even with an inferior car. It will therefore be complicated for Ferrari to hurt the Red Bull driver, but Vasseur has shown in the past that he does not shy away from even the biggest challenges.

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