F1 News

9 January: Vasseur officially starts at Ferrari

9 January: Vasseur officially starts at Ferrari

09-01-2023 12:15 Last update: 16:06


Frederic Vasseur officially starts as team boss at Ferrari today. We'll take a brief look at his career, the current situation at Ferrari and what experience the Frenchman can bring to the Italian racing stable to help them get back to the top.

A man of successes

Vasseur is a man of many successes. In 2017, he was appointed at Sauber, giving Charles Leclerc his first seat in F1 in 2018. After the Monegasque left for Ferrari, another star driver, Kimi Raikkonen, took his place. Vasseur did the team, which was been renamed Alfa Romeo in 2019, a lot of good with these drivers. In 2020 and 2021, things were a little less promising for the team in the constructors' standings (eighth and ninth place respectively), but things got better when Alfa Romeo managed to secure sixth place in the Constructors' Championship last season, under Vasseur's leadership, making skilful use of the new technical regulations.

Ferrari's blunders

Vasseur joins Ferrari in 2023 following the departure of Mattia Binotto. Binotto struggled with many strategic blunders over the last few years. It seems to be a recurring pattern: once Ferrari starts a season with a blazingly fast car and thus has the upper hand, they manage to lose it mid-season (think of 2017, 2018 and 2022). Drivers like Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc suffered as a result. So Vasseur will have to change a lot in team dynamics and perhaps make changes by hiring new people.

Secret visit

Before Christmas, the Frenchman had already visited his new factory and met the people in his new team. He is not a stranger to everyone: Charles Leclerc owes his spot on the grid to the Frenchman. At the FIA gala in Bologna - before it was officially announced that Vasseur would replace Binotto - the Monegasque did speak highly of him: "I have worked with Fred since the junior categories, where he believed in me. We always had a good relationship."

The other current Ferrari driver, Carlos Sainz, explained that one has to give Vasseur time before it can be determined whether his appointment was the right choice. "Ferrari is a giant of 1,200 or 1,300 people, and he needs to see how everyone works and what changes are needed. That will take time. But every time a new person arrives, there is extra motivation to want to do well for him and the team will take another step forward," Sainz said in an interview with Marca.