The name Frederic Vasseur, who is currently team boss at Alfa Romeo, is mentioned again and again. Leclerc worked with the Frenchman in his first Formula 1 season with the Sauber racing team and also with ART in the GP3 series, where he won the title in 2016. Although unconfirmed, new evidence has emerged that it will indeed be the Frenchman who will replace Binotto for the next season.
Leclerc was told personally by Binotto on the phone that he would be leaving the team.
“I respect his decision,” he says and wants to thank the Italian for the time we spent together: “He believed in me from the beginning and gave me a long-term contract.”
In addition, the Monegasque emphasises the part Binotto has played in his success over the years at Ferrari. After all, the Italian has been on board at the Scuderia since 1995 and was thus also partly responsible for Michael Schumacher’s five world championship titles.
“I wish him the best and now it’s up to us to focus on the future and make the right decisions so we can be a stronger opponent to Red Bull,” Leclerc said.
The first decision will be who to succeed Binotto. Asked about a preferred team boss, however, Leclerc deflects the topic saying: “I won’t comment on that and it’s not my decision,” he says.
“That is the responsibility of Ferrari managing director Benedetto Vigna and supervisory board chairman John Elkann.”
Ferrari’s big changes
The Italian’s successor has not yet been officially named, but Charles Leclerc does not believe that the change of team boss will have a negative impact on Ferrari.
“Probably the new team boss will need some time to get used to the system and to Ferrari. It’s a big team,” he said at the FIA Gala. “But if it’s done properly, I don’t think we’ll feel it on the track.” He says: “I’m sure it will be a smooth transition.”
Ferrari started the 2022 season much improved after two difficult years, but in the end failed to win the world championship title they had hoped for because Red Bull improved significantly over the course of the season. With the new team boss still unknown, the next attempt is to be made in 2023.
“That’s the goal,” says Leclerc about the world championship fight, but also thinks that Ferrari is in a “transition phase” after Binotto’s departure. “But I’m sure 2023 will be a further step forward and we’ll be closer to our goal, which is what we all want – to be world champions.”
“I am confident because we are working a lot in the simulator and because we have been working hard to understand our weaknesses,” he says. Binotto, too, is currently still helping out in the factory to get everything on track for 2023.
New evidence suggests Vasseur already at Ferrari
The Frenchman is said to have already found a flat near the Maranello factory, and has been seen entering the team HQ on numerous occasions since Abu Dhabi.
Leclerc hails Vasseur
Following the announced departure of Mattia Binotto as Ferrari team principal at the end of the year, Scuderia driver Charles Leclerc has praised the qualities of Frederic Vasseur.
“I have already worked with Fred in the junior classes. He believed in me and we always had a good relationship. But apart from that, that shouldn’t influence other decisions,” Formula One driver Leclerc said at the FIA World Motorsport Federation gala in Bologna on Friday.
Vasseur had always been “very straightforward and honest”. Whether Vasseur or another candidate will be the new Ferrari team boss will be seen “in the next few months”.
Leclerc pointed out that he had confidence in Ferrari board chairman John Elkann and Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna in the search for a successor saying:
“John and Benedetto will make the decision, and we’re just trying to focus on the job in the simulator to have the best race car for next year.”