Italian tabloids back the Frenchman, but have given him just six months to turn around the team. Frederic Vasseur started his new job as team boss of Formula 1 record world champion Ferrari on Monday. The 54-year-old Frenchman moved into the office of his resigned predecessor Mattia Binotto, who left Ferrari in December after four unsuccessful years at the helm.
“First day of school for Vasseur”, commented the Gazzetta dello Sport on the first day of work for the manager, the second Frenchman to head the Scuderia after Jean Todt. Ferrari poached Vasseur from partner team Alfa Romeo and wants to end the titleless period with him.
Vasseur, who has already met the drivers Charles Leclerc of Monaco, and Carlos Sainz from Spain, several times in the past few days, has to look for a technical director and sign several new sponsorship contracts, among other things.
Big change at Ferrari
At Ferrari, the signing of Vasseur is tantamount to a huge change of strategy. After the departure of Jean Todt, who together with Michael Schumacher stood for the Scuderia’s most successful Formula 1 era, all team bosses came from within the company.
The Italian tabloids have high hopes for the new man. “Vasseur has six months to turn Ferrari around,” commented the Corriere dello Sport, presumably before the knives come out for the new man in Maranello.
An important stage for Vasseur is the unveiling of the new Ferrari for the 2023 season, scheduled for 14 February. The name of the car has not yet been decided.
Ferrari has been waiting for a driver’s title since Kimi Räikkönen’s world championship triumph in 2007, at that time still under Todt’s leadership. Vasseur is now to change that.
He wants to “deliver for our tifosi all over the world”, the Frenchman promised.
Vasseur studied aeronautics and engineering before starting his career in the junior Formula-series creating his own team, ASM. Known for his success and fostering talent he eventually moved on to Formula 1 as race director and eventually team principal for Renault F1 before leaving the team in 2016 because of different visions in managing the team to that of the team’s senior management.
Vasseur has been in motorsport for more than 25 years and has made a name for himself as a promoter of young talent, among other things. As ART team boss, he also guided Charles Leclerc on the path toward Formula 1.