Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur has dismissed rumours that the team is in danger of losing more key figures after its disappointing start to the Formula One season. The surprise resignation of chief engineer David Sanchez last week had fuelled speculation.
There were rumours that race director Laurent Mekies was also considering leaving. There were even suggestions that Ferrari might be forced to bring back Haas technical director Simone Resta if the company loses other key staff.
Ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, however, Vasseur is setting the record straight, stressing that the situation at Ferrari is far from the way it has been portrayed in some media – even if he admitted that the result of the first race was not good.
“To have people who are unhappy is one thing,” he says. “I think it’s normal to be unhappy when you don’t get the results you expect, and I’m unhappy. But the most important thing is to work as a team and try to make the best of it and improve.”
Dismissing talk of major problems in the Ferrari camp and further potential departures, Vasseur said: “Leaving the company, that’s another story.”
Very good cooperation with Mekies
“If you want to talk about Laurent … I don’t know what happened with Laurent in the past, but I’ve known Laurent for 25 years, something like that. I trust him, we have a very good collaboration and he will be one of the pillars for the future of the company,” Vasseur holds.
The Ferrari team boss also says it’s normal for staff to come and go regularly and for there to be turnover:
“It’s part of the life of the team that we hire a lot of new people every year and have a change every year.”
“If you want to talk about key people, I don’t think so,” adds Vasseur, stressing that the main players in the team will remain committed.
“But we will certainly have people leaving the team and some new ones joining. That’s the way it is with every team in Formula One.
“We are a solid group and we are also building a team for the future. The connection is good. So no, I don’t think important people will leave the team.”
Is Resta coming back?
Although the loss of Sanchez at this point in the season is not ideal, Vasseur does not want to elaborate on the circumstances of his departure:
“I just want to wish David good luck for the future. He has made a good contribution to the team, but it is what it is. I don’t want to reveal any details.”
While Resta – only at Haas since 2021 – has already been mooted as a possible replacement for Sanchez as Ferrari look to restructure their technical department, Vasseur makes it clear he is not thinking of poaching the Italian from customer team Haas.
“First of all, Simone is the technical director of one of our customer teams. He is doing a good job with Günther (Steiner, Haas team boss) and the plan is not to do anything in that respect,”