Who would have bet against Ferrari making major changes to close the gap with Red Bull in Formula 1. So it is not so surprising that the Prancing Horse stable have decided to shake up the very top of its racing management team. Italian Mattia Binotto is out and on January 9th, 2023 there will be a new team Principal and General Manager.
What does this mean for Charles Leclerc? Well, the good news is Charles has raced successfully in the past under the direction of the new incoming Chief, Fred Vasseur.
So Italy’s greatest emblem, Ferrari is going French. It’s not the first time Ferrari have gone outside Italy for top talent in management. And last time they tried it, the formula was phenomenally successful. Remember the glorious years of Jean Todt (1993-2007). Ferrari during that reign was seven times titled among manufacturers and six times among drivers.
That last Ferrari Drivers’ Championship in 2007 was won by Kimi Räikkönen by one point at the final race of the season. Räikkönen entered the final race in third position in the drivers’ standings, but emerged as champion after the chequered flag.
All Leclerc fans are hoping he succeeds Raikkonen’s feat under the new Ferrari Team Principal. It’s been a long wait for Ferrari. Fred Vasseur, the new Chief, has over 25 years of winning motor racing experience, commencing in the junior formulas and over the last decade in Formula 1. During this time, he has also been widely acknowledged for his success in fostering leading driver talent, claiming the GP2 series in both 2005 with Nico Rosberg and 2006 with Lewis Hamilton. Vasseur has most recently held the position of CEO and Team Principal of Sauber Motorsport (currently Alfa Romeo F1 Team) since 2017. Prior to this he was the Team Principal of Renault F1 Team in 2016.
Charles had already worked with Fred in the junior categories and Charles is known to have always had a good relationship with him; Fred has a reputation for being very direct and very honest, qualities that resonate with Charles.
As well as furthering the career of the Monegasque vice-world champion in GP3 Fred Vasseur over-saw Charles’ first steps in F1 with Alfa-Romeo, after his spell at the Ferrari Driver Academy.
Go Charles in 2023, Go Fred and Go Ferrari! The time has come.
Commenting on the appointment and widely reported on the web Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna said: “We are delighted to welcome Fred Vasseur to Ferrari as our Team Principal. Throughout his career he has successfully combined his technical strengths as a trained engineer with a consistent ability to bring out the best in his drivers and teams. This approach and his leadership are what we need to push Ferrari forward with renewed energy.”