Frederic Vasseur, Alfa Romeo Team Principal, Red Bull Ring, 2022

Vasseur confirmed as Binotto’s replacement at Ferrari

2023 F1 season

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Frederic Vasseur will replace Mattia Binotto as Ferrari’s team principal and lead them into the 2023 Formula 1 season.

The announcement followed Alfa Romeo’s confirmation Vasseur will leave the team next month after six years at the helm.

Binotto resigned from his role as team principal of Ferrari earlier this month He stepped down after four seasons leading Ferrari following their disappointing end to the 2022 championship, which saw the team’s early challenge fade due to reliability problems, strategic and operational mistakes and driver errors.

Vassuer took Sauber – which competes under the Alfa Romeo brand – to their best championship finish for a decade this season, securing sixth place in the constructors’ championship. He will be Ferrari’s fifth different team principal in the last nine years, after Stefano Domenicali, Marco Mattiacci, Maurizio Arrivabene and Binotto.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc raced for Vasseur’s Sauber team during his rookie year in Formula 1 in 2018. Speaking at the recent FIA prize giving gala prior to Vasseur’s confirmation, Leclerc said that he has “always had a good relationship” with his new team principal.

Vasseur said he felt “honoured to take over the leadership of Scuderia Ferrari as team principal.

“As someone who has always held a lifelong passion for motorsport, Ferrari has always represented the very pinnacle of the racing world to me. I look forward to working with the talented and truly passionate team in Maranello to honour the history and heritage of the scuderia and deliver for our tifosi [fans] around the world”.

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Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna said Vasseur has “successfully combined his technical strengths as a trained engineer with a consistent ability to bring out the best in his drivers and teams” throughout his career. “This approach and his leadership are what we need to push Ferrari forward with renewed energy.”

Vasseur’s promotion to one of F1’s top three teams draws a line under his six-year stint at Sauber. He said he will “look back fondly” at his time there. “I owe a debt of gratitude to every single employee of the team, as they are the ones who got this team back on their feet and climbing the ladder of our sport.

“I am proud of the job we collectively have done as a team and a company, and even more so of the strong foundations we have laid for what’s to come next: but what I am the proudest of is the people that made this all possible, which in time have become friends. This team will always feel like home and I’ll be rooting for it wherever I go.”

Sauber board chairman Finn Rausing thanked Vasseur for “six years of inspiring leadership and hard work, helping rebuild our company and our team.”

“He was able to encourage every one of us into giving our best and the increasingly good results we have enjoyed are testament to the quality of his performance at the helm of the team,” said Rausing. “He was the first to believe in our project and he leaves a team in a much stronger, healthier position than when he arrived, with a bright future ahead of us, which is all that could have been asked of him.

“I am sure I echo everyone in the team when I wish Fred every success in his future endeavours.”

Sauber did not indicate when it plans to announce who Vasseur’s replacement will be.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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32 comments on “Vasseur confirmed as Binotto’s replacement at Ferrari”

  1. Some rumours seems to spot on :) I think he will do great at Ferrari.

    1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
      13th December 2022, 9:02

      As long as Team Maranello keeps pulling the same shenanigans behind the scenes, I don’t think anyone will do great there, unfortunately.

      1. Coventry Climax
        13th December 2022, 17:16

        Given the stone age way the Ferrari team seems to communicate and deal with eachother,
        it won’t be long before this Fred too, will be shouting “Wilmaaaaaaa”.

  2. Man running a team, which couldn’t make drinking system work properly for 3 years in Kimi’s car, is now Ferrari team principal. Expect nothing but Max and Red Bull titles in 2023, 2024 and 2025 at the very least.

  3. Will he bring some killer instinct? From Sauber?
    Still, he looks a bit like Steve Cooper, so he must be good.

    1. @bullfrog Vasseur is not just the guy from Sauber. He is an engineer, started his own successful teams (just ask Hamilton!), and businesses (making Formula E’s chassis for example). His first F1 outing at Renault in 2016 wasn’t very successful, but then again the common theme in a lot of those cases is Renault – not the other people involved.

  4. In a staggering plot twist, Binotto is announce as team principle of Sauber. Sources say his advice to Vasseur was “Good luck”.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Binotto at Williams, as Capito has just been shown the door.

    2. Seidl at alfa just announced

  5. I wish Vasseur all the best, but I can’t see this changing anything.
    Ferrari is Ferrari, no matter who is (supposedly) in charge.

    1. Pretty much my thoughts as well. Definitely not a job I’d want to take on.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        13th December 2022, 10:32

        Ah I don’t know…. I’m pretty sure it’ll go badly in the end but it’s a chance to turn Ferrari around and be the one to have done it. Or he can stay at Sauber and continue making up the numbers. You’ve almost got to take the job when Ferrari come knocking – it’s his big chance.

        *and I’m sure the massive pay rise won’t hurt too much either….

        1. Yeah, maybe he’s had enough of being in an F1 team – temporary boss at Ferrari is the end of the line for everyone who has the job.
          He’ll be looking forward to his retirement at the end of 2024.

      2. @dbradock It’s also a job hard to turn down. Anyone would want to bring a WDC or WCC to Ferrari in one capacity or another but especially as driver or team principal. It’s quite impressive how this is the team still attracting focus and people like no other even if they haven’t had the best track record for quite some time.

        1. I understand Vasseur also was not so sure of his role at Alfa/Sauber with Audi coming in, making the step up to Ferrari even more enticing @jeanrien, @dbradock. And surely he is supported by the current leadership, something Binotto did not have completely given how he rose to the position in the first place under the previous Ferrari CEO.

        2. @jeanrien They actually have one of the best track records. In the last 10 years, they’ve finished 2nd five times, 3rd three times, 4th once and also one – by their standards – dismal 6th in 2020 (and we all know why).

          @bascb With former-VW’s Seidl moving to Sauber, it seems the transformation is indeed starting. And it makes sense to. Better to get things sorted before they put their own name on it.

          1. Yes, only really red bull and merc did better, though those 3 teams also had far more resources than anyone else for most of those years, so it was kind of a given to end up no worse than 3rd.

    2. Yes, you know what they say: culture will eat strategy for breakfast.

    3. And somehow they still end up 2nd in the championship. The way some portray Ferrari, it’s almost unimaginable all the other (far) worse performing teams actually manage to turn the lights on at the office.

  6. As a Ferrari fan I’m happy with this appointment. I think Binotto, like Dominicalli before him, was too amiable for the board when the poor results hit. Vaseur is more in the intense, direct mould of Todt or Arrivabene; I think Ferrari have missed a ruthless operator in recent negotiations. If we look at Red Bull and Mercedes success a lot of it can be down to lobbying rulesets – Ferrari had 2019 and failed.

    His clear number 1 driver approach is also welcome – Binotto was too “bigger picture” and loved the team and it’s staff too much to be the hypercritical presence Horner and Wolff clearly are.

    I think this is a step in the right direction – he just needs to make sure he speaks his mind and doesn’t get dragged into the politics, that’s what let him down at Renault.

    1. @rbalonso Agreed, but a lot will depend on how they assign tasks within the organization. If Vasseur can be the manager and political operator, ready, willing and able to throw Ferrari’s immense weight around – then that’s a good thing. His involvement with the operation of the team from day to day doesn’t need to be very big, and specific tasks can be assigned to specifically talented individuals who can just focus on getting the job done.

  7. Apparently Andreas Seidl is set to leave McLaren and join Audi/Sauber to replace Vasseur.

    1. What about Capitos replacement? Who thought crazy season would include team principals!

      1. @todfod No clue. Maybe Trevor Carlin, lol.

    2. Just got an email from McClaren introducing their new Team Principal, Andrea Stella. Just need Andreas to be confirmed at Sauber then.

  8. The problem at Ferrari starts well above the team principal role, in the CEO and the board and the family as well as in the Italian media.

    The Todt, Brawn, Montemelo triumvirate created a wall to allow the team to work without interference. Well, mostly. They used initial success to build that wall.

    Fred wont have that sort of team and is stuck with Elkann and his CEO appointment. Between them they seem to be epicentres of ignorance about racing, incorrigible interferers, blown about by hysterical media and disingenuous, too.

    Vasseur may do well as far as he is allowed. He will have a honeymoon where he is allowed to get on with thing, a period where successes are his and failures are Binotto’s. But one stumble after that honeymoon, a perceived failure to win and win again and the dance will start again.

    The Borgias never went away they just became the wider Ferrari fraternity.

  9. Finally, an open secret is official.

  10. The perfect guy for the job IMO.

  11. Vassuer took Sauber

    typo @keithcollantine

  12. If this guy can’t be successful at Ferrari then it’s clear there are deeper problems that no incumbent can fix.

  13. He has always been the funny and straight forward guy. As for drivers when they move up it is only then when they are really tested. Leclerc said they are a young team and they need the real guy to run the team. My first thoughts were he is not the guy for the job and he will be dropped before 2026. Not everyone is Christian Horner or Alex Ferguson who can stay in one team almost as long as they can. Still shorter deals are sometimes better and we don’t know what kind of paper did he sign. He wouldn’t be my first choise but maybe he is the guy.

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