Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2023

Sainz hopes Ferrari can hire new staff quickly after latest departure

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr says Ferrari need to hire replacements as soon as possible for top staff which have left to join rival teams.

AlphaTauri announced yesterday it has hired Ferrari’s sporting director Laurent Mekies to take over as its team principal at the end of the season. It follows the departure of its head of vehicle concept, David Sanchez, who will join McLaren.

Sainz praised the job Mekies had done for Ferrari since joining them five years ago. “He’s a great guy, very valued, very strong figure. He’s taking a step up in his career so I can only be happy for him. When you’re offered such an important role, I think you have to take it.”

Frederic Vasseur took over from Mattia Binotto as Ferrari team principal earlier this year. Sainz backed his plans for restructuring the team, but hopes the lag between departures and replacements won’t be too long.

“We are also hiring staff, it’s not like we are only losing. We are doing the best also to restructure our team to make it stronger.

“I’m sure there’s going to be people coming, people arriving to compensate these last few losses that we have. It’s just that maybe sometimes the losses are quicker than what you manage to get people back.

“But I’m quite confident with Fred’s approach, the management and the way it’s being handled, because I see good things coming too.”

Charles Leclerc also backed Vasseur’s plan to reorganise the team. “Of course there is a restructuring for the team, that’s clear.

“We had a really good relationship with Laurent but we all understand, I think, in the team, that this opportunity is right to take as it’s a really good opportunity for Laurent.

“So it’s like this. But the team is more than one person and I’m very confident for the future with Fred having what he has in mind. I’m really confident.”

Leclerc said Vasseur’s plan has given him more confidence for the future. “I think he has been open with what he wants to achieve and the way he wants to achieve it,” he said. “And this gives me the confidence, probably more than ever. So as much as obviously it’s moving, I’m confident for the future.”

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2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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7 comments on “Sainz hopes Ferrari can hire new staff quickly after latest departure”

  1. My condolences to AlphaTauri…

  2. Are they really selling the story that Mekies is leaving because he got a great opportunity at another team? Okay…

    Anyway, it won’t matter if the replacements can’t do better, so it’ll be interesting to see how the new team takes shape over the coming months.

    1. Well, it is true that being offered the job of team principal at an F1 team is a really good opportunity.

      But off course no one close to the top of the Ferrari team would even seriously consider such an offer if they were happy and seeing the potential of staying with Ferrari.

  3. So long as they hire someone who knows what they are doing for a change.
    Ferrari has become an embarrassment to F1 in so many ways, and yet we pay them $35 million a season I believe just to come along and get in the way.

    I maintain that too many Ferrari staff are there simply because they have relatives there, not because they know anything about racing cars.

    1. I maintain that too many Ferrari staff are there simply because they have relatives there, not because they know anything about racing cars.

      @nullapax Does make one wonder how no fewer than 7 other teams (and Red Bull Jr.) managed to do worse in the last full season.

  4. I guess another year or two of Ferrari’s “restructuring” is in order… clearly Ferrari hasn’t done that enough over the past 15 odd years.

    Things look like they’re only going downhill for Ferrari.. and I can’t see Leclerc sticking around for another season either.

    1. Leclerc is going to become the greatest Formula E champion the world had ever seen. They will call him eLecetric.

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