Maranello, Italy –
In pursuit of its first Formula 1 drivers’ title in 15 years, Ferrari relied on experience and familiarity to hire Frederic Vasseur as team principal.
Vasseur was most recently Team Principal for Sauber and Alfa Romeo and has had an extensive career in F1 and racing.
Vasseur, 54, worked with Ferrari chief Charles Leclerc at Sauber and the two have developed a strong relationship.
Known for developing driver talent, Vasseur also helped Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton win GP2 titles in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
“Throughout his career, he has managed to combine his technical strengths as a trained engineer with a consistent ability to bring out the best in his drivers and teams,” Ferrari chief executive Benedettovinia said when Vassell was appointed on Tuesday. “This approach and his leadership are what we need to move Ferrari forward with renewed vigor.”
Frenchman Vasseur replaced Mattia Binotto, who was sacked after a season of horrific strategic errors that cost Leclerc any chance of a title challenge.
Leclerc started with two wins in his first three races and appeared poised to challenge Max Verstappen for the F1 title, but ended up almost 150 points behind and winless since July.
Carlos Sainz Jr. was another Ferrari driver.
“As someone with a lifelong passion for motorsport, Ferrari has always represented to me the pinnacle of the motorsport world,” said Vasseur. “I look forward to working with the talented and passionate team at Maranello to honor the history and heritage of Scuderia Ferrari and to serve our tifosi (fans) around the world”.
Ferrari last won the drivers’ title with Kimi Raikkonen in 2007 and the constructors’ title a year later.
The last Frenchman to lead a Scuderia Ferrari was Jean Todt from 1993 to 2007, when Ferrari won six drivers’ titles with Michael Schumacher (5) and Raikkonen (1), Plus eight constructors’ titles.