The duties of Vasseur’s Ferrari

Frederic Vasseur will join Ferrari as main team on January 9, although before that he will have time to make calls and queries, lay the foundations for his first decisions and draw up his structure at the head of the team. In Maranello They have a good car, the constructors’ runner-up; a good engine, at the level of Sling Y Mercedes; and two good pilots with leclerc (2nd, three wins, eight pole positions in 2022) and Sainz (5th, one win, three pole positions). But those three ingredients do not guarantee future success or stability. After several conversations with specialized sources, these are some of the tasks that the French engineer’s roadmap should contain.

-Technical direction. The organization of the team is particular and there is no technical director to use, but managers of chassis, performance or power unit. This is so because Binotto was the technical director before being promoted to boss and continued to fulfill those functions for a while. With track operations and sports management well covered (Laurent Mekies), Ferrari would benefit from more clarity when developing the car with a technical figure in command. Red Bull developed further and better than the F1-75 throughout 2022.

-Strategies. It is not necessary to point the finger at the culprits, but it is clear that at Ferrari it is necessary to strengthen the area of ​​strategic decisions and their execution during the races. There have been serious errors in the ‘pit-stops’ due to late or hasty decisions, such as that stop by Sainz in Zandoort where only three wheels arrived. The feeling that Red Bull made them go with the wrong foot always remained in the environment. Teams fighting for titles hardly make one or two mistakes throughout a campaign. It was not the case of the Italians.

-Pilots and priorities. It begins to be broadcast that there will be equal opportunities between Leclerc and Sainz at the start of the 2023 season, and that during the year they will be able to focus on one of them if the World Cup classification justifies it. It was already like that in the past, but a certain sector of the Italian press, very much in favor of Charles, has been critical of this matter. They question Sainz if he says he wants to fight for the title as much as they call him ‘second’ when he says the priority is the team. They criticized him at the beginning of 2022 for not being with Leclerc, and then for arriving and fighting with the Monegasque. If Vasseur spends some time ‘pacifying’ some opinions, he can influence the social peace of Ferrari for the better. The Italian media press because the Scuderia has not won a driver’s title since 2007, nor one of the constructors since 2008.

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-Leclerc. He is one of the most important young talents in F1 today and a beast in qualifying, but there are details to be polished. His silence in strategies, that letting the wall do, has weighed on him in too many races and contrasts with the experience of a proactive Sainz. The anger of Charles and the critical tone on the radio or the press conferences do not go well with a team, Ferrari, which will always be above the driver. Carlos only went off script at Silverstone, with that “stop inventing”. If Charles was uncomfortable with Binotto, and perhaps has accelerated the process of switching to Vasseur, he now has to justify the stripes with great performances on Saturday, but also on Sunday. Just like Sainz, he cannot let an opportunity pass him by and he has to be at the maximum of what the car offers from day one.

-Image. Binotto was a factory man, with close ties after 28 years, who held himself up as a shield for his people and stamped out the blame culture. Now Vasseur comes from outside and will have another perspective when it comes to identifying problems and maintaining communication with John Elkann, president of the company. The Frenchman will also be able to give another twist to that image of perennial solemnity that surrounds Ferrari: the media and marketing power of Red Bull or the originality in Mercedes and McLaren can be good examples for a team that does not grant itself many licenses or freedoms when it comes to communicating, and eliminating from the environment that constant that says that Ferrari is in crisis whenever it is not on the top of the podium. And that in recent years ‘hospitality’ has already become a friendly and welcoming place.

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