Frédéric Vasseur will become Ferrari’s team principal in early 2023.
The 54-year-old Frenchman, managing director of Alfa Romeo/Sauber since 2017, replaces Mattia Binotto, who Ferrari says resigned last month.
Vasseur will be responsible for transforming the Italian team into a team capable of winning the world championship.
In 2022, Ferrari wasted a car that started the year as the fastest due to running and reliability issues.
Ferrari Managing Director Benedetto Vigna said: “Throughout his career, Fred has successfully combined his technical strengths as a skilled engineer with a consistent ability to bring out the best in his drivers and teams. .
“This approach and his leadership is what we need to drive Ferrari forward with renewed energy.”
Vasseur, who will join Ferrari on January 9, said he was “delighted and honoured” to take the helm of Ferrari.
“As a lifelong motorsport enthusiast, Ferrari has always represented the pinnacle of the racing world to me,” he said.
“I look forward to working with the talented and truly passionate team at Maranello to honor the history and heritage of the Scuderia and deliver for our tifosi around the world.”
A change of approach
Vasseur’s appointment marks a clean break from Ferrari’s strategy of picking team principals for the past decade and a half.
Since Jean Todt, who orchestrated the dominant era of Michael Schumacher, left at the end of 2007, Ferrari has been looking from within for the leaders of its F1 operations.
Todt’s replacement Stefano Domenicali was promoted to sporting director and when he left in 2014 the new man was Marco Mattiacci, who ran Ferrari North America.
Mattiacci only lasted nine months before being replaced by Maurizio Arrivabene, who was a senior manager for the team’s title sponsor Philip Morris and was close to the team’s operations for 20 years.
Arrivabene was replaced at the end of 2018 – after a season with similarities to 2022, when team errors, coupled with driver errors by Sebastian Vettel torpedoed their title challenge – by long-time employee Binotto.
He is an engineer who rose through the ranks to become the first boss of the engine department and then technical director of the chassis and engine organizations.
In Vasseur, Ferrari have chosen a man steeped in motorsport management who, in addition to his stints as team manager at two different F1 teams, has also enjoyed success in the junior categories with the ART team. .
Vasseur also enjoys a close relationship with Ferrari lead driver Charles Leclerc, whose growing frustrations with the way the team was performing in 2022 were on display as his title challenge crumbled.
Vasseur raced Leclerc in GP3 in 2016 and in Formula 2 in 2017, winning the title in both seasons.
Last week, Leclerc expressed his admiration for Vasseur when he accepted his trophy for second place in the championship at the FIA Gala in Bologna.
He said: “Ferrari are a very different team to all the other teams. I can only comment on my experience with Fred, which was good.”
“I worked with him from the junior categories, he believed in me and we always had a good relationship. That shouldn’t influence the decisions. He was always very direct and very honest, which I liked. .”
Vasseur’s main responsibility will be to ensure that Ferrari’s racing operations are improved so that the team can avoid the kind of strategic mistakes that rocked Leclerc’s 2022 season.
Glaring errors in strategy robbed him of likely wins at Monaco, Silverstone and Hungary in 2022.