Ferrari boss breaks silence on ‘infighting’ at the team

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has addressed rumours of turmoil and discontent within the Scuderia.

Ferrari’s team principal, Fred Vasseur, has steadfastly refuted claims of a tumultuous atmosphere at the Italian racing outfit. 

While apprehensions about team dynamics had surrounded his appointment, Vasseur contends that the team’s spirit and unity belie such speculations.

Stepping into the role previously held by Mattia Binotto in December 2022, Vasseur undertook leadership at Ferrari after a successful stint as the team principal of Alfa Romeo. 

His arrival came on the heels of a challenging season for the Scuderia, marked by internal conflicts and suboptimal performance on the track.

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Binotto’s tenure was marred by moments of friction, most notably exemplified by a heated exchange between Charles Leclerc and Binotto himself after a race. 

Poor strategic decisions and unforced errors seemed to have created a tense environment within the team. 

However, Vasseur contends that these incidents do not reflect the current state of affairs at Ferrari.

“In the paddock, when it was speculated that I might come to Ferrari, everyone said to me ‘you’ll see what a mess, what infighting’,” Vasseur shared candidly. 

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He dismissed such perceptions as unfounded and misconceived, emphasising that they are based on preconceived notions rather than the present reality. 

“This is completely false. It is an idea people have formed and are used to repeating,” he added.

Comparing Ferrari to his experiences with other teams, Vasseur lauded the positive atmosphere that envelops the Scuderia. 

“If I compare Ferrari to other teams, even those I’ve been to, the atmosphere is very good,” Vasseur asserted, dispelling the notion of widespread internal discord.

Continuing to shed light on the vibrant spirit of his team, Vasseur extolled the enthusiasm and vigor that propel Ferrari forward. 

“The passion around the team is mega. Every morning when I get to the office there are people ‘charged’ in front of the entrance,” he remarked. 

While acknowledging the intensity that fuels the team’s drive, he acknowledged the importance of balance in fostering growth: “It’s a big push, even if sometimes it doesn’t help when you need time and calm to grow.”*

Vasseur also offered an alternative perspective on the debates and disagreements that occasionally surface within the team. 

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Contrary to the perception that such exchanges indicate a toxic environment, Vasseur viewed them as a testament to a lack of complacency. 

“The worst for a team is to be complacent and relaxed,” he commented. 

“We argue a lot, and today in Ferrari around a table we don’t blame each other,” he concluded, suggesting that constructive criticism and spirited discussions contribute to the team’s forward momentum.