Ferrari confirm immediate departure of senior figure

Laurent Mekies has officially quit Ferrari ahead of his move to replace long-serving AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost.

Ferrari has confirmed the departure of their sporting director, Laurent Mekies, as he prepares to take on the role of team principal at AlphaTauri. 

The move, initially revealed in April, has now been confirmed by the Italian team, but there was some uncertainty regarding the timing of the change. 

Nevertheless, Mekies has already left Ferrari and will not be part of their activities at the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix.

In a statement released by Ferrari, they acknowledged Mekies’ contributions during his four-and-a-half seasons with the team, during which they achieved seven victories. 

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The racing director’s absence at the Belgian Grand Prix means his duties on the pit wall will now be taken over by Diego Loverno, who assumes the position of sporting director.

“We bid farewell to Laurent Mekies, whose time at Scuderia Ferrari comes to an end this week,” the statement read. 

“He will not be in Belgium, and he leaves Maranello after four-and-a-half seasons, during which time the team took seven wins. 

“The entire team thanks him for his great contribution during those years.”

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Diego Loverno, who has been a long-standing member of the Scuderia for 23 years, will now handle all sporting matters and act as the liaison with the FIA. 

Alongside his colleagues on the pit wall, including Matteo Togninalli, head of track engineering, and Ravin Jain, race strategist, Loverno will report directly to Ferrari’s team principal, Fred Vasseur.

The move comes as part of AlphaTauri’s restructuring plans, with Mekies set to take over the team principal role from Franz Tost for the 2024 season, possibly even earlier. 

Tost, who has been at the helm of AlphaTauri for 18 years, will continue in his position for the remainder of the current season before transitioning into a consultancy role.

Ferrari’s decision to confirm the departure of Mekies brings clarity to the situation, allowing the team to move forward with their newly appointed sporting director, Diego Loverno. 

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The Italian outfit aims to make a strong statement in the second half of the season, as they continue their pursuit of success on the Formula 1 grid.

As Mekies embarks on a new chapter with AlphaTauri, fans and experts alike will closely observe the impact of this change on both teams. 

With Loverno assuming the reins at Ferrari, the Scuderia will be eager to capitalise on his extensive experience and knowledge to bolster their performance and challenge for podiums and victories in the races to come.