Ferrari didn’t want to sign Frederic Vasseur

Frederic Vasseur was announced on Tuesday morning as the next Ferrari team principal, ending a six-year partnership with Alfa Romeo.

It has been a busy week for Ferrari and for Alfa Romeo, with the two sides having kicked-off a morning full of breaking news in Formula 1 earlier in the week.

As reported at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur will be replacing Mattia Binotto at the Italian team, with Binotto leaving Ferrari for good on the final day of 2022.

His departure marks the end of a 28-year relationship between the two, with Binotto having joined Ferrari as an intern initially in 1995.

Vasseur leaves Alfa Romeo to take up the role at Ferrari after leading the Hinwil-based outfit for the past six seasons, with the Frenchman having also given Charles Leclerc his rookie campaign in 2018.

READ: Charles Leclerc makes ‘upheaval’ claim as he praises Frederic Vasseur

Following Vasseur’s announcement, Alfa Romeo released a heartfelt farewell message to the Frenchman; however, according to Italian publication, the new Ferrari team principal has been pushing for the move since the summer after “knowing that he was no longer in Sauber’s plans”.

It is reported that the initial talks took place between Vasseur and Ferrari during the summer, but that Ferrari president John Elkann “tried to make last, desperate attempts to convince more prominent personalities” to replace Binotto.

Both Red Bull boss Christian Horner and new Sauber CEO Andreas Seidl rejected the role at Ferrari, leaving Vasseur to claim it comfortably.

Whilst Elkann might not be best pleased at who they’ve had to sign to replace Binotto, Leclerc is likely very happy to be reunited with his former team principal.

Article continues below

Speaking a few days prior to the announcement, Leclerc spoke a little about Vasseur and how his “straightforward and honest” nature is “something I like”.

“I worked with Fred already in the junior categories, where he believed in me and we always had a good relationship…” Leclerc said at the FIA prize-giving gala last Friday.

READ: Dutch GP organisers happy but concerned about new deal

“He has always been very straightforward and honest and that is something I like. Whether it will be him or not, I don’t know. We will see, hopefully in the next few months.”

Supposedly, a former “unnamed Mercedes” employee was another contender for the role, which has been likened to a poisoned chalice following how often the Italians are searching for a new team principal.

Vasseur will likely be under pressure to deliver results instantly in 2023; failure to do so could result in another Ferrari boss in the near future.