Ex-Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya has warned Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur that a “misstep” could result in the Frenchman losing his job, with the Colombian believing that former Ferrari boss Jean Todt would’ve been a more suitable replacement for Mattia Binotto.
Following Binotto’s resignation, several names were linked to the vacant team principal gig, including, Todt, former McLaren boss Andreas Seidl, and former Ferrari boss Ross Brawn; however, Vasseur was always the most likely option.
The Frenchman does have an impressive track record and already has an incredibly strong relationship with Charles Leclerc, something which will likely increase the chances of the Monegasque driver remaining at Ferrari beyond 2024.
Montoya, though, believes Todt would’ve been the perfect signing, given that he has “more balls to make the right decisions”.
Todt was immensely successful during his 15-year stint as team principal at Ferrari, where he oversaw Michael Schumacher’s five consecutive titles for the team.
The former FIA president is the Italians most successful team principal by some margin, with the team having claimed just one Constructors’ Championship since he stepped down from the role at the end of 2007.
“I thought they were going to put Jean Todt in this position,” Montoya told Motorsport.com.
“To be honest, that would have been my choice. I don’t know if he wanted the job but he was the guy who did the job before and I think everyone respects him enough that nobody pi***s him off.
“He doesn’t need the job so when you don’t need the job and you don’t care [about losing it], I think you have more balls to make the right decisions. But I hope [Ferrari] will do a good job.
“It’s quite surprising, their car was so strong in the beginning [of 2022] and they didn’t exploit it well. And to everyone’s surprise… You could hear them say, ‘oh, we can still win the next 10 races’. And they haven’t won a single one.”
Montoya is seemingly unsure on how long Vasseur will actually remain at Ferrari despite having only recently been appointed, with the team not offering “job security”.
The Italians have become somewhat used to changing their team principal every few seasons or so, something which arguably damages a team’s rapport and stability.
Montoya has contrasted Ferrari’s strategy to the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull, with Toto Wolff having led the Silver Arrows for ten years, whilst Christian Horner has been in charge of the Austrians since they joined the sport in 2005.
“One of the difficult things with Ferrari is that no-one feels like they have job security, everyone is waiting for you to make a misstep so they can fire you. That’s how I see it from the outside,” added Montoya.
“Look at Toto [Wolff], you know Toto’s not going anywhere. Look at Christian [Horner] or Helmut [Marko], they’re not going anywhere. But look at the head of Ferrari and you’ll always wonder, ‘how long is this one going to stay?’ Because there will always be someone after him.”