Frederic Vasseur accuses AlphaTauri of being ‘aggressive’ with press release about Ferrari poach

As it stands, Franz Tost will remain as AlphaTauri's team principal until the end of the current season.

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur is busy preparing for the loss of another high-profile employee, with it having been confirmed ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix that sporting director Laurent Mekies will be replacing Franz Tost as AlphaTauri’s team principal.

Mekies’ departure comes not long after Ferrari lost former head of vehicle concept David Sanchez to McLaren, with the Italians seemingly struggling to retain their talented individuals.

Whilst losing Mekies is certainly a huge loss for Ferrari, Carlos Sainz has tried to calm any speculation of panic back at Maranello, with the Spaniard having confirmed that the team are “also hiring staff”, not just losing them.

“We’re also hiring staff,” said Sainz. “It’s not like we’re only losing them.

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“It’s just that maybe sometimes the losses are quicker than how you get people back. But I’m quite confident with Fred’s approach to the management and the way it’s being handled.”

With Mekies contracted at Ferrari until the end of 2025, Vasseur was somewhat surprised at how “aggressive” AlphaTauri’s announcement was, especially with Tost also set to remain as the side’s team principal until the end of the current season.

“They were a bit aggressive with the press release,” Vasseur said at Baku. “Especially considering the long contract period.”

What’s also interesting is that despite AlphaTauri’s announcement, Ferrari and Red Bull’s sister team are yet to come to an agreement on when Mekies will be free to join them, with the likelihood being that he’ll be made to serve a period of gardening leave.

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With Vasseur being close to Mekies, the Frenchman has no intention on stopping him from taking the position at Faenza, with the Ferrari boss aware how big the “opportunity” is for their sporting director.

“It’s a huge opportunity for him,” Vasseur admitted. “We don’t want to block him.

“I also understand that there are only ten team bosses in Formula 1. The requirements are very specific and the list of candidates is very short.”

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As mentioned, a date is yet to be agreed on as to when Mekies will be free to join AlphaTauri, with Vasseur admitting that “it depends on the conditions”.

“Of course I have to represent Ferrari’s interests here,” he said. “Ferrari comes first when we discuss the details of the change.

“So it depends on the conditions.”