New Ferrari team principal to make Charles Leclerc number 1 driver

Charles Leclerc was managed by Frederic Vasseur during his debut season at Alfa Romeo in 2018.

Despite the 2022 season having concluded, life at Ferrari continues to be as hectic as ever, with growing speculation that team principal Mattia Binotto has submitted his resignation to Ferrari president John Elkann.

Binotto’s expected departure has been reported amongst Italian media, most specifically the La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

The Italian has come under intense scrutiny in 2022 following Ferrari’s seemingly endless strategic errors, which almost cost Charles Leclerc second in the Drivers’ Championship.

Somewhat comically, Ferrari actually performed somewhat of a strategic masterclass at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, which played a pivotal role in Leclerc claiming the vice-Champion title.

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Despite getting it right at the Yas Marina Circuit, Binotto has been questioned multiple times about whether the team needs new strategic personnel, something the Italian has always denied.

It appears that it’s Binotto who the Ferrari hierarchy want changed for 2023, with Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur the expected replacement.

Vasseur has a strong relationship already with both Ferrari and Leclerc, something that will go very much in his favour.

With this in mind, some have questioned if Leclerc has tried to get Binotto out of Ferrari, something the newspaper doesn’t think he’s “capable of”.

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As well as this, it’s very much expected that with Vasseur coming into the Maranello-based team most likely, that Leclerc will become the cemented number one at the Italians.

Vasseur is believed to prefer having a number one, something which could cause some friction between Carlos Sainz and the side, with the Spaniard unlikely to accept a role as second best.

“It is hard to imagine him capable of that, let alone having that power, but inside the ‘gentleman’ that Leclerc is lurks sky-high ambitions,” the newspaper said.

“It’s a risky hypothesis,” the publication stresses, also stating that Leclerc would be happy with a number one position within the team with Vasseur as boss, not least because Vasseur has worked with all recent F1 World Champions at some point since 2014, barring Max Verstappen.

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Moreover, Leclerc and Vasseur are also linked by Leclerc’s manager Nicolas Todt, Vasseur’s business partner in the past.

“Between them there have been discussions at times, but that bond is strong,” the newspaper added.

“Just recently, Vasseur indicated that his career would have looked very different without Todt.”