Scuderia Ferrari has announced that Frederic Vasseur will be its new Team Principal and General Manager. The positions became vacant after Mattia Binotto resigned at the end of November. Binotto’s resignation followed a Formula 1 season where Ferrari won two of the opening three races. The iconic Italian team was positioned to mount a serious championship challenge. However, numerous strategic blunders and a relative lack of car development progress allowed Red Bull Racing to have one of the most successful seasons in F1 history.
Ferrari feels that Fred Vasseur will be the person that finally rights the ship and brings a world championship back to Maranello. Vasseur with the fifth Ferrari Team Principal in the last eight years. Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna said:
“We are delighted to welcome Fred Vasseur to Ferrari as our Team Principal. Throughout his career he has successfully combined his technical strengths as a trained engineer with a consistent ability to bring out the best in his drivers and teams. This approach and his leadership are what we need to push Ferrari forward with renewed energy.”
On his announcement, Vasseur stated:
“I am truly delighted and honoured to take over the leadership of Scuderia Ferrari as Team Principal. As someone who has always held a lifelong passion for motorsport, Ferrari has always represented the very pinnacle of the racing world to me. I look forward to working with the talented and truly passionate team in Maranello to honour the history and heritage of the Scuderia and deliver for our Tifosi around the world.”
Vasseur is one of the most experienced and accomplished people in motorsport. He has been the CEO and Team Principal at Sauber for the last six seasons. He entered the ranks of Formula 1 in 2016 when he became Renault’s team boss but left at the end of the season. Though, Vasseur’s career is far more impressive in junior single-seater racing.
Fred Vasseur founded ASM, which later became ART when he partnered with Nicholas Todt, the son of former Ferrari team boss and FIA President Jean Todt. The team won six Formula 3 Euro Series championships in the 2000s. The outfit also incredibly captured eight of the nine GP3 teams’ titles awarded in the 2010s. The level of talent Vasseur’s team attracts and develops is phenomenal. Future F1 champions Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg, as well as Grand Prix winners Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Valtteri Bottas, have all raced for ART on their way up to F1.
Will Fred Vasseur lead Ferrari to an F1 World Championship? I don’t know. He has the experience and expertise necessary. Though, Scuderia Ferrari has several systemic issues that haven’t been resolved by the team bosses before him. It will be dependent on if he is given the leeway and time to make changes or if he’ll become the scapegoat for another lackluster season.