Vasseur, the former Alfa Romeo team principal, took command of the Ferrari team in Maranello, coming in after Mattia Binotto exited his post. His primary objective was reinforcing the team through strategic recruitment, an uphill task due to the lengthy process of hiring key personnel encumbered by gardening leave clauses.
His ambitious endeavours have been further complicated by the exit of two significant Ferrari team members. Ferrari‘s race director, Laurent Mekies, is slated to join AlphaTauri, while senior design engineer, David Sanchez, is set to move over to McLaren. These unexpected departures have left gaping roles in the team that need to be filled.
Despite these setbacks, Vasseur has executed the recruitment of Loic Serra, Mercedes‘ performance director, even though it is anticipated that Serra will not start his work until the year 2025.
In regards to his progress in assembling his ideal team, Vasseur said, “We are miles away because when you are doing my job you don’t have to imagine that there is a perfect structure.” He underscored a need for perpetual improvement and constant change. He added, “If you stay with the same structure two years in a row then you are dead, because all the others will improve.” He also cautioned against a definitive end goal, stating that the process was open-ended and ever evolving.
Confidently, Vasseur stated that clarity was emerging around the development of their 2024 car. Vasseur said, “Yeah, we are starting to have a much better idea of the situation, and where we are weak, and where we are in better shape”, albeit choosing to keep these insights to himself.
Vasseur called for patience and calm following the commendable third place by Charles Leclerc at Spa. “I would stay very calm, because we had the same [press] meeting one week ago, and we were at the end of the world, McLaren was flying, and we were stupid and so on,” he quipped. He emphasized the highly competitive and volatile nature of the racing field. But nonetheless expressed satisfaction at finishing the first part of the season on a positive note.