Mar.16 (GMM) Frederic Vasseur is continuing to put a brave face on an apparently alarming situation at Ferrari.
That is despite the fact that Charles Leclerc’s bad mood is going from bad to worse with news that he burned through his full allocation for the entire season of ECUs in Bahrain.
It means he will move ten places down the Jeddah grid.
“It is something we have never experienced in the past and I hope now it is under control,” new team boss Vasseur said.
The Frenchman said Ferrari is now working hard to “fix the issues” with the new 2023 car, but he insists that – unlike at Mercedes – the basic “concept” is sound.
“We lack performance, so we have to try to get the most out of what we have and develop faster than Red Bull,” he said.
But potentially even more alarming is rumours of clashes between Vasseur and Ferrari CEO Venedetto Vigna.
“It is a very good setup so far,” Vasseur said, denying the speculation. “He is supportive on every single topic and I can’t complain.”
What is a fact is that Ferrari has already shed some top personnel, including head of car concept David Sanchez.
Vasseur is keeping quiet on that topic.
“I’m not talking about contract details,” he said. “It is what it is. I wish David the best of luck.
“It’s normal in a big company that people come and go. But I do not expect more exits in key positions, although some will leave and others will come.
He also denies raging speculation that Laurent Mekies, understood to be the highest-ranking Ferrari engineer underneath Vasseur, wants to jump ship.
“I have known him since school and I believe in him and he will be one of the pillars of the company’s future,” Vasseur insists, also denying speculation Ferrari is trying to bring Haas’ technical boss Simone Resta back to Maranello.
“He’s doing a good job at Haas,” said Vasseur. “We have no plans to bring him back.”
Vasseur, 54, has key experience as a team boss from his past days with Renault and most recently Alfa Romeo, but he admits that life at the top of Ferrari is different.
“Mine is a pressure different from any other – it is that of a country and the country’s press,,” said the Frenchman.