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Vasseur dismisses talk of Maranello meltdown


Feeling the media heat after just one race, Ferrari boss, Frederic Vasseur seeks to dismiss claims of meltdown at Maranello.

If you thought Mercedes overreacted following the season opener, it is but nothing, according to sections of the media, compared to what is happening at Ferrari.

Whilst Toto and the boys head back to the drawing board, at Ferrari we are told that staff are seeking to jump ship.

Curiously, whilst one section of the media talks of staff sending out their CVs to rival teams, another informs that Lewis Hamilton is seeking to join the Maranello outfit having lost faith in Mercedes.

To be fair, that particular section of the media doesn't specify whether the seven-time world champion is seeking to join Ferrari as a driver or as a replacement for one of the many engineers claimed to be looking for a way off the seemingly slowly sinking SS Maranello.

Clearly aware of the speculation, team boss Frederic Vasseur is attempting to calm the situation, the Frenchman clearly feeling the heat after just one race.

As previously reported, David Sanchez, Ferrari's head of vehicle concept, has resigned from the team and is thought to be heading to McLaren where he would once again team up with Andrea Stella.

However, since Bahrain the media has been citing all manner of Ferrari personnel who are apparently looking to leave the team, not least racing director, Laurent Mekies, who has been linked with roles at both Alpine and Formula One Management

The media claims all manner of reasons for the unrest, not least the departure of Mattia Binotto, a long-time servant of the Maranello outfit to whom many remain fiercely loyal.

However, there is talk also that some at Ferrari are not happy with Vasseur's management style, which has led to speculation that Ferrari CEO, Benedetto Vigna has taken control of a number of key areas despite having no previous racing experience.

Indeed, such is the supposed turmoil it is claimed that following Bahrain, Charles Leclerc sought a face-to-face meeting with Ferrari chairman John Elkann.

Talking to Auto Hebdo, Vasseur made clear such meetings take place on a regular basis and are planned.

"We spoke with the drivers, Elkann and Vigna after winter testing, and we will all speak again together after Imola," he said. "These meetings are planned.

"I find it difficult to understand why the team becomes a target after only one race," he added, in reference to the frenzy of speculation that followed Bahrain.

In terms of certain responsibilities being removed and placed in the hands of Vigna, the Frenchman said: "I have the means and the power of decision that I have never had elsewhere. This is the reality of the situation."

And as for talk of an engineering exodus, he said: "It is inevitable. There are people who were very close to Mattia and who prefer to leave; which doesn't bother me. And there are others who may have feared for a moment for their future."

The Frenchman was also keen to address a disappointing season opener, which saw the Ferraris out-paced by the Red Bulls and even the Aston Martin, which had led to claims that the Maranello outfit has gone the wrong way with its data.

"As far as the correlation between the simulation and the track is concerned, we are in line," he insisted. "That's why I asked everyone to stay focused on performance and find solutions to reliability issues, because the championship is long.

"Just because you don't win the first one doesn't mean you're off-side," he added. "Bahrain was bad in some ways, and good in others!"

Nonetheless, Vasseur, along with Mekies, Leclerc and Sainz, held an informal meeting with staff last week in a bid to raise Maranello morale.


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1. Posted by kenji, 15/03/2023 11:01

"@ Max Noble...having spent considerable time in Italy over a very long time span I have come to the conclusion that 'chaos' is simply part of the Italian way and if it is possible to translate then Ferrari always strive to have the 'F1 bella figura'. It's hard to put into words but just watch the team celebrate when one of theirs win a race. They belt out their national anthem with such deeply felt joy and gusto, it's a sight to relish. IMO the Itaiian spirit possibly leads them to sometimes letting their heart rule their heads. Whilst they are extremely capable they don't naturally gravitate to the same level of teutonic thoroughness, exhibited by their Northerly neighbours. I'll take the passion and the performances, plus or minus, anytime of day. Unfortunately that is not the shortest route to WCC/WDC. "

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2. Posted by Max Noble, 15/03/2023 1:53

"Of course he can dismiss it 100%! Since Todt, Michael, and Ross left Ferrari have been what one could term a “hot mess” every working day. To now be suffering a meltdown would require them to have *not* been a hot mess for the past decade plus. Hence… there is no *new* meltdown… just the continuing chaos that is Ferrari in the 21st century.

…so, nothing (new) to see here, move along…

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3. Posted by Wokingchap, 14/03/2023 11:36

"So 'everything is OK'....just as it always was."

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