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Ferrari names Fred Vasseur team principal in F1 shuffle

Oct 23, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Scuderia Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz (55) of Team Spain exits his car before the start of the U.S. Grand Prix F1 race at Circuit of the Americas. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ferrari announced that Fred Vasseur will take over as team principal as Formula 1’s offseason management shakeup continued on Tuesday.

Vasseur is leaving Sauber, which races as Alfa Romeo and quickly moved to replace him with McLaren’s Andreas Seidl. McLaren in turn promoted Andrea Stella to team principal to fill Seidl’s role.

Vasseur was considered a leading candidate to take over for Mattia Binotto, who resigned as Ferrari’s team principal last month. Vasseur’s experience includes being a team owner with ART Grand Prix along with spending 2016 with Renault before the past six years with Alfa Romeo.

“I am truly delighted and honoured to take over the leadership of Scuderia Ferrari as team principal,” Vasseur said in a statement.

“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.”

Ferrari’s star driver, Charles Leclerc, won GP3 and Formula 2 titles with Vasseur’s ART team and the two worked together during Leclerc’s rookie season at Alfa Romeo.

“I worked with Fred since the juniors, he has believed in me and we always had a good relationship,” Leclerc said.

Seidl was credited with helping to spearhead McLaren’s resurgence since 2019. He will now appoint a team principal for Alfa as he oversees the outfit’s partnership with Audi that begins in 2026.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown said Seidl had already informed him that he would be leaving the team at the end of his contract in 2025.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Andreas,” Brown said in a conference call. “He has provided great leadership for the team and has played a significant part in our F1 performance recovery plan and ongoing journey to return to the front of the grid. I thank him for the transparency throughout the process which gave us time to plan accordingly.”

After Sauber Group co-owner Finn Rausing called to ask Brown if Seidl would be released early from his contract, Brown focused on Stella as his replacement. Stella has been McLaren’s racing executive and Brown had considered him the best fit for the job once Seidl left.

Once Stella agreed to take the job, Brown allowed Seidl to leave his post a year early.

“I know a lot of teams play the ‘gardening leave’ card, but I think as we’ve demonstrated at McLaren, there are ways to dissolve a relationship, whether that’s with racing drivers, or employees, where you can do things on very workable terms for everyone,” Brown said.

Tuesday’s moves leave one remaining team principal vacancy on the grid following Jost Capito’s resignation from his Williams post on Monday.

–Field Level Media