Fred Vasseur to take over as Ferrari team principal after leaving Alfa Romeo

Fred Vasseur to take over as Ferrari team principal after leaving Alfa Romeo

Fred Vasseur will take over as Ferrari team principal after leaving his role with Alfa Romeo.

The 54-year-old Frenchman will join the Italian team on January 9 as a replacement for Mattia Binotto.

Binotto is stepping down at the end of the year after a campaign which saw a catalogue of Ferrari errors harm Charles Leclerc’s hopes of winning the driver’s title.

Binotto will be succeeded by Vasseur, who in six seasons with Alfa Romeo led the team from bottom of the constructors’ championship to sixth this last year – their highest finish since 2012.

Vasseur said: “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.”

Charles Leclerc endured a frustrating season
Charles Leclerc endured a frustrating season (David Davies/PA)

Leclerc won two of the opening three races last season to provide Ferrari with hope they could end a drivers’ championship drought which stretches back to 2007.

But the Monegasque took to the top step of the podium on only one other occasion following a series of mechanical and strategy errors.

Ferrari chief executive Benedetto Vigna hopes the appointment of Vasseur will help the team reach their potential.

He 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.”

Vasseur joined Alfa Romeo, then Sauber, in 2017 and helped the team grow on and off the track.

The team’s chairman Finn Rausing said: “Frederic gave our team six years of inspiring leadership and hard work, helping rebuild our company and our team.

“He was able to encourage every one of us into giving our best and the increasingly good results we have enjoyed are testament to the quality of his performance at the helm of the team.

“He was the first to believe in our project and he leaves a team in a much stronger, healthier position than when he arrived, with a bright future ahead of us, which is all that could have been asked of him.”

McLaren also announced Andrea Stella was set to move from his role as executive director racing and take over as team principal, with Andreas Seidl leaving to join the Sauber Group as chief executive.

Stella said: “I feel privileged to take on the team principal role as the next stage of being part of the McLaren F1 Team.

“We are realistic about the amount of work ahead of us to move back up the grid, but I am excited and encouraged that I am in this journey together with a team full of talent, experience, racing spirit and dedication.”

Seidl, who joined McLaren three years ago, will start his new job at Sauber in January, filling the vacancy left by Vasseur,

The German said: “I can’t wait to join the team and work with all the colleagues at the Sauber Group on the ambitious goals we have set together.”