F1's silly season for team principals hit another gear on Tuesday morning as Ferrari confirmed Vasseur as their new boss, replacing Mattia Binotto from next month. 

It’s only been a matter of time with Vasseur top of Ferrari’s shortlist after unsuccessful swoops for Christian Horner of Red Bull and McLaren’s Andreas Seidl.

What went wrong for Mattia Binotto? What next for Ferrari?

The role of Ferrari team principal is arguably the biggest in motorsport, given their enormous stature and prestige, but also the pressure that comes with it from an entire nation in Italy.

As team boss Vasseur will have to tackle a number of key areas if they are to mount a serious title challenge in the coming years, thus ending their championship win drought stretching back to 2007.

His straight-talking, impressive man management skills should serve him well, especially if he gets the power and opportunity to make changes by Ferrari chairman John Elkann. 

One notable point about this move is Vasseur’s prior relationship with Leclerc.

The pair worked together during Leclerc’s championship winning year with ART Grand Prix in GP3 Series (now known as FIA Formula 3).

Vasseur was Leclerc’s team boss at Sauber in 2018 - his impressive rookie year in F1, which ultimately earned him the Ferrari drive in place of Kimi Raikkonen for 2019.

While Leclerc was quick to point out during the FIA’s Prize Giving Gala on Friday that he had no influence on Ferrari’s decision over their new team principal, it’s unrealistic to think that their top management wouldn’t have consulted the Leclerc camp to get their seal of approval.

In theory, the signing of Vasseur should only strengthen Leclerc’s position in the team given their close relationship. 

Leclerc would have seen Lewis Hamilton build Mercedes around him, similarly with Max Verstappen at Red Bull in recent years, having Vasseur on side will be crucial in achieving that.

On-track performance ultimately dictates a hierarchy in a team, however, with there being mumurings that Ferrari’s development direction wasn’t entirely in Leclerc’s favour with the car moving from an oversteer to more understeer philosophy in the second half of 2022 - potentially allowing Carlos Sainz to reduce the performance deficit in the final dozen races - Leclerc will be need Vasseur’s support to ensure the car is giving him what he wants.

Red Bull ensure their car is as suited to Verstappen as possible, so Ferrari should do the same with Leclerc.

As we saw in the opening six races, the RB18 was incredibly overweight and suffered with a chronic amount of understeer, ultimately hampering Verstappen while aiding teammate Sergio Perez.

This soon changed from Canada onwards with Red Bull’s notoriously pointy front-end returning, allowing Verstappen to return to his blistering best in all conditions, but having the opposite effect on Perez.

While it is debatable how much influence a driver can have on development direction, Ferrari need to build a Red Bull beater and building a car to Leclerc’s strengths is part of that process.  

Leclerc is out of contract at the end of 2024, and the signing of Vasseur could be seen as one to sweeten their star driver to sign a new deal.

With Mercedes likely needing a replacement for Hamilton in the next two to three years and Ferrari failing to deliver a title-winning car to Leclerc, he could be tempted in a move to Brackley in pursuit of championship success.

Vasseur has a mammoth job on his hands to take the team forward. 

Leclerc should only benefit from Vasseur’s arrival, but will it be enough to keep him at Ferrari long term if the same failings rear their head again in the years to come?