Ferrari CEO rages at Vasseur for friendship with Wolff | Leclerc demands meeting

Fred Vasseur is reportedly in trouble with the Ferrari CEO because of his decision to travel to the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix with his friend Toto Wolff.
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Qualifying Day.
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1,…

The Ferrari and Mercedes team principals have long been amicable, and shared a flight into Bahrain then a post-qualifying meeting in Wolff’s team’s motorhome.

But Benedetto Vigna, the Ferrari CEO who hired Vasseur as Mattia Binotto’s replacement this winter, is not impressed by his cosiness with Wolff, Corriere della Sera report.

 - Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director and Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Renault Sport Formula One
- Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director and…

The problems deepen for Ferrari, just one race into 2023.

Charles Leclerc demanded a crisis meeting with Ferrari president John Elkann at Maranello to seek reassurances after he retired from the Bahrain GP, seemingly a return for the team’s reliability problems.

Leclerc and Elkann share a close relationship but the driver was “evidently worried”, Gazzetta report.

“The atmosphere is tense” at the Scuderia factory in Italy, the report claims.

New team principal Vasseur held his first big meeting in front of employees urging them to remain united despite a troubling start to 2023.

Even before the poor race in Bahrain, problems were “agitating the team”, Corriere report.

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Ferrari had made ambitious predictions for the season based on their wind tunnel and simulator data yet found themselves changing Leclerc’s energy supply before the opening race, before their star driver failed to finish.

There may be a “technical vacuum” between the reigns of Binotto and Vasseur, the newspaper claims, meaning the SF-23 is muddled between ideas.

The CEO Vigna has also reportedly created a “climate of uncertainty and fear”, which is why David Sanchez quit his job as head of concept.

Inaki Rueda may also leave after his job as Head of Strategy was downgraded. Gino Rosato and Jonathan Giacobazzi are gone already. And racing director Laurent Mekies accepted a job at F1 but Vasseur blocked his exit.

Despite these issues, Vasseur remains in a “strong position” according to Corriere because of Ferrari’s lack of glory since crowning their last drivers’ champion in 2007, and because of the revolving door of team principals.

Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will be hoping for better luck at the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend.

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