Reports in Italian media claim F1’s most famous team is facing a mass exodus of key personnel amid Ferrari’s lacklustre start to the new season and apparent discontent at the leadership style of CEO Benedetto Vigna. 

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David Sanchez reportedly offered his resignation from the position of head of vehicle concept in order to join McLaren, while racing director Laurent Mekies is rumoured to have already received offers from Alpine, F1 and the FIA after signalling his intention to quit. 

Reacting to the speculation, new Ferrari team principal Vasseur told Auto Hebdo: “It's 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.”

Vasseur also dismissed suggestions he has not been entrusted with the level of responsibility he was promised at Ferrari. 

"I have the means and the power of decision that I have never had elsewhere," he insisted. "This is the reality of the situation!"

There were reports Charles Leclerc had demanded a crisis meeting with Ferrari president John Elkann at Maranello to seek reassurances after he retired from the Bahrain Grand Prix with an engine failure. 

But Vasseur stressed such meetings are nothing out of the ordinary. 

"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.” 

And Vasseur has been left baffled by criticism of Ferrari’s competitiveness in Bahrain after the team lagged behind Red Bull and Aston Martin.

"I find it difficult to understand why the team becomes a target after only one race," he said. 

"As far as the correlation between the simulation and the track is concerned, we are in line.

"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 offside. Bahrain was bad in some ways, and good in others!"