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Vasseur now only getting started after initially evaluating team

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Vasseur, former Alfa Romeo F1 team boss and Sauber chief executive, took the helm of the Scuderia in January following the resignation of the much-maligned Mattia Binotto over the winter.

But ahead of Ferrari’s home race at Imola this weekend, the team currently sits fourth in the constructors’ championship. It led rival Red Bull into last year’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Unreliability, strategic missteps, and turbo detune in the second half of 2022 have resulted in reduced performance, while the new SF-23 has so far struggled for race speed and is trickier to handle.

But the downgrade of the order did not trigger any knee-jerk changes in Vasseur, with Leclerc saying the French would now only intervene vigorously, having initially used his time in charge to make an assessment.

Asked to comment on Vassell’s leadership style and any changes made, Leclerc said: “Well, I think he’s just starting the process now.

“Until now, he’s basically been analyzing the situation as fast as he can to make the best changes for the future.

“So, I think most of the work will be done from now on. So we’ll see.

“Obviously, I’ve talked to Fred a lot and I know what his plans are for the team in the medium to long term. I have my full support for him and I have full trust in him.

Frederic Vasseur, Ferrari team principal and general manager

Frederic Vasseur, Ferrari team principal and general manager

Photography: Alexander Trienitz / motorsport pictures

“I’m sure those are the right choices and it’s going in the right direction for the team. So I’m looking forward to it.”

Vasseur will have to oversee a reshuffle in several senior roles within the team, with vehicle concept chief David Sanchez leaving McLaren.

Meanwhile, Ferrari racing director Laurent Mekis must agree to release his long-term contract so he can replace Franz Tost as AlphaTauri team principal next season.

McLaren boss Andrea Stella, who takes over the top job at Woking on December 13, 2022 – the same day Vasseur’s appointment was announced – has overseen a major reorganization of the team’s technical department.

That included poaching Sanchez, while Stella also identified the need to re-hire former team sporting director Gilles de Ferran as a non-executive adviser to help strengthen McLaren’s leadership structure.

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