The motto of the new Ferrari race director Frédéric Vasseur was well received by the Tifosi. "Ferrari first!" That means that only victory counts for Ferrari. Charles Leclerc already praises his new boss in the highest tones.
The first big appearance of the new Ferrari race director Frédéric Vasseur began with a small breakdown. The first pictures of the new SF-23 circulated on social networks a few hours before the official presentation. It wasn't the first time Ferrari's internal network showed a leak. The images of the car against a black background revealed that someone had secretly taken photos during the studio recordings.
Vasseur could get over it. The presentation was an unforgettable experience for the local Tifosi. While others do their first laps behind closed doors, this time Ferrari sought the public. That went down well. And the team boss and the drivers did not hide behind cautious confessions.
When Vasseur alludes to Donald Trump's motto with "Ferrari first", he means that anything but victory would be too modest a claim. "This task is both an honor and a responsibility. The pressure is greater at Ferrari than anywhere else. But that can also inspire you."
Vasseur's handwriting already recognizable
The 54-year-old Frenchman is currently settling in at Ferrari. The presentation of the SF-23 was the start of a long journey. After four weeks, the overview is already so large that the first structural changes have been made.
"I already have a pretty good idea of what makes this team tick. Everyone's DNA is the same. It has nothing to do with the size of the team. What differs from Sauber is the expectations." The learning process is not over yet. "In Bahrain I'll see how the team works on the track. I'll probably never stop learning."
The handwriting of the new capo can already be seen. Whoever sits in key positions should focus on that. Previously, some employees were apparently at the limit with the volume of their work. An example of the new division of labor: sports director Laurent Mekies takes care of the team at the track, Vasseur takes care of the drivers, sponsors and media. Chief strategist Inaki Rueda is to be taken out of the line of fire. It's used in the factory.
Vasseur is of the opinion that it is not a single actor who is responsible, but the whole system. Processes have to be checked, the communication between those involved, the number of people who have a say. "It's not a landslide, it's small changes we're making to make the system more robust."
Reliability in test drives mandatory
Vasseur is slowly getting used to the fact that he is a star in Italy thanks to his position.Not a day goes by that he isn't spoken to on the way to work. He is not yet judged by results, Ferrari is still on schedule. For the three days of testing in Bahrain, the former Sauber team boss demands absolute reliability in order to make maximum use of the preparation time. "If a major problem arises, like McLaren did last year, you don't have time to react until the first race."
Overall, however, the teams could start the test phase a little more relaxed than a year ago. "We all entered new territory. This time, the concepts of the cars and their problems are better known." That's why the teams largely stayed true to the basic design of their vehicles. "The rules and the budget cap don't give you the leeway to turn everything upside down."
Charles Leclerc is already showering his new boss with roses. "It's impressive how quickly he got used to it. In a short time he understood what this team needs and what he has to give the team so that they can perform at their best. It's not an easy task because Ferrari is different works as other teams." Carlos Sainz confirms: "You have to respect what Fred has done in the past. He will lead the team in his own way, and it will be different from what we know."