Frederic Vasseur credited Mattia Binotto, his predecessor at Ferrari, for a crystal clear handover process, as the Frenchman started getting himself immersed in his new at Maranello.
Fred Vasseur was Ferrari’s choice to replace Mattia Binotto at the helm of the Formula 1 team, after the latter resigned or “was resigned” after the conclusion of the 2022 season, a campaign where the Scuderia failed to capitalize on an early season advantage in the form of their impressive F1-75, the team falling prey to strategy errors, driver mistakes, and reliability problems.
The Binotto exit rumors started at the 2022 F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi, but the news was finally confirmed a little over a week after Abu Dhabi, with Vasseur announced as the new Ferrari team boss in December.
Speaking to the media, Vasseur explained the handover process with Binotto; he revealed: “The process was crystal clear.
“Even if we had some rumours into the press during Abu Dhabi [Grand Prix weekend], we didn’t discuss before. We had the first discussion the week after Abu Dhabi and it was very, very quick as a process.
“Then I had a call with Mattia, and I even met Mattia during the handover. And we had a one-to-one discussion,” the Frenchman added. “It was thanks to Mattia for this, because I appreciated the move from Mattia to stay, to wait for me, and to discuss together.”
Jean Todt a friend, not a consultant
Being a Frenchman, Vasseur’s arrival at Maranello inevitably brings back memories of compatriot Jean Todt who was behind Ferrari’s revival after joining in 1993 and building up towards the dominant Michael Schumacher days between 2000 and 2004.
Asked if he had sought any advice from Todt, Vasseur said: “For sure, I’ve had some discussions with Jean, because he’s stayed close to the F1 world.
“We exchanged [messages] by WhatsApp a couple of weeks ago, and I will meet him soon. All the advice is welcome, for sure, but I think it’s also quite difficult today to compare the situation of ‘94, ‘95, and 2022.
“I’ve known Jean for now more than 20 years. He was never far away from me in my professional life,” he pointed out.
“I think it makes sense for me to discuss with him, but it’s not a matter to be a consultant. I’m considering Jean as a close relationship and nothing else,” Vasseur maintained.
The last statement from Vasseur referred to the rumours regarding a potential consultant role for Todt with Ferrari, after the latter stepped down from his role as FIA president last year and replaced by under-fire Mohammed Ben Sulayem.