Adrian Newey’s right-hand man Pierre Wache is widely believed to be on the verge of a sensational switch to Ferrari, it has been claimed.
Ferrari have embarked upon a spirited recruitment drive since Fred Vasseur was appointed team principal in late 2022, with the Frenchman determined to make his mark and help the famous Scuderia re-emerge as a title-contending force.
Vasseur pulled off his biggest coup to date last Thursday as Ferrari announced the signing of Lewis Hamilton for 2025, a matter of months after the seven-time World Champion signed a two-year contract extension with Mercedes.
Adrian Newey’s number two to join Ferrari?
Reports in the aftermath of the announcement suggested the move of trusted Mercedes performance director Loic Serra to Ferrari played a role in Hamilton’s decision to follow suit, with the pair sharing concerns over Mercedes’ development direction over recent years.
In his first season in charge at Maranello in 2023, Vasseur frequently expressed his frustration over the extended periods of gardening leave in place in F1 contracts, which were slowing his efforts to transform Ferrari’s fortunes.
However, the Scuderia boss could be set to make yet another breakthrough in his desire to build a winning team with Red Bull technical director Wache rumoured to be close to a move to Italy.
A report by the BBC has claimed that “many people in F1” are convinced – albeit “without proof” – that Wache is to join Ferrari in the “not-too-distant future.”
It is claimed that a move for Wache could “complicate” any renewed attempt by Ferrari to sign Newey amid the current uncertainty at Red Bull.
Despite winning a record 21 of a possible 22 races last season, Red Bull have found preparations for their title defence disrupted with long-serving team principal Christian Horner facing allegations of “inappropriate behaviour.”
Horner has strenuously denied the allegations.
Wache was originally linked with a move to Ferrari last August, with respected Auto Motor und Sport reporter Michael Schmidt claiming Vasseur was “really close” to getting his man, who is close friends with ex-Mercedes engineer Serra.
Newey himself memorably came close to a lucrative switch to Ferrari in 2014 but ultimately opted to stay put, later explaining in his autobiography that the culture within Red Bull had inspired him to turn down a move to Maranello.
He said: “We’d gone from being the paddock joke, the upstart, the party-hard fizzy drinks company, to four-time World Champions, and we’d done it the old-fashioned way, using principles that to me were in keeping with the true spirit of motor racing.
“I thought back to the beginning of the 2012 season when we couldn’t get the car right, and I remembered with pride that our shoulders hadn’t dropped. We’d got our heads down, worked through it and solved the problem.
“I thought how we’d developed young drivers instead of buying up star names; how we’d helped put Milton Keynes on the map; how throughout it all we’ve never stopped working; how we’d always taken the road less travelled, even when it meant facing seemingly insurmountable problems or technical challenges; how we never took the simple option in search of an easy life or sat back on our laurels feeling pleased with ourselves and decided ‘that’ll do’.
“We’d always continued innovating.”