Fred Vasseur has swapped the Alfa Romeo team boss role for Ferrari, but that does not mean all ties are cut with his former employer.
When it was announced that Mattia Binotto would resign from the Ferrari team boss role at the end of 2022, Vasseur quickly emerged as a favourite to take over the responsibility.
And that is exactly what came to pass, Vasseur bidding farewell to the Alfa Romeo team as he looks to inspire the Ferrari squad to finally end their title draught which stretches back to 2008.
But, Alfa Romeo’s new ‘team representative’ Alessandro Alunni Bravi pointed out that Vasseur is not about to become a stranger to the team, as they will still be in contact with the Frenchman regularly since Ferrari supply their power units to Alfa Romeo.
And this he hopes will be the pathway which allows for the relationship with Vasseur to remain strong.
“First of all, Fred is a friend,” Bravi told Motorsport.com. “And I can never forget all the time spent together from the very beginning when we joined Sauber in 2017.
“And, of course, we want to continue all the path, the development plan, that he put in place.
“And for me, personally, I want to thank him. In what we have achieved Fred has been instrumental, he has been our leader. We want to continue his journey, we want to confirm that the team achieved this position because of the work that we have put in place thanks to Fred.
“I think we will be very, very happy to keep the collaboration with him. Don’t forget that Ferrari is our key technical partner and I think that the fact that Fred is there will even more facilitate our relationship.
“We will work together in order to keep this growth and to continue progressing as a team.”
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Alfa Romeo and Ferrari strengthening ties?
Both teams are already technical partners as Bravi references, but when it comes to that dreaded ‘Ferrari B-team tag’, that has commonly been Haas’ to laugh off.
All the talk recently has been about Williams as they deny speculation of following the ‘Haas model’ with Mercedes, now that James Vowles has gone from Mercedes chief strategist to Williams team principal.
Alfa Romeo though seem rather happy to accept this bridge to Ferrari in the form of Vasseur and to keep a strong relationship in-tact, which will be helpful for the team especially during the coming years in the lead-up to 2026 when they become Audi’s works team, with Alfa Romeo’s role in this Sauber-operated team to conclude at the end of 2023.
Ferrari are also very unlikely to be upset about having an even closer ally in this political world of Formula 1, and the relationship in place to potentially find a seat at Alfa Romeo-Sauber for graduates of the Ferrari Driver Academy.