Ferrari insist Laurent Mekies’ move to AlphaTauri must be handled in ‘proper way’

Michelle Foster
Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies laughing on the pit wall with Fred Vasseur. Miami May 2023

Ferrari's Laurent Mekies laughing on the pit wall with team boss Fred Vasseur. Miami May 2023

Rumoured to be at odds over when Laurent Mekies can leave Ferrari for AlphaTauri, Fred Vasseur insists he won’t block his compatriot’s move to Ferrari’s rival.

Earlier this year AlphaTauri, Red Bull’s junior team, announced Mekies would replace Franz Tost as their next boss in 2024, an announcement that irked Ferrari.

Hitting out at AlphaTauri for being a “bit aggressive on the press release”, new Ferrari team boss Vasseur accepted that it was a “mega opportunity” for Mekies – one that he reportedly accepted after losing the team boss role to Vasseur.

But while AlphaTauri wanted Mekies to start in January 2024, Ferrari said they had a “long-term” deal with the 46-year-old and would need to discuss his exit plan.

This has led to claims of a tug-o-war between Ferrari and AlphaTauri’s senior team Red Bull with the Scuderia open to allowing Mekies to leave earlier if, and only if, Red Bull release the personnel set to join Ferrari in the months to come.

Ferrari and Red Bull subsequently met during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend in which they are said to have discussed the terms for Mekies’ exit.

Vasseur, though, would not reveal any details other than to say it will be handled in the “proper” manner.

“Laurent is still linked with us,” the team boss said in Spain, “and we have to find a deal with Red Bull and AlphaTauri for this, but I think we’ll do it in the proper way, because I don’t want to block Laurent.

“I know him and I have a huge respect for Laurent. And even if we are competitors that at the end of the day I think we have to find a fair solution for everybody.” recommends

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As for AlphaTauri, departing team boss Tost says if they can’t get Mekies immediately, they still have Peter Bayer as CEO.

Asked about the impasse and if he’d potentially have to continue in the team boss role beyond his departure date, he replied: “I mean no. No, we have Peter.

“If Laurent is not coming at least we have Peter Bayer and therefore, I expect Laurent is coming then, early or later, at least at the beginning of January, the rest we will see. ”