Ferrari have confirmed that racing director Laurent Mekies will depart the team “this week” as he prepares to replace Franz Tost at AlphaTauri.
It has been known for several months now that Mekies will take on the team principal role at Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri as the replacement to the retiring Tost, though uncertainty exists over the length of Mekies’ gardening leave period before he can link-up with AlphaTauri, as Tost prepares to step down after the 2023 campaign.
Ferrari has though now confirmed that Mekies’ time with the team is near its end as he will leave this week, with the Frenchman not travelling to Spa-Francorchamps where the Belgian Grand Prix takes place this weekend.
Diego Ioverno has stepped up to the role of Ferrari sporting director and will join the pitwall as of the Belgian GP, taking over part of Mekies’ duties.
Ioverno, whose Ferrari association spans over 23 years, will take charge of sporting matters for the team and will act as the bridge between Ferrari and governing body the FIA.
“Laurent Mekies’ time at Scuderia Ferrari comes to an end this week,” said Ferrari in a statement.
“The racing director will not be in Belgium and he leaves Maranello after four and a half seasons, during which time the team took seven wins.
“The entire team thank him for his great contribution during those years.
“As from the Belgian Grand Prix, part of Laurent’s duties on the pitwall will be carried out by Diego Ioverno, who takes on the role of sporting director.
“He will be responsible for all sporting matters, as well as liaising with the FIA.
“Ioverno is a veteran member of the Scuderia having worked in Maranello for the past 23 years.
“Along with his colleagues on the pitwall, Matteo Togninalli, head of track engineering and Ravin Jain, race strategist, he will report directly to team principal, Fred Vasseur.”
Ferrari go into the Belgian Grand Prix P4 in the Constructors’ Championship, 17 points behind Aston Martin a position ahead.