Ferrari to use new Mercedes signing to entice number one target to Maranello – report

Michelle Foster
A Ferrari flag waving at Monza. Italy September 2019

A Ferrari flag waving in the crowd after the Italian Grand Prix. Italy September 2019

Failing to sign Pierre Waché when Ferrari made a play for the Red Bull technical director earlier this year, reports claim Fred Vasseur is going to use his newest recruit, Mercedes’ Loïc Serra, to get his number target.

Although Serra’s move from Mercedes to Ferrari has yet to be officially confirmed, according to Auto Motor und Sport it’s just a matter of time before the Frenchman heads off on a staggering 18 months of gardening leave.

Set to arrive at Ferrari only in 2025, Serra is just one part in Vasseur’s bid to bring a few of Ferrari’s rival teams’ biggest and brightest names over to Maranello with his number one target still Waché.

Ferrari are ‘trying to get Pierre Waché through this connection’

Having lost David Sanchez to McLaren and Laurent Mekies to AlphaTauri, earlier this year Ferrari made a play for Waché, the Red Bull technical director and one of the key men behind the all-conquering Red Bull RB19 and its superior DRS.

They were, however, rebuffed by the Frenchman before turning their attention to his compatriot and Mercedes’ performance director Serra.

Expected to join Ferrari in 2025, unless the Scuderia can reach an agreement with Mercedes that will allow for a shorter period of gardening leave, AMuS’s Michael Schmidt reports the Scuderia are hoping to use Serra to persuade Waché over to Ferrari as they are good friends.

“I believe Loïc Serra was chosen carefully,” Schmidt said in his post-Spa video.

“He is one of the best friends of Pierre Waché, the technical director of Red Bull. The two often spend hours together in the paddock, even though they are from rival teams.

“Both are heavy smokers and chat there. I’d love to listen in on what those two say to each other.

“I think Vasseur is also trying to get Pierre Waché through this connection.

“From what I hear from Red Bull, [Vasseur] has been going at it and was really close [to signing Waché], and maybe he’s still trying.”

Red Bull, though, are “quite confident” Waché will stay says Schmidt.

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Earlier this year there were also rumours that Ferrari were chasing Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey with Enrico Balbo also a target.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner made it clear at the time, Red Bull would not be losing key personnel to their Italian rivals.

“In terms of personnel moving to Ferrari, certainly at a senior or intermediate levels there’s nothing planned,” he said in May.

“Individuals that have been mentioned in connection with Ferrari came to see me last week and mentioned their disbelief in some of these rumours.

“But it’s Formula One, that will inevitably happen, but there are no plans for any senior members of our team to be joining Maranello.”

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