Ex-F1 racer suggests Ferrari staff ‘working in fear’ after obtaining insider info

Henry Valantine
Charles Leclerc makes a pit stop for Ferrari. Britain July 2023

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc makes a pit stop. Britain July 2023

Former Formula 1 driver Marc Surer believes there are Ferrari staff members ‘working in fear’ at the moment, in the team’s current state.

The Scuderia have three podiums to their name through Charles Leclerc so far this year, but it is a long way from the lofty ambitions they had set for themselves heading into the season.

They find themselves in the congested scrap to be ‘best of the rest’ behind Red Bull for the remainder of the season, but the dominant RB19 remains a class above the rest this year.

Ferrari staff ‘work with fear’ – Marc Surer

Having begun the new era of F1 in 2022 with a car at least on a par with Red Bull, if not faster, the Scuderia have steadily slid back in the pecking order and currently find themselves fourth in this year’s Constructors’ Championship at the summer break.

While Surer explained the SF-23 is likely to be more “balanced” than its predecessor, it has come at a cost – and there are staff who work at Maranello who he claims are feeling pressure as a result.

“The car is slower than before and there are no bright spots either,” Surer told the YouTube channel of Formel1.de.

“Now they’ve managed to be nowhere fast. They have probably made the car more balanced now, but lost the speed a bit in the process.

“That the people who are there, who built the super car last year, can’t manage it now, that surprises me a bit.

“I only know from insider circles, from people who were at Ferrari, who say: the people there all work with fear.”

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While Surer added that he believes team principal Fred Vasseur is “the right man” to lead Ferrari, there is a problem that the Scuderia have in terms of recruitment, namely “that nobody really wants to go to Italy.”

“Why should someone who has a family move to Italy now? The motivation must be very, very great,” he added.

The team is undergoing a period of transition behind the scenes, with sporting director Laurent Mekies having departed to take up the role of team principal at AlphaTauri next season, while also having lost their head of vehicle concept David Sanchez – one of the team’s most senior engineers – on the eve of the 2023 campaign.

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