F1 rumours: Ferrari’s Laurent Mekies mulling over Alpine, Liberty Media and FIA offers
Alpine are reportedly attempting to take Laurent Mekies away from Ferrari with the long-time employee said to want out of Maranello.
There appears to be somewhat of an exodus on the cards at Ferrari with head of vehicle concept David Sanchez reportedly resigning last week and now long-time employee Mekies is rumoured to also be heading for the exit door.
The assistant team principal and race director has been with the Italian outfit since 2018 but according to Formu1a.uno, he is not happy with the leadership style of Benedetto Vigna, Ferrari’s CEO.
Reportedly, Mekies’ discontent arises from the presence of Vigna in a sporting manager role who has become “very cumbersome compared to the previous management.”
A change in structure at Ferrari following Mattia Binotto’s departure has seen Vigna take on more responsibility and as such, Mekies, along with other senior employees now report to him.
This is not ideal for Mekies who would prefer to report to new team principal Fred Vasseur but even the former Sauber man’s appointment has caused a stir in the corridors of Maranello.
The Italian outlet reports that Vasseur’s appointment was one that suited CEO Vigna but chairman John Elkann was not convinced, said to have preferred a “more prominent character.”
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But should Mekies decide to leave then there is no shortage of suitors. Formu1a.uno reports that Alpine, Liberty Media and his former employers the FIA have all made offers to the French engineer. However, it is likely Mekies would have to serve some form of gardening leave before taking up a new role.
Formu1a.uno are not alone in their reporting of Mekies’ imminent departure. Corriere della Sera stated that the situation between Ferrari and Mekies is “at a standstill” after Vasseur reportedly vetoed a deal for Mekies to work with Formula 1 alongside its president and ex-Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali.
Charles Leclerc is reported to also have held crisis talks with Elkann following the season opener in Bahrain.
Mekies began his career in Formula 3 before joining Arrows and moving to F1. He was at Minardi when the team was taken over by Red Bull and stayed on as chief engineer at Toro Rosso.
In 2014 he left to join the FIA before moving to Ferrari four years later.