Martin Brundle warns Fred Vasseur of Ferrari ‘revolving door’ amidst rebuild mission

Thomas Maher
Fred Vasseur speaking with Charles Leclerc in the garage. Miami May 2023

Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur speaking with Charles Leclerc in the garage. Miami May 2023

Martin Brundle does not want to see Fred Vasseur get caught up in the “revolving door” at Ferrari before finding his feet.

With Vasseur now six months in to his new job as Ferrari team boss after the resignation of Mattia Binotto, the Scuderia’s fortunes have scarcely changed from a rather bleak second half of 2022.

While single lap pace is still there, on occasion, race pace has been deficient to the point where Ferrari have had to worry far more about fighting with Mercedes and Aston Martin than with Red Bull at the front and, worse, both of their nearest rivals seem to be unlocking further performance from their cars.

Ferrari managed fourth and fifth last time out in Canada, helped by issues for Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll, and George Russell, with the SF-23 continuing to show a slight lack of relative performance after a poor display in Spain at the previous race.

With Vasseur still setting out his stall at Ferrari as he aims to make the changes needed to bring the Scuderia back to the front of Formula 1, Martin Brundle had a word of warning for the Frenchman – particularly as Ferrari have also lost the loyalty of sporting director Laurent Mekies, who is off to AlphaTauri as team boss, and having already lost David Sanchez from their chassis technical design department.

“He knows which way is up. It has been a revolving door there and he’s got to be careful he doesn’t get caught up in it,” the Sky F1 broadcaster said after the Canadian Grand Prix.

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The former F1 racer outlined how Vasseur needs to find more no-nonsense personalities like his own to slot into senior positions at the Scuderia, but said it could be a problem given the attractive options of teams that don’t require relocation to Italy.

“I think he needs four or five more like him, to be honest,” Brundle continued.

“You’re trying to attract world-class aerodynamicists and technicians and designers, but Aston Martin ramped up massively and have been hiring. Audi, with Sauber, are hiring.

“They’re at a premium, these people, and they’re not easy to get hold of and to get out of long-standing, long-term contracts, and then to get them to move to Italy with their family.”

With Ferrari’s usual approach of hiring from within, brought about by necessity, still not yielding rewards, Brundle is hopeful Vasseur’s appointment as an external hire will eventually reward the team in similar fashion to when Jean Todt was brought on board and moulded the team in his image.

“Ferrari has always had a bit of an ecosystem where they’ve largely had the talent they needed,” he said.

“But their real success was with Stefano Domenicali, Jean Todt, Luca di Montezemolo – all there at the same time – Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne, Michael Schumacher, that is what you need to win at Ferrari and they don’t have even close to that at the moment.”