Red Bull ‘wildcard’ arrives at Maranello in Ferrari double staff swoop

Jamie Woodhouse
Carlos Sainz drives in practice. Monaco May 2023.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz rounds the apex of the Nouvelle Chicane. Monaco May 2023.

May 29, 2023 reportedly marks the date where Ferrari welcomed two steals from the Red Bull team through the doors of Maranello.

Right now it is Red Bull schooling the F1 field, with the hopes that Monaco could bring a pause to that onslaught failing to come to pass.

Instead, rather than fall back into the clutches of the chasing pack, which Red Bull had apparently prepared themselves for, Max Verstappen would cross the line 28 seconds ahead of nearest challenger Fernando Alonso to become a two-time Monaco Grand Prix winner.

But while Alonso flew the flag for Aston Martin with that P2 finish, his best result with the team, Ferrari were forced to settle for P6 courtesy of Charles Leclerc and P8 for Carlos Sainz at the end of a scruffy weekend.

However, while the on-track fight with Red Bull is not going too well, off the track it is apparently a different story, with the Scuderia having convinced two members of the Red Bull ranks to jump ship and buy into the Ferrari project, according to the Italian branch of

The first name, branded Ferrari’s “wildcard”, is American David George, principally an aerodynamicist whose career stretches across Formula 1, IndyCar and NASCAR, though his talents are more widespread as he is said to have also played a role in Honda’s return to form, the Japanese brand having now powered Red Bull to two Drivers’ and one Constructors’ title during their partnership.

Furthermore, George is described as a ‘valuable wildcard who brought innovative ideas to the projects he worked on’, and he will now get stuck into Ferrari’s 2024 challenger as the Scuderia target a fresh assault at snatching the top spot from Red Bull.

He will reportedly work with aero chief and vehicle project manager Enrico Cardile’s staff on that 2024 car, as will another unnamed former Red Bull aerodynamicist as team principal Fred Vasseur begins to build his army.

These acquisitions may have been made with 2024 very much in mind, though Ferrari certainly has not thrown in the towel on F1 2023 after six rounds, the team planning to unveil upgrades next time out at the Spanish Grand Prix, an event which they have not won since they did so with Alonso in 2013, which also remains the Spaniard’s most recent F1 victory. recommends

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Of course it would not be wise to completely strike off a season when only six rounds of 22 are complete, and Ferrari indeed are not taking that approach, though it seems now like Ferrari are too far adrift to realistically threaten Red Bull before the 2023 campaign concludes.

If anything, it feels like Aston Martin and Mercedes are their realistic benchmarks now in pursuit of that best-of-the-rest P2 spot, with performance issues on race day leaving Ferrari hamstrung.

Tyre management is a key issue for the Scuderia, who are still searching to understand the “very clever” methods being used by Red Bull to make sacrifices over one lap, to then become untouchable on race days.

This year’s Ferrari is not as obedient with Leclerc and Sainz, bringing a knock-on effect for their confidence, so it feels like the team are still far away from delivering a car which could really trouble the all-round threat that is the Red Bull RB19.

Going back to the drawing board then, with a noticeable Red Bull influence providing crucial input, does definitely seem like the way to go for Ferrari.