Peter Sauber: ‘A sensible solution will be found’ for Frederic Vasseur replacement

Henry Valantine
Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur is interviewed. Sao Paulo November 2021.

Frederic Vasseur wears headphones as he is interviewed by the media ahead of the race. Interlagos November 2021.

Peter Sauber is confident his former team will find a “sensible solution” for replacing Frederic Vasseur as team principal, after his departure for Ferrari.

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl was brought to Sauber as its new CEO in the wake of Vasseur leaving for the Scuderia, with the Frenchman set to take on the role vacated by Mattia Binotto at the start of January.

Speaking about Seidl’s appointment to Swiss publication Blick, Sauber, who founded the Hinwil-based team and brought it into Formula 1 in 1993, believes the team have made the correct decision in bringing in someone of his calibre at the head of the organisation.

“I am convinced that it is a very good solution for Hinwil, because the tasks that await everyone are very demanding,” he said.

“But we should also not forget to thank Vasseur. He took over the team around six years ago in a difficult situation. Now he leaves with a sixth place in the World Championship. That’s great.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown allowed Seidl to leave his post and promoted racing director Andrea Stella to take his place at the team, and Sauber was pleased to see such a move happen.

But while Seidl is coming in with team principal experience in Formula 1, he will not be overseeing the Alfa Romeo operation day-to-day, instead taking on a wider role with the company which is likely to have him overseeing Audi’s transition into majority ownership of Sauber in time for the 2026 season.

This currently leaves a vacancy for a new team principal as it stands, then, with the team yet to announce who will be taking on the role for 2023 as it stands – though there is likely to be no shortage of candidates.

“A sensible solution will be found there, too,” Sauber said regarding Vasseur’s eventual replacement as team principal.

“I was simply pleased that an agreement could be reached earlier with the very experienced Seidl. Fortunately, Brown doesn’t think much of a month-long work stoppage despite the current contract.

“Like the fans, I’m now excited to see how Seidl will take the team forward in Hinwil after our four years together at BMW-Sauber and with his subsequent track record from the Porsche and McLaren days.”

Ferrari too good to turn down for Frederic Vasseur, but big times ahead at Sauber

The pull of Maranello is irresistible to almost everyone within Formula 1, and while Vasseur takes on arguably the most pressurised job in the sport, the traditional underdogs at Hinwil are likely to undergo a sizeable transition in the coming years for when Audi enter and complete their majority takeover.

With the German marque making their own power units upon their arrival, this will make Audi a new factory team in Formula 1, and the investment that is likely to be made could put them among the sport’s heavy hitters in terms of resources going into their project.

Whoever does end up getting the job as team principal is likely to have a rising amount of pressure, and competitiveness, on their hands as the team look to bring themselves to the top of Formula 1.

Read more: Ferrari CEO wants more ‘active’ role alongside Fred Vasseur in 2023 – report