Sky F1 reporters believe Fred Vasseur already more assertive as Ferrari boss than Mattia Binotto

Henry Valantine
Frédéric Vasseur as new Ferrari team boss. December 2022 Fred Vasseur

Frédéric Vasseur as new Ferrari team boss. December 2022

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz and Craig Slater have both praised new Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur for his approach to the role, on the evidence shown so far.

Vasseur took the reins at Ferrari after the resignation of Mattia Binotto at the end of 2022, moving across from Alfa Romeo to become the new team boss at the Scuderia.

The Frenchman has been relatively understated in going about his business at Maranello so far, but has batted away suggestions he will favour Charles Leclerc, with whom he has already worked at Sauber and at junior level, as the team’s number one driver from the off this season.

He has also worked with Carlos Sainz in the past as team principal at Renault, and Vasseur has assured that both drivers will have equal status until such a time that Ferrari need to put their backing behind one driver for the good of the team this season.

He also refused to take too much credit for the SF-23 itself given much of the work on the new car was done prior to his arrival, with the 2023 car launched in stunning fashion with a live unveiling in front of fans at Ferrari’s private test track, Fiorano.

And when discussing the new team principal, Kravitz drew comparisons with a Scuderia great from years gone by when talking about how he has approached his job so far.

“I’ve got high hopes for Ferrari. I think they can be up there and sustaining a championship challenge for Red Bull all season long,” Kravitz said on Sky Sports.

“I’d like to think is going to be very tight, it’s going to go down to the last race between what eventually will be Charles Leclerc potentially and Max Verstappen.

“I don’t think it will, but something interesting I think is that we do have the new boss, Fred Vasseur.

“I think he is in the Jean Todt mould because he’s not coming out with any pronouncements, any kind of media lines that you can really grab hold of.

“But one thing he did say about whether they have a number one driver or not, he said Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, they have equal equipment, they will have equal chance to go for the championship, until which time I decide, said Vasseur, that it’s in Ferrari’s best interest to favour one person for the championship, and then I will make that call – and I thought that was more than Mattia Binotto ever said about on focusing on one driver for the championship.”

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Fellow Sky reporter Craig Slater agreed with Kravitz’s assessment, comparing Vasseur to another title-winning Ferrari team principal from a bygone era.

“I thought he was much more convincing as a team boss than I’ve seen anyone at Ferrari for some time, maybe since Stefano [Domenicali’s] time, maybe even since Jean Todt himself. He looks very self-assured.”