Frédéric Vasseur has ended up in a chaotic situation at Ferrari. Several contracts expire at the end of the year and that probably means that the Italian racing stable will lose many employees. Laurent Mekies, among others, is on his way to the exit now that he wants to force a switch to Formula One Management (FOM). The relationship between Vasseur and CEO Benedetto Vigna has also been under high tension since the beginning.
Vasseur has already made some changes in his short time with the Ferrari team. This year there seem to be even more forced adjustments. “Several contracts will expire soon, including that of Enrico Cardile, who acts as technical director,” says Corriere della Sera. “No one is in a safe place. Due to the gardening leave, the layoffs are almost certain. Maybe Simone Resta will return from Haas then.’
Mekies also does not seem to be working for the Ferrari team for very long. The Frenchman has a different role under Vasseur, with fewer freedoms and responsibilities than under Mattia Binotto. Mekies has therefore received an offer from Stefano Domenicali to transfer to FOM. “Vasseur has used his right of veto and now there has been an impasse for some time.” Mekies himself is said to have already reached an agreement with the FOM, but for now he has to stay.
‘Vasseur stopped by Ferrari leadership’
The fact that things are not going well at Ferrari is also apparent from the relationship between Vasseur and CEO Vigna. The team boss is not happy with the limitations his job currently has. “Vasseur wanted to attract a new sponsor, but he was stopped by the leadership at Ferrari.” This has already created some tensions between the two parties. Vasseur decided to fly to the test days with good friend Toto Wolff.
Update 13:57h (13/03) | ‘Mekies also has offers from Alpine and the FIA’
Laurent Mekies’ position within Ferrari seems to be becoming increasingly untenable. It was previously reported that the race director has received an offer from Formula One Management (FOM), but according to Formule1a.uno there are further offers for the Frenchman. For example, the FIA, for which Mekies worked before, and Alpine are ogling his services.
It is currently a mess within the Ferrari team. David Sanchez has already said goodbye to the team and Mekies also seems to want to force a departure. This has been stopped by team boss Frédéric Vasseur for the time being, but the question is how long he can keep this up. “The Frenchman has offers from the FIA, Liberty Media and Alpine, but it is difficult to tear up his contract,” writes Formul1a.uno. ‘The dissatisfaction with Mekies is due to the presence of Benedetto Vigna.’
Update II 20:53h (13/03) | “Tondi replaces chief engineer and gets help from former Red Bull staff, Mekies stays”
The chaos at Ferrari seems to be getting worse by the hours, as the Italian branch of Motorsport.com reports that Diego Tondi, Ferrari’s head of aerodynamics, will take on the role of the recently resigned chief engineer. He receives help from two former Red Bull Racing employees. Laurent Mekies remains faithful to his contract with Ferrari, despite offers from Alpine and the FIA.
Ferrari’s internal chaos continues. After the Bahrain Grand Prix, David Sanchez announced that he was parting ways with Ferrari. In the meantime Iñaki Rueda has also been replaced on the pit wall and Mekies has received several offers to take up employment elsewhere. The Frenchman will remain with the team from Maranello, according to the Italian branch of Motorsport.com. Enrico Gualteri, the engine chief, also remains in his position. Anyway, things will change. Tondi, Scuderia’s head of aerodynamics, will take Sanchez’s place, with help from two former Red Bull engineers. This means that another vacancy will be open at Ferrari.