Frédéric Vasseur’s Plan for Ferrari Begins to Pay Off

In January last year, Frédéric Vasseur started one of the toughest jobs in motorsports, team principal of the Ferrari Formula 1 team.

It did not help that as a Frenchman, Vasseur was the first non-Italian to be appointed to the position since Jean Todt left in 2007. The Ferrari fans, known as Tifosi, were unhappy with the decision. In an episode of the Netflix documentary “Formula 1: Drive to Survive,” they made their feelings known.

“He’s never done this job,” one person said. “What the heck has he come here to do?” On Vasseur’s not speaking Italian, another said, “A team like Ferrari is a family. It’s important.”

Vasseur said the fan reaction didn’t surprise him.

“They have always been very positive, not necessarily with me, but with the team,” he said in an interview.

“There are always people at the entrance of the factory in the morning, or the evening when I’m leaving, and they are all positive,” he added. “I have never had someone shout, ‘Ah, you are doing rubbish.’ The guys who are there are shouting, ‘Allez, allez, allez.’”

Under Mattia Binotto, the previous team principal, Ferrari finished second in the constructors’ championship in 2022. Charles Leclerc was runner-up in the drivers’ standings. Last year, under Vasseur, Ferrari was third, Leclerc fifth and Carlos Sainz, his teammate, seventh.

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