Fred Vasseur is leaving Sauber to replace Mattia Binotto as Ferrari’s Formula 1 team principal, with McLaren boss Andreas Seidl tipped to succeed Vasseur at Sauber and head what will become the Audi works team.
After an explosive silly season in the F1 driver market in the summer, the off-season has been dominated by major changes among senior team personnel as well.
Ferrari announced Binotto’s resignation barely a week after the season finale in Abu Dhabi and Vasseur emerged as the favourite to replace him, although Ferrari indicated that the recruitment process would not be concluded until early 2023.
Sauber announced on Tuesday that Vasseur will leave the company in January and Ferrari confirmed he will be Binotto’s successor as team principal and general manager half an hour later.
“I am truly delighted and honoured to take over the leadership of Scuderia Ferrari as team principal,” Vasseur said.
“As someone who has always held a lifelong passion for motorsport, Ferrari has always represented the very pinnacle of the racing world to me.
“I look forward to working with the talented and truly passionate team in Maranello to honour the history and heritage of the Scuderia and deliver for our Tifosi around the world”.
Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna added: “Throughout his career, he has successfully combined his technical strengths as a trained engineer with a consistent ability to bring out the best in his drivers and teams.
“This approach and his leadership are what we need to push Ferrari forward with renewed energy.”
It first emerged on Tuesday, reported by the Australian publication Speedcafe, that Seidl would make a shock departure from McLaren, where he was part of a long-term project to return the team to title contention.
Sauber currently runs as Alfa Romeo in a pure sponsorship deal and is less competitive than McLaren but will become Audi’s works team in 2026 with proper investment from the German manufacturer.
It was always likely that Audi would be keen to place its own people at the team and the opportunity to poach Seidl came as Vasseur was targeted by Ferrari.
Vasseur is currently Sauber CEO as well as team principal of the F1 team. Whether or not Seidl will also hold a senior role in the Sauber company or will simply head up the F1 operation remains to be seen.
Separately to all this, on Monday this week, it emerged that the Williams ownership had taken drastic action and chosen to relieve team principal Jost Capito and technical director FX Demaison.