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Why Ferrari oversight threatens to derail Vasseur revolution

Why Ferrari oversight threatens to derail Vasseur revolution

Why Ferrari oversight threatens to derail Vasseur revolution

Why Ferrari oversight threatens to derail Vasseur revolution

Fred Vasseur will lead Ferrari into the new season but is the former Sauber team principal and CEO really the right man for the job?

We asked this question to GPFans readers in a recent poll and opinion was split, with 51 percent backing the Frenchman to succeed and 49 percent believing the opposite.

But in our discussions in a recent edition of the GPFans Stewards' Room podcast, the editorial team conceded the answer to this question depends more on the freedom Vasseur is permitted in his role.

You can listen to the thoughts of Ian Parkes, Sam Hall and Ewan Gale in the podcast at the bottom of this page, or scroll to read the team's assessment on the topic.

Editor-in-chief - Ian Parkes

The question is, how much of a free rein is Fred going to be allowed? Because for all intents and purposes, what I'm hearing coming out of Italy is that the guys at the top, [Ferrari chairman] John Elkann and CEO Benedetto Vigna, they will be having more of a day-to-day say in matters compared to previous regimes when they pretty much allowed the team principal and his deputies to run Ferrari F1.

Is that going to be the case? Is Fred going to be allowed his own ideas and thoughts? How much is he going to be guided by Elkann and Vigna?

Fred, has qualities, without a shadow of a doubt. He's a great character, a great personality, but has he got enough about him to lead a team as big as the Scuderia? I'm not too sure at this stage.

F1 writer - Ewan Gale

If Ian is right about Elkann and Vigna taking on more of a role then that makes Vasseur's appointment utterly confusing to me.

Because why would you not promote from within and use a puppet essentially, rather than bring in this accomplished former team principal/CEO who has been nigh-on impeccable in whatever he has done so far.

ART Grand Prix, one of the best junior teams out there, has nurtured multiple F1 world champions and other drivers who have gone on to be champions in other categories.

He set up Spark Technologies which built all of the Formula E cars for the first couple of years.

Then he came to Sauber when they were in a mire and now look at where they are. They're a completely restructured team, looking up and now have Audi coming on board. That's all down to him as well.

If you're bringing in a man like Fred Vasseur, you've got to give him full rein to do what he wants to do, regardless of whether he's right or not.

Deputy editor - Sam Hall

My worry is that Ferrari hasn't learned its lessons. You've got to look at the teams that are successful at the moment - the Mercedes model and the Red Bull model.

Toto Wolff and Christian Horner, for different reasons, have complete accountability so if something happens, it's on them. They are the ones in charge, making the calls and there is no one above them issuing orders.

At Ferrari, it's very much you've got the F1 team but that's just one branch of the overall company and Ferrari doesn't seem to be able to separate the two and give Vasseur complete freedom.

If he makes a judgment call and it's wrong, he'll be the first one to tell you that 'I messed that one up'. There's no question about that.

But if he's having to juggle running the F1 team and playing the Ferrari political game, I'm not entirely sure he is capable of doing that. I'm not sure anyone is capable of doing that.

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