Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global
Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP

Vasseur talks on Newey prospects and his plans for Mercedes F1 captures

Adrian Newey's admission that he will probably "go again" with another Formula 1 team has fuelled talk that the final chapter of his glittering career could be at Ferrari.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari

And while the Scuderia's boss Fred Vasseur remains tight-lipped on the state of their discussions, ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix he offered some teasing insight about the thought process he is going through.

While the bid to lure Newey remains a work in progress, and nothing needs to really be sorted for months, Vasseur knows it would be remiss of him not to try to capture F1's biggest design talent.

And however super happy he is with the progress his current staff have made in closing the gap to Red Bull, it is still not enough.

Asked for his comments about the ongoing Newey speculation in light of the most recent comments from the star designer, Vasseur first gave nothing away about what or may not be happening between them.

"Adrian, he has a mega record," said Vasseur. "He's the most successful engineer in the paddock.

"I don't know about statistics, but I would say that it's like this probably. But I have no comment to make on this."

However, further elaborating on his vision, Vasseur said that there were two parallel timeframes rolling out for him.

"We are speaking about the long term and the short term, but we are at the phase of the season where the short term is crucial," he said. "We are pushing like hell. I trust the guys that we have in the team, but then the future will be the future.

Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing

Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

"Honestly, it's the occupation of Ferrari today to improve step by step, small step by small step. And I trust the people that we have in the company, that they are doing a good job.

"If you compare with one year ago and the beginning of May, which was probably Miami, we were one second off. And last week in Miami, we were 0.1 to 0.15 seconds off. It means that we made a huge step forward.

"But it's not enough, because clearly I think Red Bull is still ahead. It's much less and not always, but they are still for me a little bit ahead.

"We have to continue [moving] hundredths by hundredths. And we have to be focused on the fact that it will never be five tenths by five tenths. That will be a mistake.

"If we have to compensate and to catch up, it will be hundredths by hundredths and not to imagine that there is a magic bullet".

Plans for Mercedes recruits

While Newey's future is not clear right now, Ferrari recently went public on its capture of two senior figures from Mercedes – Loic Serra and Jerome D'Ambrosio.

One of the more interesting aspects of that announcement was the fact that D'Ambrosio is arriving as deputy team principal – a role that perhaps others within Maranello may have had their eyes on.

Speaking about the plans for d'Ambrosio, Vasseur said: "He is not replacing anyone, it's just an added value to the team.

"We will split the position and it's not name by name or box by box that we are not doing like this. But he will support me.

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Driver Development, Mercedes-AMG

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Driver Development, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

"He will kick my ass on some occasion. And I need also this. And I think he has a huge experience in motorsport from management, from the driving, from everything. And he will be a good asset for us for the future."

When Vasseur signed Lewis Hamilton earlier this year he admitted to having had to have an awkward conversation with friend and rival team boss Toto Wolff.

He said things were no different this time – even if he says Serra's deal was done a long time ago.

"I think Loic was probably before Lewis, I don't remember exactly," said Vasseur. "But more seriously, I think it's the life of a team that we know that we have 1,500 people, and that you have a turnover.

"People will go and will come, and we don't have to take it personally. But it's never easy".

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Speaking from experience, Hamilton backs Antonelli as his Mercedes F1 successor
Next article Mercedes delivers fresh batch of F1 car upgrades at Imola

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global