F1 principal round-up: Frederic Vasseur in at Ferrari, Andreas Seidl leaves McLaren

The F1 team principal silly season is currently in full flow as Ferrari announce Frederic Vasseur as their new boss.

Ferrari confirmed the news via a statement on their official site earlier today (13 December).

As a result of his new position, Vasseur also leaves his post as team principal at Alfa Romeo F1 team. They announced the Frenchman’s exit in a statement on their website. Throughout the touching press release, Alfa paid tribute to Vasseur’s tireless work with the team since he joined them in 2017.

The F1 team also credited Fred Vasseur for their turnaround in performance and results. When he joined Alfa Romeo – also called Sauber – they had just finished dead last in the constructors, with five points.

Contrastingly, in 2022, the team placed sixth in the constructors’ standings – their best performance in a decade.

“Frederic Vasseur leaves a team bolstered by new partners, a growing workforce and with a bright future as the works team for a manufacturer in the not-too-far distance,” added the statement. “He leaves as a friend, a mentor, a boss that could extract the best out of his charges. And, as we enter a new chapter of our team’s history, we will miss the smiles and jokes that would accompany him as he did the rounds in our Hinwil HQ.

“Merci, Fred, et bonne chance. We’ll be cheering for you wherever you go next.”

The next stop for Frederic Vasseur is none other than Ferrari F1 team. He replaces Mattia Binotto, who resigned from the Scuderia last month. In fact, Vasseur’s arrival is not unexpected; speculation suggested that the Frenchman was lined up to replace Binotto as early as the summer.

But Fred Vasseur is not the only change at the top of F1’s teams.

Jost Capito leaves role at Williams as Frederic Vasseur joins Ferrari

Yesterday (12 December), Williams surprised everyone in the paddock as they announced that Jost Capito was leaving the team.

The German joined the British squad in December 2020. From here, he guided Williams to an eighth-place finish in the 2021 constructors’ championship. However, the team took a backward step last season, scoring the least points.

“It has been a huge privilege to lead Williams Racing for the last two seasons and to lay the foundations for the turnaround of this great team,” said Capito, via Williams’ website. “I look forward to watching the team as it continues on its path to future success.”

Williams will unveil his successor “in due course”.

Elsewhere, further moves in the team principal market have seen a shake-up at other teams.

Andreas Seidl switches McLaren for Sauber/Alfa Romeo

Andreas Seidl has left McLaren and moved to Sauber – racing as Alfa Romeo – to replace Fred Vasseur for 2023. He becomes the team’s new CEO following the switch.

In Sauber’s case, this move surely has their future link-up with Audi in mind. After all, Seidl has worked with VW Group brands before. He was team principal at Porsche’s LMP1 endurance racing team before joining McLaren.

The Sauber group have confirmed Seidl’s appointment with a recent statement.

In response to the German’s departure, McLaren have also announced a new F1 boss. The British team revealed that Andrea Stella will move from his role as executive director to that of team principal. This is an internal hire, as Stella has been at McLaren since 2015.

For now, at least, it seems that every team – bar Williams – has sorted their leader for the next campaign. But you just never know with F1.  

What we do know, though, is that the team principal silly season is at least providing some entertainment during the F1 winter break.  

Featured image credit: Getty