After just a single grand prix in 2023, Ferrari appears to be in turmoil.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Charles Leclerc asked for a face-to-face meeting with the Italian company’s executive chairman John Elkann after the disappointing Bahrain GP.
At the same time, rumours of conflict between Ferrari’s new team boss Frederic Vasseur and CEO Benedetto Vigna have emerged.
Corriere dello Sport claims Frenchman Vasseur is alarmed to find that Vigna has taken on some of the responsibilities of the axed Mattia Binotto.
For instance, Vasseur is apparently finding that he has little control over personnel decisions or dealings with team sponsors.
“Vasseur wanted to sign a new sponsor, but he was stopped by the leadership at Ferrari,” a source said.
It could be why he chose not to travel to Bahrain with other Ferrari team members, but instead with his friend Toto Wolff.
La Gazzetta dello Sport also reports that Ferrari’s sporting director Laurent Mekies is keen to join the team exodus, after it emerged last week that aerodynamics chief David Sanchez is heading to another team.
Frenchman Mekies’ destination could be the Stefano Domenicali-led Formula 1 organisation – but it is believed Vasseur has stepped in to veto the move.
“Vasseur has used his right of veto and now there is an impasse,” the report read.
La Gazzetta dello Sport also claims that Ferrari’s executive race manager Jonathan Giacobazzi and long-time familiar face Gino Rosato have departed – together with strategy boss Inaki Rueda.
Corriere della Sera claims that more departures may be imminent.
“Several contracts will expire soon, including that of Enrico Cardile, who acts as technical director,” the newspaper said.
“No one is in a safe place.”
Ralf Schumacher, whose brother Michael is the most successful Ferrari driver in history, thinks the team’s current problems can be dated back to the Sergio Marchionne era.
“There’s just a certain legacy at Ferrari and it’s not the current president’s fault,” he told formel1.de. “It goes back to the former boss, who also brought Alfa Romeo back.
“It was his idea to make Ferrari an all-Italian team again and go back to that DNA. But I think they overlooked a lot of things in that process.”