Ferrari: Fred Vasseur entrusts Cardile with the team’s development

Ferrari Pit Wall - Laurent Mekies & Frederic Vasseur
(L to R): Laurent Mekies (FRA) Ferrari Sporting Director with Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Ferrari Team Principal. 05.03.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Bearne / XPB Images

“We have decided for now to act without making too much noise, but soon you will know everything. We have already hired a figure who I consider a ‘top guy’ and who will work on the 2025 car,” said Fred Vasseur after continuing his pursuit of a stronger technical department at Maranello

Away from the television cameras and newspaper reports, the former Sauber boss is working – with the support of the management – ​​to strengthen the technical organisation over the next few years.

A new chapter for Laurent Mekies

It has been some time since the official communiqué on Laurent Mekies’ exit, which Vasseur himself defined at the time as aggressive. His switch AlphaTauri will be in 2024, but an agreement still had to be found on the period of exit from the Cavallino.

The Team Principal of the Scuderia has been negotiating intensively with his equal role, Christian Horner, to try to obtain favourable conditions for Ferrari.

The intent has always been to take engineers from Milton Keynes and to reduce the gardening period of them and Mekies so as to satisfy all parties involved.

Ferrari Racing Director - Laurent Mekies
Ferrari Racing Director – Laurent Mekies

The negotiations appear to have produced an agreement. According to current plans, Silverstone should be Laurent Mekies’ last race alongside Frederic Vasseur on the pit wall. The Frenchman will be released in mid-July and will take up the position of Team Principal on his return to Faenza after having served six months of gardening. 

For several weeks now, the Frenchman has no longer been involved in future technical decisions and has no access to the ‘sensitive’ areas of Maranello.

In Austria, we also saw Diego Ioverno take his place at the pit wall, which has been enlarged to 8 seats, also due to the Sprint format. Vasseur is still making some internal and organizational changes to try and improve the Scuderia’s operations on the track, to improve every possible aspect. 

Ioverno was more involved this last weekend, given that he was the representative team in the two meetings with the FIA.

Vasseur has given full powers to Cardile for 2023 and the 676 project

At the beginning of the year, the technical group was ‘shaken’ by the farewell of David Sanchez, destined for McLaren. However, his legacy was not unexpected, after that of Mattia Binotto and above all, it gave way to Frederic Vasseur to reorganize GeS in anticipation of reinforcing the group with the ‘external market’. 

New faces are arriving, some also taken from the previous management (Binotto), but they are mostly young engineers from other teams who can still give their contributions with different ideas, proposals and ways of thinking.

However, the heads of the technical group are still the well-known ones who contributed to the birth of the latest Maranello cars.

Ferrari’s Team principal has given full powers to Enrico Cardile, who, although without an official appointment, is Ferrari’s Technical Director for all intents and purposes. He and his most trusted men have the fundamental choices on the 2023 and 2024 cars.

The news from Barcelona and Austria is, therefore, very positive feedback for them, who will have to confirm that the right path is also correct in these remaining 2023 races.

Ferrari has already played its ‘cartridges’ with these important aerodynamic packages, but small further innovations are still expected during the course of the season.

At Silverstone, we will see the elements that will complete what the update planned for Budapest, with modifications to adapt to the Silverstone track – where fast corners will be the predominant element.

There will also be a new, redesigned beam wing already available to the engineers in the forms, in case they want to install it, was

Ferrari SF-23, Enrico Cardile
Ferrari “Technical Director” – Enrico Cardile

The working group at the top of the Maranello technical office is made up of a total of seven people at the table, who internally call the ‘7 Bello’. 

This is the group that meets whenever there are some important technical decisions to be made. Enrico Cardile is the main head, but alongside him is Enrico Gualtieri, who is the point of reference for the Power Unit department.

He oversees this area with Thierry Baritaud, the French engineer who is also a point of reference in the engine department (mainly for the ‘electrical’ part and turbo).

Fabio Montague, who can be considered Cardile’s ‘right arm’ and who is the man of reference on the track as far as the car is concerned. 

He follows the work in the factory and then is present in the F1 appointments, while Cardile works mainly from Maranello. Diego Tondi is responsible for aerodynamics; Marco Adurno is another important man on performance choices.

This group of engineers has the technical issue of Ferrari in F1 in hand, and Frederic Vasseur has given them full freedom, betting on them and not intending to upset the group, regardless.

Each of them can and will have to play ‘his cards’ and show his own value, being taken into consideration by the Team Principal in his reconstruction and improvement manoeuvres for the technical group.

The new figure defined as the “top guy” by Vasseur will integrate with important knowledge in a specific area complementary to the current ones.

Authors: Giuliano Duchess, Rosario Giuliana & Paolo D’Alessandro

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang