NOVEMBER 15, 2023
About time Ferrari got team boss right says Stuck
Ferrari may still be struggling to return to the very top in Formula 1, but Frederic Vasseur is at least the right team boss to achieve it.
That is the view of German motor racing legend and former F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck, who links the Maranello marque's title drought since the ultra-successful Jean Todt era with a series of unsuccessful Ferrari team principals.
Todt's successor Stefano Domenicali was replaced by Marco Mattiacci for 2014, but the following season saw Maurizio Arrivabene at the helm - before he was replaced by Mattia Binotto.
For 2023, however, Frenchman Vasseur made the switch from Sauber to Ferrari, and 72-year-old Stuck says he is definitely now the right man for the job.
Ferrari, of course, has made some mistakes in recent years, he told Eurosport. "But I'm still surprised that it is taking so long to get back to the front.
I do not understand that. Many of the disappointments of the last few years are simply unworthy of Ferrari's history, Stuck insists.
With Vasseur, the necessary amount of order is back. And it's about time.
However, despite some pole positions and Carlos Sainz's Singapore GP win this year, the gap between Ferrari and the dominant Red Bull is still significant.
Stuck, though, says McLaren's rapid improvement this season demonstrates that the gap can be closed.
McLaren is doing an excellent job, hats off to them, he said.
Such an improvement is particularly stimulating for Ferrari and Mercedes. Both of those teams simply have to do better.
Stuck's fellow German Ralf Schumacher, the younger brother of five-time Ferrari champion Michael, also sees Vasseur as a worthy Ferrari team boss.
I also believe he needs time to change things, Schumacher said.
He cannot do everything in six months.
As for Mercedes, Stuck rejects a prevailing theory that Toto Wolff is becoming disenchanted amid the German team's own struggles to return to top form in F1.
If you know Toto well, you know that he certainly doesn't sleep well at the moment. He simply has to perform, Stuck said.
That's not just because he represents Mercedes, but also because he's a shareholder. So it's about his own money as well.