Vasseur: AlphaTauri Mekies reveal “aggressive”

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Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur is unhappy with AlphaTauri’s “aggressive” press release announcing Laurent Mekies as their new Team Principal.

Vasseur said the details of Mekies departure from Ferrari have not been finalised yet.

Mekies will replace the outgoing Franz Tost who has been at the team since they joined the F1 grid in 2006, known as Toro Rosso.

Vasseur said he wasn’t against Mekies moving on and leavings role as Ferrari sporting director.

“It’s a mega opportunity for Laurent and considering also that I have a good relationship with him and I won’t block Laurent for sure.”

The Frenchman added that the contract hasn’t been completely agreed.

“Then if you speak about timeline I think that Toro Rosso was probably a bit aggressive on the press release and we have a long-term contract with Laurent and we’ll have to discuss about details.

He continued: “I’m there to protect Ferrari’s interests, and it’s Ferrari first and it will always be Ferrari first, it means that I will have to discuss about the conditions of this.”

Vasseur said the timing of Mekies’ departure will de decided “properly.”

“We have a long-term contract with him and we’ll have to find the best for Ferrari,” he explained.

“And depending on when he will move to Toro Rosso [AlphaTauri], we will decide the end of the collaboration. We’ll do it properly and the relationship is very positive.”

Mekies is the second member of Ferrari personnel to leave the team in recent weeks after their head of vehicle concept David Sanchez signed for McLaren.

Despite losing two key team members, Vasseur isn’t overly worried about the the departures.

“To lose two persons out of 1600, it’s not a drama,” he said.

“You know that the power of the team is always more important, and the power of the group, than the individuals.

“We have to keep this in mind, that the most important is the group. The group is there, we are recruiting massively, we are not communicating that but we are recruiting massively.

“And we will do that step by step because you can’t put an organisation in place in two weeks. You know perfectly the system of the recruitment in F1, it’s quite long and painful.

“But we are working on it. Don’t expect that one day you will have a new organisation. It will be step by step and we are putting something in place.”