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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Ferrari told they should have appointed boss who led dominant era with Michael Schumacher

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Juan Pablo Montoya feels Ferrari missed a trick by not trying to bring back one of their most successful ever leaders to steady the ship in the wake of Mattia Binotto’s departure.

The Italian walked out at the end of last season. The pressure was on after their title challenge collapsed so dismally, and Binotto felt he no longer had the full confidence of the Ferrari leadership.

Frederic Vasseur is the man chosen by those top dogs at Maranello to take over. The Frenchman brings plenty of experience and knowhow to the role, while his good relationships with drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will also prove useful.

But before Vasseur was picked, the F1 rumour mill suggested Ferrari leaders sounded out former employees Ross Brawn and Jean Todt. Both of them declined, with Brawn retiring as F1’s motorsport director and Todt having not been involved in motorsport since his time as FIA president came to an end in December 2021.

Seven-time F1 race winner Montoya feels the latter would have been at the very top of the list for Ferrari. Todt led the team for many years in the 1990s and 2000s, overseeing their rise to dominance in the sport after tempting Michael Schumacher to join after his Benetton success.

“I thought they were going to put Jean Todt in this position,” the Colombian told Motorsport.com. “To be honest, that would have been my choice. I don’t know if he wanted the job but he was the guy who did the job before and I think everyone respects him enough that nobody pi***s him off.

Juan Pablo Montoya feels Todt has the best chance of getting Ferrari back to winning ways
Getty Images)

“He doesn’t need the job so when you don’t need the job and you don’t care [about losing it], I think you have more balls to make the right decisions. But I hope [Ferrari] will do a good job.

“It’s quite surprising, their car was so strong in the beginning [of 2022] and they didn’t exploit it well. And to everyone’s surprise… You could hear them say, ‘oh, we can still win the next 10 races’. And they haven’t won a single one.”

Montoya went on to suggest Vasseur’s position is far from safe, even though he has only just begun his role: “One of the difficult things with Ferrari is that no-one feels like they have job security, everyone is waiting for you to make a misstep so they can fire you. That’s how I see it from the outside.

“Look at Toto [Wolff], you know Toto’s not going anywhere. Look at Christian [Horner] or Helmut [Marko], they’re not going anywhere. But look at the head of Ferrari and you’ll always wonder, ‘how long is this one going to stay?’ Because there will always be someone after him.”

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