F1 news: Fred Vasseur backed to turn Ferrari into title contenders again

New Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur has the ability to push the team into a Formula 1 title race in 2023, according to Romain Grosjean.

Vasseur is set to succeed Mattia Binotto after the latter announced his decision to resign at the end of the year following a tumultuous 2022 season that saw the Italian constructor lose out on both Championships to Red Bull.

Given the pressure that is put on a Ferrari team boss, the position is arguably the hardest for anyone to fill in Formula 1 but in Vasseur, Ferrari at least have an experienced team leader with the Frenchman having been in charge at Sauber since 2017 and before that, he spent a single season as boss of Renault.

Back before his time in Formula 1, Vasseur founded the ASM team which competed in the Formula 3 Euro Series and it was there he met the fresh-faced Grosjean.

Grosjean won the Championship in 2007 and 15 years on from his victory, he has backed his former boss to succeed at Ferrari.

"Ferrari is a huge challenge for anyone," Grosjean told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"But I am convinced that Fred is up to the task. He is close friends with Charles Leclerc, which should help the atmosphere, and he also knows Carlos Sainz very well.

"Ferrari had a very good car in 2022. Unfortunately, the team leadership was not so good.

"I believe that Ferrari can have a say in the title next season."

Grosjean also described Vasseur as a "born competitor" and said he had never met a team boss who had such a good feel of what a driver needs.

"I won Formula 3 for Fred's team in 2007," Grosjean said. "He's a born competitor who understands motorsport through and through.

"I've actually never met a team boss who has so much technical understanding and a very good feel for what a driver needs. Sometimes it was almost as if he were a driver himself."

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