At the group's historic headquarters in Maranello, in northern Italy, if the Frenchman willingly lends himself to the game of selfies and autographs with the tifosis, he does not forget the challenge that led him to the lands of the Scuderia.

"When you're a + top team +, you can't have any other goal than to win," he said for his first speech to the international press on Thursday, just over a month away. the resumption of the championship, on March 5 in Bahrain.

And to continue: "we cannot start the season saying that we would be satisfied with a second place - it would be a lack of ambition. We have everything to do a good job and the objective must be to win" .

Installed since January 9 after four seasons at the head of the Alfa Romeo team, Vasseur will have the difficult task of giving back to the most successful team in the history of F1 its letters of nobility, it which hopes for a title since 2007 among drivers and since 2008 among manufacturers.

Not without an ounce of pressure.

"The pressure is there because it's inherent in what we do, but do I have more pressure because I'm in Italy or England? It's all more about the culture and the mentality people," he later explained to a handful of French journalists invited to Maranello.

"Nothing is set in stone"

The challenge will be daunting since the Scuderia had a season last marred by problems both in terms of the reliability of its engine and in terms of race strategies.

Photo provided by the Ferrari team, showing the new boss of the Scuderia, Frenchman Frédéric Vasseur, in Maranello, Italy, January 25, 2027 © Handout / Scuderia Ferrari press office/AFP

It is therefore up to Vasseur, 54, "to understand exactly what happened on each error and to know whether it is a question of decision, organization or communication".

If he assures that the engine is now "under control" - thanks to "good work over the past two months" - the thorny subject of strategy remains to be settled.

"Very often, on the pit wall, the biggest problem is more communication and the number of people involved than the people themselves", analyzes the new boss of the 2022 constructors' world vice-champion team.

"We just need to have a clear flow of discussion and communication between the right people in their right place. It's a work in progress."

"No Number 1"

The native of Draveil, in Essonne, south of Paris, is confident: "The results of the last decades show that the wheel is still turning and that it is a question of improvement. If we do a better job than the others in a few months or a few years, then we can win. Nothing is set in stone!".

To carry out his mission, he will rely on the 25-year-old Monegasque Charles Leclerc, reigning vice-champion, and the 28-year-old Spaniard Carlos Sainz.

But who from Leclerc, whom Vasseur has known since he was eleven years old, or Sainz will be considered the "number one" of the team?

"We have two very good drivers who are able to do the job. We will have the ability to provide them with the exact same car, the same structure and the same support," he said.

"There won't be a number 1 and a number 2 but if at some point we have to make a decision, I will, he said. It doesn't matter if it's for one or the other ".

One thing is already certain: "the objective is to win with Ferrari and for Ferrari".

© 2023 AFP