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Frederic Vasseur

Audi made blunt declaration to Vasseur over Ferrari

Frederic Vasseur says he briefly discussed Ferrari with Audi - and was given a blunt response.

To news overview © Alfa Romeo

New Ferrari Formula 1 team boss Frederic Vasseur says he was told by an Audi representative that he could not reject the team.

Vasseur was appointed as Ferrari team boss in late 2022, succeeding Mattia Binotto who resigned after the team failed to claim the World Championships despite having a quick car.

Previously boss at Sauber Motorsport, Vasseur was set to be in charge as the team (currently badged as Alfa Romeo) morphs into Audi for the 2026 season - with the process of buying into Sauber already underway.

Those plans changed when Vasseur was selected as the man to lead Ferrari - a position he says he was told to take by Audi.

Vasseur on Ferrari move

"When I had the call from Ferrari, I didn't share it with everyone in the world," Vasseur explained to media including RacingNews365.com when asked about the process to take him to Maranello.

"It was my own reflection and my own discussion with John Elkann. I didn't share it with Audi before the announcement.

"I [then] had a chat with someone from Audi, and they told me that you can't refuse an offer from Ferrari."

Vasseur was replaced as Sauber CEO by then-McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl - a former boss of the Porsche LMP1 programme whose links to the Volkswagen group made him an ideal candidate as Audi continue to ramp up their entry plans.

"It's a challenge but it's always a challenge," he explained.

"You [shouldn't] imagine that you can have an easy life in Formula 1.

"Sauber is staying close to my thoughts and I had a very good relationship everybody at the team, and wish them all the best for the future."

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