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Ferrari hunting Red Bull leader using 'Hamilton effect'

Ferrari would do anything to bring in Pierre Waché. The Red Bull Technical Director has been a key pawn in the British team's successes and thus the Frenchman is in high demand.

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With Lewis Hamilton on board from 2025, Ferrari Team Principal Fred Vasseur has already struck a major blow in the Formula 1 transfer market.

Yet Ferrari and the ambitious Vasseur do not want to stop there. In mid-2023, Ferrari's team boss let it be known that he would like to bring in one or more big engineering names to the Scuderia. The name frequently mentioned at the time was Waché but, according to Italian media, he was still throwing the door shut on Ferrari last year.

But rumours suggest Waché might still have ears for a move to the Scuderia. Despite nothing concrete at this time, it is striking that he is once again being so persistently linked to Ferrari. It shows that Vasseur is not giving up and, in addition, Hamilton's move has given the team extra confidence.

Hamilton effect

With Hamilton's switch, Vasseur and Ferrari show that the team is looking for the biggest names in the sport. A logical consequence would therefore be that the Scuderia will also bring in the promised big name on the technical front.

Loic Serra - already brought in by Ferrari - is labelled as a big name by some experts but only as a small boost by others. The fact is that he is dealing with a period of gardening leave and therefore cannot join the Scuderia until 2025.

Waché is, however, a well-established top name in Formula 1 and no doubt Ferrari hopes to use the 'Hamilton effect' as an asset to convince him to make the switch this time around. The Frenchman played a major role in developing the recent Red Bull cars and he is said to play even a bigger role than Adrian Newey.

According to insiders, Newey would mainly play an advisory role in the development of the past winning Red Bull cars and it is now Waché who does most of the work.

So it's not surprising that Ferrari keeps trying to bring in Waché. Red Bull had by far the best chassis last year and so it makes sense for Ferrari to try to take away one of the biggest, if not the biggest, technical name from Red Bull.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Waché is said to have already discussed a possible salary at Ferrari. At the same time, the Italian newspaper reports that the Frenchman also wants to await Christian Horner's situation at Red Bull - the Briton at the centre of an internal investigation over alleged 'inappropriate behaviour'.

Big name

For Ferrari, it is especially important to strengthen the team's technical department.

Next year, with Charles Leclerc and Hamilton, the team may have the strongest driver duo and will have to do everything possible to develop the strongest car in the field. It can only do that if it also has the best technical personnel.

Newey would have been a logical target, but Waché may be Ferrari's best long-term candidate. The Frenchman is only 49 years old, so he could also play a major role for the Scuderia in the long term. In addition, Newey rejected Ferrari several times in the past and the Briton does not seem to be out for a new challenge at another F1 team.

Given the major rule changes that will take place in 2026, it is important for Ferrari to bring in Waché as soon as possible. After all, the Red Bull engineer will not be able to make the move to Ferrari immediately due to an almost certain period of 'gardening leave'. To play a major role for Ferrari's 2026 car, it is important that to sign his contract with the Scuderia in the coming months.

Although Ferrari has struck a big blow with Hamilton, Vasseur has yet to make good on his words in the technical transfer market.

Given the rumours surrounding Waché, it is at least clear that the he has a clear strategy in mind - something that seemed to be lacking before Vasseur's arrival at Ferrari.

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