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Former Ferrari driver backs Vasseur to replicate Schumacher era success

Ex-F1 driver Jean Alesi believes the prancing horse can return to its former glory with Frederic Vasseur at the helm.

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Former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi believes Frederic Vasseur is the man to lead the Italian team back to the summit of F1.

The Scuderia has not won the drivers' championship since Kimi Raikkonen's sole title in 2007, and has not topped the constructors' standings since the year after - the season of Lewis Hamilton's first of seven drivers' crowns.

However, Alesi, who drove for Ferrari between 1991 and 1995, believes the man who secured the signature of F1's most decorated driver, Vasseur, is laying the ground work for Ferrari to replicate the success of the Michael Schumacher era. 

The German replaced Alesi at Ferrari and, alongside team principal Jean Todt, paved the way for him and the team to win five drivers' and six constructors' championships in succession between 1999 and 2004.

"Fred Vasseur is doing well to give this Ferrari consistency," the 59-year-old said to Motorsport.com

"I have the impression that he is repeating the extraordinary work that Jean Todt did when he arrived in Maranello, building a team that subsequently gave birth to the Schumacher era. 

"I hope that the team's engine specialists can build a competitive power unit for the new regulations that will come into effect in 2026."

Drawing upon unlikely support

Alesi argues that whilst "the team is already competitive," it can go on to greater glory, suggesting it could draw upon the support of a rival - its main competitor during its last period of dominance - to re-claim championship success.

"Not only that," the Frenchman said of whether he believes Ferrari can fight for the constructors' title, "there are still sixteen grands prix on the calendar and Ferrari seems to me to be on the rise. 

"And then there is also an important ally who can help beat Red Bull and I am talking about McLaren."

The Woking-based team is currently closer to Red Bull on outright performance, but Ferrari is 68 points ahead in the constructors' fight - only 24 behind the champions. 

However, Alesi feels that with two wins in the opening eight rounds, the Italian team is well poised to battle Red Bull, who he feels could be about to enter a lean period.

"Ferrari had already won in Melbourne with [Carlos] Sainz and Charles [Leclerc] will now find that motivation to keep doing well," the one-time race winner added.

"My feeling is that Red Bull without Adrian Newey is a bit like the orchestra of La Scala without a conductor. There is no need to add anything to that..."

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