Ferrari has been on the hunt for a new ‘Top Guy’ to strengthen its technical department in Maranello, according to team principal Frederic Vasseur.
After failing to lure Pierre Waché from Red Bull, Ferrari has turned to Mercedes and managed to secure Loic Serra as their mystery ‘Top Guy’.
Failed Bid for Red Bull’s Pierre Waché
Ferrari had targeted Red Bull’s Pierre Waché, who serves as Adrian Newey’s deputy and possesses extensive knowledge on vehicle dynamics. Waché’s career includes stints at Michelin and BMW Sauber, making him a prime target for Ferrari. However, Red Bull dug in and offered Waché a lucrative extension, thwarting Ferrari’s advances.
While Ferrari did manage to pry some younger, lower-level engineers away from Red Bull in exchange for technical director Laurent Mekies, who is off to AlphaTauri in 2024, the team missed out on Waché, who was deemed irreplaceable by Red Bull.
Helmut Marko had complained about rival teams trying to poach their top engineers, making retention difficult within the budget cap. But Red Bull held firm on Waché, even as others like Rob Marshall left for McLaren.
Mercedes engineer Loic Serra Announced as ‘Top Guy’
Chief Vehicle Dynamicist Loic Serra will be appointed Performance Director by the end of 2018 and Mark Ellis will support this transition until the middle of 2019 👉 https://t.co/LWFNjbNKBg #F1 pic.twitter.com/obvPXVYKeb
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) July 12, 2018
With Waché unavailable, Ferrari CEO Frederic Vasseur reached out to his friend and rival Toto Wolff at Mercedes. Vasseur needed someone with expertise in vehicle dynamics and tire interactions to complement Ferrari’s senior engineering staff.
The solution was Loic Serra, Mercedes’ Performance Director, who has a background similar to Waché’s. After a stint at Michelin working on tires and suspensions, Serra joined BMW Sauber focusing on suspensions. He moved to Mercedes in 2010 and has been integral in optimizing their chassis.
While not as versatile as Waché, Serra will aim to enhance Ferrari’s vehicle dynamics and ensure optimal interaction between the tires and aerodynamic concept. He will work closely with newly appointed Technical Director Enrico Cardile to address Ferrari’s mechanical deficiencies.
Source : formu1a.uno