Ferrari is expected to announce soon that it will travel to Maranello to replace Mattia Binotto, who submitted the French driver’s resignation last month.
Vasseur’s name was first mentioned in connection with Ferrari’s best work, even before Binotto’s departure was confirmed.
Sauber, 54, joined Sauber in July 2017, shortly after new shareholders led by billionaire Finn Rausing took over the then-ailing organization.
Thus, he headed the team for five and a half seasons, the last four of which were under the name of main sponsor Alfa Romeo. In 2022, the team finished the world championship in sixth place, the best result of the decade.
As CEO, Vasseur also played a key role in the Sauber organization’s sale to Audi, which will enter F1 in 2026 under new powertrain rules.
The temptation to run Ferrari instead of leading Sauber for the three interim seasons before Audi’s full takeover proved irresistible for Vasseur.
In a statement, the team paid tribute, making it clear that they will miss their departed boss.
The team said: “Frederic Vasseur has a bright future as a team supported by new partners, a growing workforce and a factory team from a manufacturer not far away.
Vasseur departs with good wishes from the Sauber organization behind Alfa Romeo’s F1 operation
Photo: Alfa Romeo
“A friend leaves as a mentor, a boss who can make the most of his accusations.
“As we enter a new chapter in our team’s history, we will miss the smiles and jokes that will accompany him as he tours our Hinwil Headquarters.
“Mercy, Fred, good luck. We’ll be cheering for you wherever you go from now on.”
Vasseur emphasized that he enjoyed his role in the team and suggested that it was a good preparation for his future job.
“As I prepare to end my adventure at Alfa Romeo, I can look back fondly on these six years we’ve spent together.”
“I am indebted to each and every member of the team for being the ones who have lifted the team up and climbed the ladder of our sport.
“I’m proud of the work we’ve done together as a team and company, and more importantly, the strong foundations we’ve laid for what’s next.
“But what I’m most proud of are the people who made all this possible and became friends over time.
“This team will always feel like home and I will root for it wherever I go. I learned a lot during my tenure as CEO and team principal, and I feel that each day equips me for the future.
Vasseur moves Alfa to sixth place in this year’s builders rankings
Photo: Alfa Romeo
“I know Alfa Romeo will continue to grow stronger and I look forward to them competing on the business side of the grid in the next few years.”
Sauber president Rausing acknowledged Vasseur’s contribution to the team.
“Frederic has given our team six years of inspiring leadership and hard work that has helped rebuild our company and team,” the Swede said.
“He was able to encourage each of us to do our best and the increasingly better results are a testament to the quality of his leadership of the team.
“He was the first to believe in our project and left a team in a much stronger, healthier position than when he arrived, with a bright future ahead of us, that was all that could be asked of him.
“When I wish Fred good luck in his future endeavors, I’m sure I repeat everyone on the team.”
The Alfa/Sauber organization has yet to announce who will replace Vasseur.