Mercedes’ performance director, Loic Serra, has been unveiled as the notable figure Vasseur recently disclosed would be joining Ferrari in 2025, a strategic move aimed at accelerating Ferrari’s Formula 1 recovery.
This development was initially reported by the Italian website Formu1a.uno and later verified by F1 Flow.com sources who are well-informed about the situation. Serra has agreed to vacate his current position to join the Italian racing team.
Nonetheless, it is perceived that both Vasseur and Ferrari will have to be patient before they can work with Serra due to his ongoing contract, which lasts until 2025.
While neither Mercedes nor Ferrari have commented on these developments, it’s understood that discussions are currently underway between Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Ferrari team boss Vasseur about the situation. However, it is suggested by sources that an early release is unlikely.
Serra has an extensive history in Formula 1. He started his career as a tire engineer at Michelin, specializing in suspension and vehicle dynamics. Following Michelin’s withdrawal from F1 in 2006, Serra served as head of vehicle performance for BMW Sauber, then transitioned to Mercedes in 2010 as the chief engineer of vehicle engineering.
Ascending through the ranks, he became the head of vehicle dynamics in 2013, and then elevated to performance director in 2018.
His extensive experience and mastery of performance objectives will benefit Ferrari, which saw its head of vehicle concept, David Sanchez, move to McLaren earlier this year. Sanchez is currently on gardening leave and will join the Woking-based team at the start of 2024.
Considering Mercedes’ reluctance to release Serra prematurely, Ferrari will likely have to wait until 2025 to welcome him, an outcome Vasseur has previously acknowledged.
While speaking at the Canadian Grand Prix last month, Vasseur discussed the acquisition of Serra – without revealing his identity – and the timeline involved, highlighting the long-term strategic planning required to improve in F1.
He emphasized the inertia issue in F1, noting that despite appearing agile, the reality is less so when wanting to effect change. Recruitment, he said, is not a matter of days but years.
He explained, “I recruited a key person a few weeks ago to join in 2025. He will only begin working on the car in 2025 and 2026. This may seem like a long wait, but if you don’t take such steps, the situation could worsen in six months. It’s a fundamental reality of F1; if you halt at any point, you’ll only further delay the impact.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Loic Serra joining Ferrari
Who is the “top guy” that Vasseur has signed to join Ferrari in 2025?
The “top guy” that Vasseur has signed to join Ferrari in 2025 is Loic Serra, Mercedes’ performance director.
Which website first reported that Loic Serra is joining Ferrari?
The Italian website Formu1a.uno was the first to report that Loic Serra is joining Ferrari.
When will Loic Serra begin working with Ferrari?
Due to his current contract with Mercedes that lasts until 2025, Loic Serra will start working with Ferrari in 2025.
What role did Loic Serra play at Mercedes before his move to Ferrari?
Before his move to Ferrari, Loic Serra was the performance director at Mercedes.
Why is Ferrari’s recruitment of Loic Serra significant?
Loic Serra’s recruitment is significant because of his vast experience and understanding of performance targets. This is expected to boost Ferrari’s recovery in Formula 1, especially after the loss of their head of vehicle concept, David Sanchez, to McLaren earlier in the year.