Ferrari strategy chief Rueda leaves team's pitwall amid changes
Ferrari chief strategist Inaki Rueda, the man who called the shots for the Scuderia last season, has been moved to the Scuderia’s remote race control unit in Maranello amid changes at the Italian outfit.
Race strategy proved to be a costly weak point for Ferrari last season, with several poor decisions – including at the Monaco Grand Prix – costing Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz big points if not race wins.
Coupled with the Scuderia’s engine reliability issues, the strategy missteps served to undermine the strong momentum that Ferrari and Leclerc had enjoyed at the outset of the 2023 campaign.
The team’s shortfall and errors eventually led to the exit at the end of the season of team boss Mattia Binotto and to his replacement by Alfa Romeo/Sauber team principal Fred Vasseur.
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In the wake of his arrival at Maranello mid-January, Vasseur conducted a thorough analysis of Ferrari’s strategy processes.
“When you are speaking about strategy or aerodynamics or another topic, you have to avoid being just focused on the top of the pyramid,” Vasseur said earlier this year when queried on potential changes in the team’s strategy department.
“Very often, when you are speaking about strategy, it’s much more a matter of organisation than just the guy who is on the pit wall.
“I’m trying to understand exactly what’s happened on every single mistake and what’s happened last year. And to try to know if it’s a matter of decision, if it’s a matter of organisation, or of communication?”
The end result of Vasseur’s inquiry sees Rueda moved to the factory in a strategy support role, while Ravin Jain will succeed him on the pitwall. The latter holds a first-class degree in physics from Oxford University as well as a master’s degree in mathematical and theoretical physics.
Vasseur has also clarified the responsibilities of Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies versus the Scuderia chief’s own duties.
Mekies will be focused on all the operations aspects of the team, while Vasseur will take charge of dealing with drivers, sponsors and the media.
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