However, Alesi asserts that his French compatriot is the right choice to turn things around and Vasseur should be given time to make his mark on proceedings.
“It will take time,” Alesi, 58, told a French Eurosport program Les Fous du Volant, “but Fred Vasseur is the right choice.”
Ferrari has previously attempted to prize Newey away from Red Bull on several occasions but to no avail, with the Brit electing to remain with the Milton-Keynes outfit he joined in 2006.
Since Newey’s arrival Red Bull has won six Drivers’ titles – four for Sebastian Vettel and two with Max Verstappen – and five Constructors’ Championships.
The ex-McLaren man’s latest creation, the RB19, has been the class of the field in the opening rounds of the 2023 F1 season and Red Bull looks set to comfortably retain both titles.
But Alesi – a competitor of 79 grands prix for Ferrari, winning one – considers that not even the technical expertise of Newey, responsible for 23 World Championships in total throughout a decorated career, alone could instantly salvage his former team’s bleak current prospects.
“Today, if Adrian Newey decided to go to Ferrari, we wouldn’t see his car until 2025 because of the clauses in all the contracts,” he argued. “So it will take time.
“But I repeat that Fred Vasseur is the right person for this job.”
Alesi has emphasised that Vasseur needs to categorically prioritise improving “reliability, performance, stability” at Ferrari over the next months.
“He has to put these three things in the order he wants, but that’s what has to be done,” he stated.
Ferrari’s troublesome SF-23 package has proven no match for the race-winning pace of the Red Bull and reliability has again been a detrimental factor to the side’s advances.
Charles Leclerc retired with an engine failure from third place at the opening round in Bahrain and subsequently was hit with a 10-place grid penalty at the next round in Saudi Arabia.
Having won two of the opening three races last year, failing to make it past the first lap in Australia resigned Leclerc to his worst start to a season since he joined Ferrari in 2019.
While Vasseur’s close relationship with Leclerc has prompted continued speculation that he might be established as the team’s lead driver ahead of Carlos Sainz, Alesi has urged that the French chief must remain the only “number one” within Ferrari.
When questioned on the potential for Leclerc to be given priority over Sainz at some point Alesi responded: “That’s not the problem.
“If at the next grand prix they said ‘Charles, you are the first driver and Carlos is the second’, it would not help in the process to develop the car, especially the lack of performance and reliability.