Carlos Sainz says he is not concerned by the ongoing restructuring of Ferrari’s technical department, claiming he would rather it happen whilst the team is in uncompetitive shape.
After ex-Team Principal Mattia Binotto departed over the winter to be replaced by Frederic Vasseur, Ferrari swiftly announced only one race into the year that its former Head of Vehicle Performance David Sanchez would be leaving with immediate effect ahead of a return to McLaren next year.
It was later confirmed that Laurent Mekies would also be stepping down from his post as Sporting Director to succeed Franz Tost as Team Principal at AlphaTauri, with the Frenchman now conducting a period of gardening leave ahead of taking over at the Faenza side from the start of 2024.
Despite a plethora of high-profile exits in recent months, Sainz asserts that he is not worried by the team’s technical structure.
“Obviously [he] was a very important figure in Ferrari the last few years and he’s been a huge contributor to the team,” Sainz said of Mekies.
“And honestly, I had a really good relationship with him, and he was very proactive and very good to the team in general.
“I think we were all very appreciative and that’s probably why he’s going to a team principal role in another team because he was doing a good job for us.
“But the transition has been done already. He’s been very helpful also in helping Diego to learn. He’s relearned the job that he was doing and I’m not concerned at all with the transition period because it’s already been smoothened out.”
Although Ferrari confirmed that Diego Ioverno would fill the position vacated by Mekies late last month, the Italian outfit is yet to announce a new Technical Director.
While Ferrari has recently snapped up Mercedes Performance Director Loic Serra, he is not expected to begin work in Maranello until 2025 at the earliest.
Sainz, however, doesn’t believe that Ferrari is lacking numbers in its technical ranks, explaining that he is confident that Vasseur is putting together the right collective unit to ensure the team is competitive in the future.
When asked if he felt Ferrari’s leadership team felt light at present, Sainz responded: “No, I’m 100% sure that the structure we have now is also working well for the development of next year’s car.
“I don’t feel at all like it’s light. And I also feel like Fred is doing the best he can do to reinforce the team. But also, the people we have have very clear targets in mind.
“The car is being developed nicely in the wind tunnel and I don’t feel light at all. And if anything, I’d rather have a lighter a year now and know that we are not really fighting for a World Championship and make sure we are restructuring, we are recruiting and we are strong for when the tougher challenges come hopefully in the near future.”