Ferrari appoints new sporting director after Laurent Mekies’ exit

Ferrari appoints new sporting director after Laurent Mekies' exit

Laurent Mekies’ resignation from Ferrari has been officially announced and he is set to join AlphaTauri as Team Principal for the 2024 season.

Laurent Mekies, who served as Ferrari sporting director has officially resigned from the Italian outfit. Former head engineer and Scuderia veteran Diego Ioverno has taken over Mekies’ responsibilities.

Mekies decided to leave Ferrari and join AlphaTauri in 2024 to succeed longtime team manager Franz Tost, the Maranello based team revealed back in April. In addition to Mekies taking over Tost’s position, AlphaTauri has also named Peter Bayer, a former FIA executive as the team’s CEO.

Mekies carried on his job as Ferrari sporting director after announcing his departure. Meanwhile, the Italian’s exit from his role and the length of his gardening leave were both subject to question before the summer.

However, conversations between Red Bull team boss Christian Horner and Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur are said to have come to an agreement by which Mekies would quit the team ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix and begin his new job with AlphaTauri on January 1, 2024.

Regarding Mekies’ future with the team, the Scuderia issued a statement.

“Laurent Mekies’ time at Scuderia Ferrari comes to an end this week,” Ferrari announced on Thursday. “The Racing Director will not be in Belgium and he leaves the Prancing Horse after four and a half seasons, during which time the team took seven wins.

“The entire team thanks him for his great contribution during those years.”

Mekies joined Ferrari in September 2018 as the sporting director. The Frenchman oversaw Charles Leclerc’s development as a driver when the Monegasque joined the Scuderia from Sauber for the 2019 season.

Ferrari might have won the world title in 2022. However, Red Bull would outperform the Maranello team in terms of development, resulting in Max Verstappen winning the drivers’ title and Red Bull taking home the constructors’ title.

The team overcame a challenging 2020 season despite this, placing sixth in the constructors’ championship and returning to the front of the pack in 2022.

Diego Ioverno, who will be present on the Scuderia’s pitwall this weekend at Spa, has taken over some of Mekies’ responsibilities, according to Ferrari.

“As from the Belgian Grand Prix, part of Laurent’s duties on the pitwall will be carried out by Diego Loverno, who takes the role of sporting director.

“He will be responsible for all sporting matters, as well as liaising with the FIA. Loverno is a veteran member of the Scuderia having worked in Maranello for the past 23 years.

“Along with his colleagues on the pitwall, Matteo Togninalli, Head of Track Engineering and Ravin Jain, Race Strategist, he will report directly to team principal, Fred Vasseur.”

Mekies’ departure from Ferrari is the second high-profile departure from Maranello this year after David Sanchez, the Scuderia’s former designer and head of Vehicle Concept who left to join McLaren for 2024.

Ferrari will be trying to improve upon their season-long inconsistency. Throughout the 2023 season, the Scuderia has frequently been the third or fourth-best squad. The Maranello currently holds the fourth spot in the constructors’ championship.

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