Just weeks after Vasseur revealed that he had signed a “top guy” to join the team in 2025, the identity of the individual has finally emerged as being Mercedes’ performance director Loic Serra.
According to Formu1a.uno, an Italian website, and verified by reliable sources known to Motorsport.com, Serra has agreed to depart from his current position and join the Italian team.
Vasseur and Ferrari will need to be patient as Serra is currently under contract until 2025, so they won’t be able to reach him for some time.
Mercedes and Ferrari have chosen not to provide a statement regarding the progress. However, it is known that discussions are currently underway between Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and Ferrari team boss Vasseur regarding this issue.
Sources have indicated that an early release is improbable.
Serra has a long history in Formula 1 having originally begun his career as a tyre engineer at Michelin, with a speciality in suspension and vehicle dynamics.
Following Michelin’s declaration of exiting F1 by the conclusion of 2006, Serra became a part of BMW Sauber as the leader of vehicle performance. Subsequently, in 2010, he transitioned to Mercedes initially assuming the role of chief engineer for vehicle engineering.
He has progressed through the ranks, assuming the position of head of vehicle dynamics in 2013, and later being promoted to performance director in 2018.
Loic Serra, Mercedes AMG F1 Head of Vehicle Dynamics
Photo by: Sutton Images
His vast experience and understanding of performance targets will be a boost to Ferrari, which lost its head of vehicle concept David Sanchez to McLaren earlier this year. Sanchez is currently on gardening leave before joining the Woking-based squad at the start of 2024.
Mercedes has made it clear that they are not willing to release Serra in the near future. As a result, Ferrari might have to wait until 2025 to acquire him, a situation that Vasseur has accepted in the past.
At the Canadian Grand Prix last month, Vasseur addressed the signing of an undisclosed individual named Serra and emphasized that the duration required to acquire him demonstrated the necessary time frames for progress in F1.
“The problem in F1 is the presence of inertia,” he clarified. “On one side, we appear highly adaptable. We make alterations, and occasionally overnight, a problem arises that can be resolved between races.”
However, the truth about our industry is that if we attempt to make slight adjustments, we lose our flexibility. We are aware that the process of hiring takes a significant amount of time, spanning years rather than just days.
“I signed a top guy a couple of weeks ago to join in 2025. He will only work on the car in 2025 and 2026.
The wait may feel lengthy, but on the flip side, not taking action will result in an even worse situation in six months. You must acknowledge it as a fundamental aspect of F1. If you halt progress at any point, it will only further delay the impact.