Ferrari is poaching at Mercedes again: two top Formula 1 executives have been poached

Despite the upswing on the track, the 2024 season is a year of upheaval for Ferrari in Formula 1, at least in terms of personnel. In his second year as team boss, Fred Vasseur’s recruiting machine has only really taken off in the last few months. Mercedes in particular is the victim. After the driver market shock surrounding the signing of Lewis Hamilton in the winter, two more are now leaving Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff’s leadership team for Maranello.

From October 1st, Jerome d’Ambrosio and Loic Serra will start working for Ferrari, the Scuderia confirmed on May 13th. A notable advancement, especially for d’Ambrosio: he becomes deputy team boss under Vasseur. The 38-year-old d’Ambrosio raced in Formula 1 and Formula E in the 2010s before moving into management.

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Toto Wolff and Mick Schumacher in the Mercedes garage in 2023, photo: LAT Images
Jerome d’Ambrosio, Toto Wolff and Mick Schumacher in the Mercedes garage in 2023, photo: LAT Images

In 2020 he started as deputy team boss at the Venturi Formula E team, and in 2021 he took over the team boss position from Susie Wolff. In 2023, he was hired by Mercedes as head of driver development in the youth program. In retrospect, a short guest appearance that now ends after almost a year.

In his role as deputy team boss, d’Ambrosio will also take over Ferrari’s junior program, the Ferrari Driver Academy. Since the end of the previous year, this has been the responsibility of veteran Ferrari chief engineer Jock Clear.

Ferrari puts an end to rumors about Mercedes performance boss

While d’Ambrosio’s name is probably the better known, the transfer of Loic Serra could be the more important. The 52-year-old Frenchman began his career at Michelin in 1996 before moving to the Formula 1 team in 2006.

Loic Serra on the F1 podium in Canada in 2017, photo: Mercedes-Benz
Loic Serra on the F1 podium in Canada in 2017, photo: Mercedes-Benz

After four years at BMW-Sauber, where he started as a suspension engineer and ended up as head of vehicle performance, he joined the Mercedes factory team in 2010, which had recently returned to Formula 1.

At Mercedes, Serra rose quickly in the areas of suspension, tires and vehicle dynamics. He headed the department from 2013 and was finally promoted to performance director in 2018. Ferrari’s advances in this role began almost a year ago, long before Lewis Hamilton’s move to Maranello. However, the exact details of the change took time.

Serra will take over the position of Head of Chassis Performance Engineering at Ferrari in October. He will overlook the areas of trackside engineering, aero development, aero operations and vehicle positions. He will report directly to Enrico Cardile, Technical Director for Chassis and Aero.

What does F1 genius Adrian Newey do next? (36:03 mins)

While the driver market is causing excitement at the forefront of Formula 1, things are also going well behind it in the management area. It’s exciting to see where design guru Adrian Newey’s journey will take him after his departure from Red Bull. Here too, the paddock rumor mill currently sees Ferrari in pole position – a veritable super team for the new 2026 rules could be on the horizon in Maranello.

On the other hand, the competitors are far from idle. Mercedes only signed Ferrari veteran Simone Resta in the winter. The large volume of CVs circulating in the paddock caused several verbal spats, especially between Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff, McLaren CEO Zak Brown and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. Learn more here:

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