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F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Practice BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 21: Laurent Mekies, Scuderia Ferrari Sporting Director looks on from the pitwall during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 21, 2023 in Budapest, Hungary.

BREAKING: New F1 sporting director replaces Mekies at Ferrari

Mekies will leave the Scuderia after four and a half seasons with the Maranello team

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Ferrari has confirmed the departure of  Laurent Mekies, who will be moving to AlphaTauri as Team Principal for the 2024 season.

F1 Hungarian Grand Prix 2023 Third Practice And QualifyingLaurent Mekies before qualifying ahead of the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary on July 22, 2023.
Mekies will not be present at Spa (Image Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Earlier this year, Mekies was already announced to replace Franz Tost as Team Principal of AlphaTauri for the 2024 season and beyond. Tost was stepping down at the end of the season.

After announcing the switch, Mekies continued his sporting director role at Ferrari. Meanwhile, the Scuderia and Red Bull were negotiating the timing of the departure and the start date at Faenza.

Ferrari’s statement

The Maranello team put out a statement regarding Mekies’ future with the team. The Frenchman will not be present with the team at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

“Laurent Mekies’ time at Scuderia Ferrari comes to an end this week,” Ferrari announced today.

“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 started as Ferrari’s sporting director on September 2018. The Frenchman oversaw Charles Leclerc’s progress as a driver when the Monegasque joined the Scuderia from Sauber for the 2019 season. Ferrari had a chance of the world championship in 2022. However, the Maranello team would be out developed by Red Bull, leading to Max Verstappen winning the drivers’ championship and Red Bull winning the constructors’ championship.

Despite this, Ferrari managed to overcome a difficult 2020 season, finishing sixth in the constructors’ championship to be back fighting at the front in 2022.

Replaced by Diego Loverno

Within the statement also, the Scuderia announced the man replacing the Frenchman at the team.

“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.”

Ferrari will be looking to put an end to their average form this season. The Scuderia has often been the third or fourth best team throughout the 2023 season. Currently, the Maranello fin themselves fourth in the constructors’ championship.

Feature Image Credit: Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

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