Ferrari set to raid Mercedes again with move that will upset Toto Wolff

Lewis Hamilton could take another key Mercedes figure with him to Ferrari in 2025

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Ferrari are set to poach another key figure from the Mercedes Formula 1 team to join the Scuderia in 2025, to leave Toto Wolff reeling from another key departure.

Reports suggest Mercedes motorsport executive Jerome d’Ambrosio is close to agreeing a deal to join Ferrari and follow in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton and performance engineer Loic Serra to Maranello.

D’Ambrosio announced his retirement as a driver in the middle of the Covid pandemic after his sixth season of Formula E in 2020. After that, the Belgian paved a way into management as team leader at Venturi, who also race in the electric category.

He was Susie Wolff‘s right-hand man and built a stellar reputation during his two-year spell with the Monegasque team, before leaving behind Formula E for F1.

After Venturi changed their name to Maserati and Susie Wolff departed, her husband, Mercedes boss Toto, identified d’Ambrosio as an ideal replacement for James Vowles, who left to take charge of Williams. The Belgian arrived at the Brackley structure in March 2023 as director of driver development and also as the interim team chief of their Formula E team.

He has been tasked with looking after Mercedes’ young driver programme alongside Gwen Lagrue, with stars such as F2 sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli and F1 Academy’s Doriane Pin securing important drives for 2024.

But Soy Motor report the former Toro Rosso driver has already been “captured” by team boss Frederic Vasseur ahead of taking on a new role with the Scuderia in 2025. His main responsibility with the Prancing Horse will be the oversee the team’s young driver programme.

A huge loss for Toto Wolff

Wolff had been preparing d’Ambrosio to take on a bigger role in the future, but it seems the Austrian has been outdone by Vasseur, who has already got one over his long-time friend by luring Hamilton to the Italian team for 2025.

There were even hopes that he could step in to deputise for the 51-year-old boss as he eventually looks to reduce his time spent at races. And to lose a key member of his staff will no doubt leave Wolff with a sizeable task to replace him.

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur at the 2023 Spanish GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Speaking about d’Ambrosio’s role in the team, Wolff said: “He’s looking after the young driver programme in very close cooperation with Gwen, who has been doing it very successfully over the last few years.

“With Gwen’s team we are looking at grassroots motorsports from the early stages of go-karts, and this is where Gwen is very active, and he was the one working with James [Vowles].

“And now within the Brackley structure it’s Jerome who has taken that over, and he’s looking at things and there’s plenty of scope with what James did beyond the strategy work. So I see Jerome growing in the organisation, but at this stage, that’s his area.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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