Ferrari’s head of vehicle concept, David Sanchez, has confirmed he is stepping down from his role with the team to join “another F1 project”.
Sanchez, pictured with driver Charles Leclerc, has worked with Ferrari for the last decade, having joined the Italian team from rivals McLaren. He most recently served as head of vehicle concept in Ferrari’s chassis department, led by Enrico Cardile. That division reported to team principal Mattia Binotto, who resigned from the team at the end of the disappointing 2022 season, and was replaced by Frederic Vasseur.
The designer announced his departure from the team in a post on social media. “After 10 years in Ferrari, I have decided to leave the team for another F1 project,” he said. “My decision thoroughly matured for quite some time. [I’m] looking forward to getting back to work.”
While Sanchez did not confirm who he might be joining, Italian media reports last week indicated his destination is McLaren. Sanchez previously worked for the team between 2007 and 2012, and spent two years at Renault before that. Ferrari declined to comment when approached by RaceFans last week and McLaren did not respond.
Sanchez’s departure is the second major change in Ferrari’s personnel since Vasseur assumed the role of team principal. Prior to the season, chief strategist Inaki Rueda was replaced in his role by Ravin Jain.
Before the season began, Vasseur said he had no plans to radically reorganise the structure of Ferrari and its personnel. “It will be arrogant on my side to take action on the technical organisation after two weeks,” Vasseur told media including RaceFans soon after assuming his position in January.
“I trust the guys in place and I will try to do the best for them also and to put them in the best condition to do the job. Then it will be time, after a couple of weeks or months, to take action if it’s not working.”
Ferrari sit in fourth place in the constructors championship after the opening round of the 2023 season, behind Red Bull, Aston Martin and Mercedes. Carlos Sainz Jnr claimed fourth place in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix after Leclerc retired from third late in the race with power unit failure.
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