Ferrari has had an underwhelming 2023 season so far as they are fourth in the standings with 62 points. During the Azerbaijan race weekend, one of the media outlets reported that Ferrari’s Team Principal, Fred Vasseur, has been trying to sign important members from Red Bull including the person behind their incredibly efficient DRS (Drag Reduction System).
As reported by Sky Germany, among the targets is Enrico Balbo, the Red Bull aerodynamic manager. He has been with the company since January 2018, having been in-charge of aerodynamic development for 19 months and head of aerodynamics for 25 months before that. The engineer has worked with Mercedes and Williams in the past. It was confirmed last week that Ferrari Race Director Laurent Mekies will be leaving the team to take Franz Tost's role at AlphaTauri as Team Principal.
The move has undoubtedly caused some tension between Ferrari and Red Bull. Despite the tension, both parties are expected to come to an agreement soon. Ferrari wants their new talent on board as soon as possible, with the 2024 single-seater project already underway.
Ferrari is reportedly using Mekies' resignation as leverage in negotiations with Red Bull for a discount on Balbo's gardening period in exchange for the same treatment with Mekies, if reports are to be believed further. A Corriere dello Sport journalist Fulvio Solms revealed the news, “One could be Enrico Balbo, head of aerodynamics in Milton Keynes and, therefore, a really good engineer who can make a difference when you have him in your team.”