Ferrari is expected to announce soon that the Frenchman will travel to Maranello to replace Mattia Binotto, who resigned last month.
Vasseur’s name was first mentioned in connection with the top job at Ferrari even before Binotto’s departure was confirmed.
The 54-year-old joined Sauber in July 2017, shortly after new shareholders – led by billionaire Finn Rausing – took over the then-struggling organization.
He chaired the team for five and a half seasons, the last four under the name of main sponsor Alfa Romeo. In 2022, the team finished sixth in the world championship, their best finish in a decade.
As CEO, Vasseur also played a key role in the sale of the Sauber organization to Audi, which will enter F1 under new power unit rules in 2026.
The lure of leading Ferrari rather than leading Sauber for three intervening seasons before the full Audi takeover proved irresistible to Vasseur.
In a statement, the team paid tribute to their outgoing boss, saying he will be missed.
The team said: “Frédéric Vasseur leaves a team strengthened by new partners, a growing workforce and with a bright future as a factory team for a manufacturer not too far away.
Vasseur leaves with the good wishes of the Sauber organization behind Alfa Romeo’s F1 operation
Photo by: Alfa Romeo
“He leaves as a friend, a mentor, a boss who could make the most of his charges.
“And, as we enter a new chapter in our team’s history, we will miss the smiles and jokes that would accompany him on his rounds at our Hinwil HQ.
“Thank you, Fred, and good luck. We’ll cheer you on wherever you go next.
Vasseur stressed that he enjoyed his time with the team, suggesting it was good preparation for his future job.
“As I prepare to end my journey with Alfa Romeo, I can look back fondly on those six years together,” he said.
“I owe a debt of gratitude to every employee of the team, because they are the ones who put this team back on its feet and climbed the ranks of our sport.
“I’m proud of the work we’ve done collectively as a team and as a company, and even more proud of the solid foundations we’ve laid for what’s to come.
“But what I’m most proud of are the people who made it all possible, who over time have become friends.
“This team will always feel like home and I will support them wherever I go. I have learned so much during my time as CEO and Team Principal and feel that each day has equipped me for what is to come.
Vasseur has led Alfa to sixth in the constructors’ standings this year
Photo by: Alfa Romeo
“I know Alfa Romeo will continue to go from strength to strength and I look forward to seeing them compete on the business side of the grid in the coming years.”
Sauber chairman Rausing acknowledged Vasseur’s contribution to the team.
“Frédéric has given our team six years of inspiring leadership and hard work, helping to rebuild our business and our team,” said the Swede.
“He knew how to encourage each of us to give the best of himself and the increasingly good results from which we benefit testify to the quality of his performance at the head of the team.
“He was the first to believe in our project and he leaves a much stronger, healthier team than when he arrived, with a bright future ahead of us, that’s all we could have asked of him.
“I’m sure I echo everyone on the team when I wish Fred every success in his future endeavours.”
The Alfa/Sauber organization has yet to announce who will replace Vasseur.