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Previously on The Judge 13:
OTD Lite 1987 – Senna and Mansell clash
On this day – fifty nine years ago, Vijay Mallya entered this planetary sphere that we call Earth. God I’m bored already!
Let’s fast rewind back to 1987. The circuit, the imperious Spa-Francorchamps. The gladiators a young Brazilian called Senna driving a Camel Lotus and a moustachioed Leone called Nigel driving a Williams. From third on the grid Ayrton led Mansell on the fast lap and as they exited the fast Pouhon corner, our ‘Nige” went for the outside of a rapidly closing gap.
As would be repeated over the coming seasons, these two hardest of racers gave no quarter and on this occasion both pirouetted off the circuit. Senna into retirement and Mansell with a crippled car. When he finally retired he went to find the Brazilian to give him a little of his mind and the two began to argue and punches were thrown.
Of course, back in the day when drivers had balls, could shave properly and could use their fists without fear of stupid penalties these two titans went at each other. By the way, for any new F1 fans… what you see in the video beside the road… that’s grass and gravel traps but they have all been consigned to history now.
The Grumpy Jackal
Ferrari ridicule heightens as culling continues
Not a day goes by, it seems, that the blades at Ferrari are sharpened ready to plunge in the next under-performing member of the Maranello staff that Sergio Marchionne has taken exception to. With recent high profile expulsions the social media, the world’s media has headlines which mock the current approach to team building being operated by the famous Stable.
Yesterday two more senior engineers were given their exit papers to leave Italy as the Scuderia appears to be plunging deeper into the quagmire that seems to have infiltrated the organisation.
Hirohide Hamashima was recruited to Ferrari back in 2012 after having been the head of the Bridgestone Sports programme previously. His task was to form a better understanding of the new Pirelli tyres, but since the 2014 Ferrari F1 cars’ tyre usage wasn’t the best – Hirohide is also now surplus to requirements.
Rumours in Italy are also suggesting the Neil Martin will soon join him through the red revolving door. Martin arrived in Maranello following the strategic debacle that lost Ferrari and Fernando Alonso the title in 2010 after having worked in a similar position with Red Bull. He was recruited by Pat Fry – who worked with Martin at McLaren. Yet since the departure of English colleague, Neil Martin’s position has been weakened.
It may appear to outsiders, that Sergio Marchionne is removing many of the foreign engineers and re-enforcing the Italian element of the squad. Yet it must be remembered that during the 2014 season, there were many non Italian designers and engineers recruited by Ferrari. And lest we forget, Sergio is in fact an Italian-Canadian-American, so it is unlikely he is adopting a Luca de Montezemolo style approach – which following the Brawn era set about attempting to build the team with mostly latin bred employees.
Marchionne has demonstrated he can turn around out-dated institutions with fresh ideas and people, and by implementing them quickly. Sergio took the helm of the Fiat group when they were close to bankruptcy in 2004 and by 2006 they were profitable again.
In 2009, as CEO, Marchionne negotiated the merger with Chyrsler to extend the empire and the resulting group, the FCA, became one of the fastest expanding automotive company stories to be written.
The leaqdership of Il Padrino became increasingly more autocratic during his final years – as he was unwilling to delegate even quite small decisions at times. This was revealed recently by the talented, and now Mercedes designer, Aldo Costa.
So there is hope amongst the tifosi – that just maybe – the ‘Marchionne Massacre’ will bear fruit. The methodology is simple – to change the culture quickly, you have to quickly change a lot of people.
Villeneuve’s ex engineer looking to move to sunnier climes
More news has emerged on Twitter over the last twelve hours. In addition to the speculated signing of Bob Bell to Ferrari next year – it is being suggested from our TJ13 Italian sources that Jock Clear is about to leave Mercedes and join the Red Army around March next year.
As a high profile engineer – he would be quite a coup for the Italian team – considering his friendship with Jacques Villeneuve. They teamed up originally at Williams when JV joined the team and won the title together in 1997. At the time Clear had displayed animosity towards Micheal Schumacher after his clumsy attempt to push Jacques off the track failed.
He would go on to engineer the Canadian’s car at BAR and eventually took up more senior roles with Mercedes. But either NIki Lauda rubs people up the wrong way or these senior personnel don’t appreciate the way Mercedes works – that of course is an unknown but an exodus of staff to a rival is unprecedented in modern Formula one.
BBC’esque scenes in the podcast shed
In a bid to make the TJ13 courtroom podcast even more awesome than it already is, we tried to solicit the British Boradcasting Company’s help with recording. Well, it didn’t go too well. But despite this little challenge, stay tuned for another release of TJ13’s flagship production coming soon…