James Allison is considered by many to have made the difference at Ferrari following a successful tenure in Enstone – where he was considered the driving force that saw the team win races for the first time as an independent since the Renault era.
Yet, the Italian publication ‘Gazzetta dello Sport’ reports concern over the fact that Allison’s contract expires at the end of this year and it has not yet been renewed.
Allison responds that “I have a contract that binds me for several years to the company”, which presumably means Ferrari have a series of options to exercise the retention of the Englishman’s services.
That said, with under a year left to run on a star employees contract, it is hardly a resounding vote of confidence from the employer to keep on running it down in a business where the cycles are counted in years and not months. Even more interesting considering Ferrari have not yet returned to winning ways.
Allison, age 47, worked in Maranello during the Schumacher years (2000-04) and knows what it is to win and dominate Formula One. James is also aware of the high expectations of Ferrari and that failure is not tolerated. “I have always seen this as a good pressure, because it forces you to win”.
As the clock ticks by and the Ferrari race victories are as elusive as ever, the relentless search by the Scuderia for the magic bullet will continue – whether this be for the right driver or car designer.