Tension rises in Maranello as Arrivabene warned not to ‘bitch’

marchionne arrivabenne

Since the departure of Fernando Alonso and the arrival of Sebastian Vettel and the corresponding switch from Marco Mattiacci to Maurizio Arrivabene, we have been led to believe that all is sweetness and light in Maranello. The engine department personnel even danced with the aero engineers at the Christmas party, and the president of the company sings in harmony with the team principal of the Scuderia.

Yet for two seasons, Ferrari have been humiliated on track by Mercedes, which means 2016 is a ‘must win’ year for the red team. Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has already set out his stall, stating Ferrari must be the team to beat in Australia. “We have made all the necessary investments in order to bring the title back to Maranello,” claims Marchionne. “I am sure Maurizio Arrivabene and the entire team’s work in 2015 is an excellent base to build on in order to have a successful 2016 season.”

Whilst it would be wrong to suggest there is a schism opening up between Arrivabene and Marchionne, the Scuderia team principal’s response is at best compliant. “Marchionne is the president, so he must set goals,” said Arrivabene. “There is nothing wrong with that. What I do and what other people at Ferrari do – which perhaps receives less media coverage – is geared towards meeting these targets. There is nothing wrong with them. It is quite the contrary.”

However, behind the scenes it appears maybe some concerns have been expressed by Maurizio, but the Ferrari president has responded by again stating that his expectations must be met and that failure is not an option. “Maurizio [Arrivabene, the team principal] will tell you we delayed some things to allow for the 2015 car to be finished,” says Marchionne. “Hopefully he will not bitch about this. We pushed back the start of some of the work on the chassis for the ’16 cars, it was delayed it a little.

“But we still have had adequate time and adequate financial resources to do the right thing given the rules.

Sergio Marchionne has set new performance targets and is not a man to be trifled with. Of course relationships have improved in Maranello over the past season because finishing second was deemed the best that was achievable. Now the target is to beat Mercedes, Arrivabene has been warned not to ‘bitch’ – it appears the screws are beginning to tighten and the tension is once again rising in Ferrari-land.

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7 responses to “Tension rises in Maranello as Arrivabene warned not to ‘bitch’

  1. Since he’s looking to retire in 2018, he wants to have as part of his legacy, “the man who brought the title back to Maranello” etched next to his name….

    • hi fortis, could easily apply that comment to Kimi (certainly doesn’t want to stop in 2017!), but then he’s already gotten that legacy etched in 😀

      • I’m not sure the 2 years Alonso won the title was that damaging compared to the 7+ and counting that they’re currently facing. So I think his (Marchionne) would be more noteworthy.

  2. A good leader always leaves room for critical questions, which should lead to changes or other measures.

    With these comments he comes across as a stupid dictator who asks the impossible and won’t take no for an answer.

    • Very early in my engineering career I had the extremely dubious honour of being chosen (along with another graduate) to work directly for a corporate head-kicker exactly like Marchionne who was called in by the board of the parent company I was working for to sort out an extemely expensive ($billions), large-scale, high-profile, industrial R&D project that was struggling to progress to commercialisation mostly through poor management (like Ferrari F1in a lot of ways, funnily enough).

      I hung around long enough to see that being a focussed, relentless, world-class bastard actually does get excellent results. But there’s a LOT of collateral damage along the way. If you had the “right stuff” (a favourite expression of his that measured more of your ambition & attitude than your ability) you did well. Everyone else jumped ship eventually (including me). So you get short-term results and a long-term talent drain.

      Ferrari F1 had better extract their collective digits and start winning or that blood red colour won’t be just be the paint on the cars. I see the final scene of Peter Jackson’s Braindead as a good analogy. No one will be safe. Stand and deliver every single day or you’re a zombie and there’s a lawn mower headed your way.

      I reckon Marchionne will both make and break the Ferrari F1 team in the years to come. They will win championships but working there won’t be at all pleasant.

  3. It sounds like Mission Impossible to me unless they can out-engineer the mighty Germans or Mercedes take pity on the other teams! I’ll stick my neck out and say that I think Ferrari will pick up a few race wins but that they will do well to match the three of last year – they are good but not that good! Also I think that a Mercedes customer car will win a race or even more than one. Why do I think this? Because even Toto knows that Mercedes continued annihilation of the opposition is bad for F1 and if you make your enemies look stupid then you loose justification to take them on. They also have to show that the F1 power unit rules are working and they are not doing so if no one else can win with the best engine available so they have to let the customers have a look in this year! Mercedes will still want to win, they just want it to look a bit more difficult. This may be why Toto is talking about splitting strategies for his drivers in the hope that they will mess up enough for him to not to have to resort to actually turning down the power units! Trouble is it will not be enough to give Ferrari what they need and. Poor Arrivabene may be waking up beside a severed prancing horse’s head and Allison may be sleeping with the fishes though no fault of their own. I fear that Marchionne will fail to crown his career in the way that he wishes and he aint a gonna like it!

  4. Marchionne is recognised as a great business leader having turned Fiat and Chrysler around in short order and despite having no F1 heritage will know how to motivate the troops.

    Of course his ethos is vastly different to LdM’s but ask anybody who worked for Enzo Ferrari if he was a compassionate leader.

    He was recognised as manipulative and tyrannical at best.

    Much as Toto Wolfe comes across as friendly, the true bosses of Mercedes reside in Stuttgart not Brackley.

    They just have a different way of conveying their message publicly…

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