Ferrari’s 2016 complete failure

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Sergio Marchionne’s policy of culling talent has backfired in a tremendous fashion this season. Admitting to the Brazilian press yesterday that he was far too optimistic in believing that Ferrari was able to beat the Mercedes this year.  In 14 races, the Scuderia have failed to reach the top of the podium compared to Mercedes 13 wins.

Having used up the remaining power unit tokens for this season, the team is only likely to go backwards from here on out. Red Bull are already out ahead in the constructors standings with 290 points compared to Ferrari’s 279.

Despite the these cold hard facts, the Ferrari president had this to say:

“We perhaps a little too optimistic to 2016, with the belief that the car was there, but the others have improved a lot and we have only a little.

But we haven’t not lost much time: the new 2017 engine is already in the testing ground at least in part and have no doubt that the car will be there [in front] next season”

The sad fact is that Ferrari have reverted to their old policy of firing members of the team who they deem ‘are at fault’. James Allison is arguably one of the greatest design talents in F1 today, yet he hasn’t survived the axe (and probable horse head on the bed) and yet Sergio Marchionne truly believed this was a positive step for the team saying “it was time to give a jolt in the team”. Certainly it was never quite clear whether James left of his own volition or was pushed, but when considering the recent turnover of staff in Maranello – plus the comment above, the answer should be plain to see.

Much of the success of last year was brought about by their head of engine development, Mattia Binotto, and it is this man the bosses of Ferrari have placed their faith in for bringing about a turnaround to the fortunes of Maranello as replacement for Allison. Whereas before, Ferrari placed all their trust in Allison, with Binotto there’s a more McLaren-like, holistic approach.

“We focus on a person (Allison) to answer to all our problems, but with Mattia we are in good hands. He created a young, amazing staff, so now let them work.

Because [Mattia] did a great job with the power unit in 2015 and 2016, and this is a very precise and delicate process. We have many engineers who work in the car and you have to organise them”.

So here’s to 2017 season and Ferrari join the list of other hopeful teams who believe their fortunes will change with the incoming rules shake-up.  Perhaps the Tifosi  might try ignoring the worry that Ferrari have had yet another massive backroom shake up at a critical part of the development for 2017.

9 responses to “Ferrari’s 2016 complete failure

  1. ………….Marchionnes biggest mistake was allowing Alonso to leave!!! Whether by mutual consent or whether by driver or team decision, Marchionne should have kept Alonso no matter what the cost!!! Obviously Marchionne has paid no attention whatsoever to Ferraris performances since 2010, or he would have seen some of the epic drives from Fernando during that 5 years……..and seen how few mistakes he makes behind the wheel. In 1 and a half years Vettel has made numerous mistakes and been hit by others as many times as Alonso was in 5 years! As Alonso said in 2012-13, only time will tell whether it was the car at RBR that gave Vettel 4 titles on the bounce, or his ability. As it stands, the odds are on the car. #:)

    • Alonso also had a very good car but an even worse teammate then Webber 🙂

      Nah, just joking. I’m no fan but I really hope Fernando stays and the Honda will be competitive. For Vettel, he just needs to accept that his rise with Ferrari might take a while.

  2. Vettel vs. Alonso, I’ll not have any of that fight, but the technical people seem to be the ones who need working on IMHO, particular the engine and ERS. Its clear they still don’t have the HP of the Merc and nowhere was that clearer than at Monza. Sure they are still the best of the rest, but their architecture is flawed until they perfect their own concept or (heaven forbid make the engineer’s sin of) copying Mercedes’ split turbo design. Why more people haven’t scrapped their designs and started on a copy is beyond me.

    Mercedes probably doesn’t have the best aero car, considering that in dirty air, it looks about the same as the other cars, bar the Red Bulls, which seem the best aero cars on the track, which has been typical of Newey. Renault are giving him more to play with this year, so if they ever got their heads out their rears maybe they could really challenge again; their drivers have the skill. Ferrari probably have got Merc matched on aero or are at least not that far behind. It doesn’t seem to me like aero is really a super-strength of the Merc; it hasn’t had to be, the car has so much HP.

    You know, the funny thing is, I think everyone was clamoring for a return to the ‘horsepower-limited’ era after watching Seb drive to four fairly dominate championship wins with the blown diffusor / coanda exhausts. We had been aero-limited for so long, certainly at least as long as ’09 when Brawn showed up with the DDD (from the minds of oh-so-humble Super Aguri) and conquered all comers in their budget racer. So a change was needed, but it was always going to favor one engine manufacturer more than the others, it was always a question of WHO? Ferrari took the game lightly, Merc did not.

    After all, the rules allowed basically zero time for recovery if your architecture was flawed, given the original increasing holomagation proposed on the engine components year by year. And the decreasing number of allowed changes (before the dreaded ‘token’ system came into being) ensured this as well, as well as the decreasing number of allowed engines. Therefore all emphasis was on super-testing and extensive track-simulation dyno-testing. The manufacturers who did this gained vital knowledge well-before official testing.

    If you think about it, this is still 2014.

  3. It’s questionable whether Allison was in fact “fired” at all for the perceived lack of chassis performance or whether they parted ways due to the death of his wife. I’m of the opinion he lost interest in being away from the UK after her death. You can argue until you’re blue in the face as to the strengths and weaknesses of any teams chassis – but the fact is M-B is winning largely due to its engine. And the “token” system almost guarantees that is going to continue happening.

  4. >It doesn’t seem to me like aero is really a super-strength of the Merc; it hasn’t had to be, the car has so much HP.

    Except I don’t see Williams, Force India or Manor coming even remotely close to challenging Mercedes on track. And they, nominally at least, have the same engine so the difference must be in the aero. Or *do* they have the same engine (hardware and software)…? Or is it just that their aero is sufficiently bad it lets Mercedes still look good?!

  5. Same old Ferrari cycle – Utter dominance to utter shambles. Tbh they need to break the bank, to tempt Ross Brawn back from fishing to sort the Ferrari team out. Mercedes is only where it is now, due to the foundations Brawn laid down. Pushing him out the door may yet haunt Mercedes. Paddy Lowe is perhaps one of the reasons why McLaren fell down a cliff.

    As for Mercedes dominance ? They will hit a performance and development peak, where they will have to decide on a new concept to maintain dominance. As for Williams and co ? I think it has less to do with aero (still important) and more to do with how Mercedes controls when they get updated software, lubricants, new fuel mixes and updated Power Unit parts.

    All to play for in 2017 when the restrictions on development are loosened up. Honda seems to be slowly clawing it’s way through it’s design problems, same for Renault and Ferrari. Though I think Mercedes probably fear a resurgent Red Bull more than Ferrari.

  6. “Except I don’t see Williams, Force India or Manor coming even remotely close to challenging Mercedes on track.”

    They don’t have the same software. They don’t have the same inter-coolers. These things make big differences in hp and are of course, fundamental packaging choices. BTW the Williams at Monza was very fast on the straight, I think the fastest car of all, which has been the case most of the year.

  7. (fingers in ears) la la la…not listening🙉
    A lot has been said about Allinson leaving but in my readings I have put this down to personal reasons rather than a push. I just wish we could have seen his true potential with a longer stint in the team.
    In the past few years,Ferrari have had the perfect team,just not all at the same time. The current regs don’t help and with all the will in the world I just can’t see a resurgence until the new reg fall into place. Merc have had such a lead that no team was ever truely near them performance wise because for every step a following team made,the Mercs always had performance in hand. I for one am not fooled with the sudden appearance of Redbull or Ferrari’s miraculous engine power and I truely believe that the big guy in charge has had a quiet word with the Mercs management..’make a good show and don’t embarrass the opposition’, I know it’s a tin foil hat moment but I just can’t shake that thought.
    I don’t begrudge what merc have achieved,it is a true masterpiece of engineering, I just wish our sport would allow a fair fight rather than handicapping any form of improvement through testing and development. If these regulations don’t change when the new engines do appear we will be left with the same problems ie a Honda that performs like their lawnmowers, Renaults trailing the pack and the closest contender nearly a second and a half off the pace and which manufacturer wants their products in that environment?

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