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.