Ecclestone: Nothing against Italy, but successfully leading a team is not in their DNA


It has been long known that Mr E has had a soft spot for his boy, Sebastian Vettel. And this love of ‘finger boy’ has compelled the octogenarian to speak out against Scuderia Ferrari in the Austrian press yesterday.

Speedweek reported today the ‘Italians have no DNA for success’ and that the team reminds him of the horror days of the early nineties where the Italian marque fell well and truly from grace.

Indeed a ‘permanent crisis’ is occurring at Maranello and the F1 boss (for now) advises that Vettel should have a greater influence within the team.

“Ferrari has fallen back to the time before Schumacher and Todt” says Ecclestone

Vettel had made it clear that his desire to win with Ferrari was inspired by Michael Schumacher’s dominant period of the early noughties. Schumacher timed his move to Ferrari with perfection, coinciding with some drastic changes by the team to rectify the poor run of results for the best part of 20 years previously. Many Italians were moved aside for new blood from outside Italy – namely Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne, Michael Schumacher and Jean Todt.

This is again the problem with Ferrari, says Ecclestone.

“There are too many Italians working there,” he complains, implying mentality problems.

“Nothing against Italy, but successfully leading a team is not anchored in their DNA.”

“Ferrari needs fresh blood,” says Ecclestone. “I’m sure Sebastian is doing everything in his power to succeed. The question is how much they can do it.”

Nevertheless, the 86-year-old does not expect Vettel to leave Maranello soon – because he wanted to fulfill his task and replicate his hero Schumacher.

Time will tell, but F1 fans can still expect to hear and enjoy the radio transmissions lambasting the team, blue flags, Charlie Whiting et al by ‘finger boy’ for at least another season or two.

22 responses to “Ecclestone: Nothing against Italy, but successfully leading a team is not in their DNA

  1. Too much spaghetti on their diet. It is going to be very difficult for Ferrari to be successful again in F1. They miss the opportunity to get Paddy Lowe and lousing good people in aero. The Germans knows that winning in F1 you need British Technology.

    • As ever a completely ridiculous comment by Ecclestone and it’s presented as news…

      Paddy Lowe is not the reason Mercedes is winning. It’s the ground work which Ross Brawn put in initially.

      By all means check Lowe’s CV but I’m fairly certain his career doesn’t demonstrate continued title winning formula.

      The main designer at Mercedes is an Italian who was hired by Brawn as soon as he was available.

      I guess then that we should be applauding the British teams that have taken F1 by the scruff of the neck with their historic DNA and take a leaf out of their book.

      So, Williams have an admirable legacy – forged over twenty years ago now..

      I know, that’s unfair.

      Mclaren, Ferrari’s biggest rival. Hang on, in 25 years (ie since 1992) have won 3 WDC and a single WCC..

      Hmmm, this is difficult. Whatever version of team is based at Enstone is rebuilding once again. Problem is that the main architect during their successful eras was an Italian called Flavion. He empowered his teams with the right tools and won titles.

      Of course people may suggest you need the British design head to succeed yet Pat Fry failed miserably at Ferrari and so did James Allison because, whisper it, they’re not actually that good.

      In the last quarter of a century it appears that you need a Ross Brawn, Adrian Newey or Flavia Briatore to win multiple titles.

      What is intriguing is if you look at other international motorsport, Motogp, GP2,GP3, European F3, etc – Italians make up a huge part of winning teams or they are Italian outright, Prema for example.

      Speedwell is Austrian. It would appear to me that this is designed in some manner to unsettle Ferrari as they are opposition to Red Bull. With Mercedes and Ferrari having written to Charlie Whiting about design issues in regards front suspension designs and dimensions of chassis – I’d suggest this is tit for tat!!

      • Lowe was successful at Williams in the 90′ and continue success in McLaren. I agree that Brawn built the base for MB and they did a good job with their engines and new rules. Ferrari before Brawn had 20 years of failures.

    • Taking on Lewis will do nothing to helping the team win. I doubt he would inspire the Italian squad like Schumacher, Alonso and Vettel did. As we have seen over the past 3 seasons, it’s all about the Mercedes power plant. If Red Bull had the same engine as the Mercs last year, it would have been a competitive season. If you had Pastor in the Mercedes last year, they still would have finished one two.

  2. I enjoy their struggles, which must be why my karma is the ridiculous form which my favourite team suffers.

    • I’m aware of Byrne’s heritage and his place in Ferrari lore but after the winning team disbanded his occasional help to the team hasn’t resulted in wold beating performance.

      Brawn has gone on to win with Brawn GP and Mercedes – therefore arguably he was the more necessary cog in the wheel.

      Whilst Byrne is an elite designer, I think in partnership with Brawn he out-performed Newey.

      • Byrne has been a part-time consultant since the “dream-team ended”.So he’s never been in charge or responsible for a design since then.

        “Brawn has gone on to win with Brawn GP and Mercedes”
        With a WC winning car designed by Honda. And 4 wins in 4 seasons at M-B?

  3. I’ll also add that during most of Schumachers winning years at Ferrari – the Ferrari engine was at least 25HP+ more powerful than anyone else’s. And they were designed by Paolo Martinelli – who not surprisingly, an Italian.

  4. It is the Ferrari name/heritage which is causing pressure. Management wants wins, and just pours money into the pit, thinking that will solve the issue. They built a too large structure, without the necessary flexibility to move people around. Other (succesful) Italian motorsport organizations are a lot smaller, more flexible, thus more creative.

    Ferrari also wants to be Italian, thus when Brawn moved out, Italian personnel was promoted. Not because they were the most talented, but because they were more Italian then the others on the team.

    F1 is hard. Money doesn’t always solve all problems. Ecclestone’s hair is grey. Firetrucks are red. That’s life. Deal with it.

    • Unlike Sommers & Co we write in our spare time. So if a bomb gets dropped during midday, most of us are working our daytime job.
      That being said nobody will say that you’re not allowed to write stories and forward them to the judge.

      • That’s a really weak excuse Bruznic. Manor went into administration on Thursday night. And as nothing happens in Belguim on Thursday night’s or any night of the week for that matter, you should have been on it right away. I’m disappointed. 😝

  5. What a nonsense. Remember Carlo Chiti, Roberto Ravgllia, Monica Sipz, Stefano Dominicali, Ducati Corse managment etc.. List goes on and on. Has nothing to do with nationality. we could name a dozen british teams where no Italian has ever worked though were never as succesfull as Ferrari

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