Long-term manager of Fernando Alonso Ferrari had been ‘penalised’ in 2022; and then goes on to destroy the team in a shocking statement, claiming incompetence for the Spaniard’s former Italian team. According to Alonso’s manager, Flavio Briatore, Scuderia Ferrari should have made its voice heard when the FIA introduced a technical directive to reduce porpoising in 2022 in the middle of the season.
Former Renault F1 team principal and current manager of Alonso, Flavio Briatore, has been highly critical of Ferrari and believes the Maranello-based team did not take the time to do an in-depth analysis over the winter and simply replaced its director, while the Italian believes Ferrari should also have been more vocal in 2022 when the FIA introduced a new technical directive mid-season.
Ferrari ‘just talk’, no action
After the first two rounds of the 2023 season, Ferrari is fourth in the constructors’ world championship, twelve points behind the Mercedes team.
Asked by the Italian paper, Corriere Della Sera, about the crisis at Ferrari after mixed results in the first two rounds of the year, Briatore said, “As always in Maranello, there are people who talk during the winter when we should be doing an in-depth analysis to understand why we haven’t been winning for the last 15 years.”
When asked precisely who should do this in-depth analysis at Ferrari, the Italian replied, “The Ferrari owners, but I don’t see them being very involved in this.”
“It’s not enough to change one person [Ferrari fired Mattia Binotto this winter] We need strong characters in the team, now there are none. I remember they started to win continuously when they brought in 10 or 12 people from Benetton. They did well.”
FIA rule change favoured Mercedes & hit Ferrari hard
In 2022, Ferrari was still in a position to fight for the world title, at least in the first half of the season before, a technical directive was introduced to limit porpoising on the cars.
The implementation of this directive from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards – according to Briatore – accelerated Mercedes’ return to the front in the second half of the season and Ferrari should have “pounded their fists on the table” by then.
“The rules changed during the year and they [Ferrari] were penalised. We should have pounded our fists on the table and taken a stand,” said the Italian.
“It’s not because there’s someone who has the wrong concept [he’s referring to Mercedes] after eight years of victories that you have to change the rules.”
The problem was not Mattia Binotto: “Binotto did a good job last year, Ferrari was competitive. But afterwards, he concentrated too much responsibility on himself and that created problems.”
Finally, regarding Fred Vasseur, Mattio Binotto’s replacement, Briatore believes that the Frenchman will need time to find his feet and get results:
“I know him quite well: he is a hard worker, he is serious. He has just arrived and is coaching a team with people he is discovering. Let’s give him time.”