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Montezemolo: I wanted a Ferrari man, not a mercenary
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Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Apr 2014   |  8:37 am GMT  |  223 comments

Ferrari president has said that he has complete confidence in new team principal Marco Mattiacci and added that his Ferrari heritage is more important than F1 knowledge and he has vowed to spend more time in Formula 1 personally.

“I decided to appoint a young manager in whom I have a great deal of confidence and someone from the Ferrari family, rather than going around the world looking for some mercenary,” Montezemolo said yesterday.

“We are full of talent with quality and capability and and we are full of technical people from whom I now expect an immediate reaction. (Mattiacci’s) appointment, above all, was made in full agreement with (FIAT CEO Sergio) Marchionne.

“I will help him, like I have done in the past I will be closer to F1, I will spend more time there. Let’s look ahead, everyone must do everything they can to return us to competitiveness.”

It is interesting that Montezemolo has said that he will be “more present” in F1, as we have seen with the return of Ron Dennis at McLaren, the big beasts are returning to the jungle, sensing a change in the natural order.

There is a clear sense that F1 is entering a period of change with Bernie Ecclestone’s trial starting next week on bribery charges and – whatever the outcome in Munich – Ecclestone saying that he will step back from full control of the running of the sport to take a more strategic role. Main shareholder CVC wants to retain a stake in the business and grow the commercial revenues significantly and the big beasts want to be involved in what comes next.

Montezemolo and Ferrari have a powerful position in the sport with a veto right and a say in who replaces Ecclestone as Formula 1 CEO. Montezemolo clearly senses that he needs to stay close to the sport in this next period to be able to take advantage of uncertainties and changes in situation.

This is also because he believes wholeheartedly that the sport is on the wrong track in terms of the regulations, as he said in Bahrain, “They are ruining a great sport through the regulations, we will not allow that.” he said. “For us F1 is our life.”

As for Domenicali, the president said, “After 23 years with us, Stefano had the courage to resign, a rare quality in our country. He is paying for the lack of results, that is the law of sport.

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223 Comments
  1. Gaz Boy says:

    Luca has a low opinion of salaried foreigners/mercenaries (delete as applicable) working at Ferrari F1?
    Um, Ross, Jean, Michael……..remember them Luca?
    I think Luca’s choice of Inglese words sometimes is a bit…………wayward.
    Being serious for a moment, Luca can appoint whoever he wants to be the manager of Ferrari F1, but in my opinion he would be better off employing a foreign “mercenary”, somebody who has no cultural and emotional baggage, but does the job purely on a pragmatic, down to earth level, but hey, Luca, you’re the boss, so be it.

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      Maybe Ferrari and Fiat don’t have money Mercedes style. The books are not balancing.

      1. LatTiseer says:

        Ferrari probably have the biggest budget in F1 who are definitely not short of money

      2. Tone says:

        Mercedes are rumoured to have spent 500 million alone on the engine

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      On the subject of mercenaries, is it fair to say that Pastor could technically qualify as one in terms of he puts himself (and others) in grave danger and has little regard for his personal safety (or the safety of others come to think of it) as long as he gets the opportunity?

      1. Richard says:

        Ha ha – so true. cant believe he’s got off so lightly. Was a shocking move and most certainly not the first time, or the last.

    3. Mojo says:

      I agree. A big part of the success that Jean Todt brought into the team was, IMHO, that he was a mercenary, which enabled him to get rid of those typical italian habits like drinking wine during testing etc. we all have heard about. Ross Brawn did bring in a substantial amount of british engineering talent. When Todt and Brawn left, and de Montezemolo said that he will fill the gaps with italian people, I already knew that Ferrari’s golden days were over. I don’t think the italian mentality will yield to any success in F1. I also don’t think that someone with no experience in Formula 1 can successfully run a team instantly, whether or not he’s from the Ferrari family or not. What de Montezemolo is effectively doing is writing off the next few years. He should have put an experienced person next to the new guy for a year or so. Maybe he’ll do that, it’s still possible.

      1. Monktonnik says:

        I agree.

        When you count experience within the company over experience within such a complex sport, I think you are courting danger.

        Also, how often in a season does LDM expect “an immediate reaction”? Doesn’t this rhetoric wear a bit thin?

      2. eric says:

        there were plenty of Ferrari men associated with the Schumacher years. Paolo Martinelli comes to mind. that said, as those peoples associated with the Schumacher years have drained away so has the team’s success. I would not be surprised if Ferrari did not win a race this year. The worst season Ferrari had during the Schumacher years was 2005….which really doesn’t count given that Michelin tires were effectively slick tires and were subsequently to be found in breach of the regulations too late for 2005.

      3. Peter Fisla says:

        100% agree…Ferrari is going back being Ferrari before their glory era (2000+). The funny thing is, LDM doesn’t see it.

      4. Wade Parmino says:

        He is putting an experienced person in next to the new guy: Himself. Luca said he will be much more involved in the sport than he has been for quite a while.

      5. j vann says:

        That is exactly what he wants people to think tho, I bet Luca has been very involved in Ferrari and f1 for the past few years, his lucky someone else has taken the hit for their poor performance. I can only see things getting worse for Ferrari

      6. fox says:

        you are so right!

        I am waiting for Alonso switch to another team to switch myself to that team. Ferrari is finished.

    4. Ticketyboo says:

      You’re right Gaz. Poor Luca is only regurgitating the latest book that he’s had someone read to him on ‘Corporate Speak’. His singular inability to consider what’s actually best for Ferrari is what’s holding the team back. From experience I’ve always believed that being respected will gain you far more than being liked, and to gain the respect you need a fairly stellar pair of dogs danglies (aka being mercenary in your execution of the plan) in F1 and a brass neck to match. A certain Sarah Palin spoke of ‘slapping lipstick on the pig’ in a similar context and in essence that’s what Ferrari are doing – sad when you think about it, once a great team now on a downward trajectory with no pretty end in sight.

      1. H.Guderian says:

        LucasSpeak…

        8-)

    5. Adam says:

      I agree, Luca has lost the thread of the plot here. If Ferrari today fired all the “mercenaries” and hired only Italians they will be relegated to permanent back markers. I am sure that some of the “mercenaries” wont care about Luca’s opinion of them, or the current work of the team. But for others he has probably just made it that much harder to hire them while he remains at the team and while they have a spoken hire Italian policy first. The only policy that works is hire the best, in the dictionary it says see Mercedes as an example! ,-)

      Any other team should today come out and say that loud and proud. Luca is ruining the Ferrari F1 brand by always looking for unequal advantage in money and now engines. This step wounds it just a little more. Remember Ratner that called his product crap and killed the company? Well Luca is doing the same thing, just more slowly and less directly. Time for him to resign and Ferrari set out as a global team and not Italian. Todt knew this was flawed when he came in and made a team of international “mercenaries” who won! Todt was right and Luca is wrong, PERIOD!

      1. H.Guderian says:

        +1.000.000

    6. Random 79 says:

      Well said Gaz.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Cheers Random.
        I think Luca needs to a) have some thorough inglese lessons b) have a root and branch thorough review of the Ferrari F1 technical branch c) stop living off past glories.
        PS Below I’ve posted a comment about most of Ferrari’s customer base in Britain – very, er, predictable – and if I was being uncharitable I would say at the minute a Ferrari can take a corner about as well as Mr Rooney.
        No, no, no, that’s nasty…………

      2. littleredkelpie says:

        How many languages do you speak, Gaz?

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        Three languages: English, Ronspeak and Bernie double speak.
        Well, the last two I struggle with, but so does everyone………..

    7. KARTRACE says:

      Rory(ZA), Jody(ZA), Lauda (A), Prost (F)… the list goes on

      1. eric says:

        When was the last time Ferrari had a successful Italian driver?

      2. James Allen says:

        Alboreto in the 1980s

        Really successful – Ascari in the 1950s

      3. VintageF1 says:

        I had the privilege of sitting in Alberto’s F40 in a small ferrari garage in maranello not too long after his fateful accident. the mechanics working on the car were so respectful of him as a driver and a person. A rare talent and top bloke. Michelle you are missed.

        Unfortunately though high quality drivers, neither Badoer, Capelli, Fisichella or Larini achieved too much when given the opportunity (for various reasons).

        On subject, it makes you realise that F1 is lacking Latin talent in 2014.

      4. VintageF1 says:

        *Alboreto

    8. Rod says:

      Spot on.

    9. deancassady says:

      I like that word, “Wayward”.

    10. frank says:

      The problems at Ferrari can be summed up quite easily. The technical team are not doing the job! FULL STOP. Tombaszis is incapable of designing an aerodynamically efficient race car. He was nowhere in the blown diffuser era, the 2012 car had minimal changes over the previous year where he accepted “i was maybe a bit too conservative”. Not a single item of innovation has come from the design office at ferrari since the Byrne era. Lets remember the F2004 from the first race that car made the rest look like F2 cars. I say to Montezemolo forget about the hystrionics and hyperbole reshuffle the design team and get ferrari where it should be at the front.

      1. Luiz says:

        I think Frank’s got a point here… The way I see it, though, is not that they’re incapable of designing an efficient car. It looks as though they’re having trouble to correlate their data with actual track performance. It has been often the case with Ferrari that all the improvement they’ve seen at the factory is not showing itself when the bits go to the car. Those guys KNOW what they’re doing, otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to recover so quickly. For whatever reason, though, they’re not able to make stuff work more properly at the factory (simulator, wind-tunnel and so on).

    11. Purple Helmet says:

      He seems happy enough to employ foreign mercenaries as drivers. Hardly much recent history of Italians driving them… Fisichella was just a seat warmer. And unlike McLaren and Red Bull that have developed and brought through the likes of Hamilton and Vettel, Ferrari have always just opened their chequebook when they need a driver.

    12. Folkdisco says:

      “…someone from the
      Ferrari family”. Clearly at Ferrari, nepotism trumps meritocracy!

  2. Oletros says:

    Jean Todt, Ross Brawn, mercenaries.

    Luca, you don’t have to look a Ferrari man or a mercenary, you have to look for the BEST man

    1. Sebee says:

      Maybe Mercanary is what he calls guys on his list from Mercedes?

  3. AlexD says:

    So is Stefano staying at the Ferrari?
    I still think the the change of the manager is not going to make a big difference. Their problem is their technical department and the internal structure. Maybe the new boss will spot what is lacking and will be able to find right people….who knows. I am sure he is now assessing where they are and what is the gap that they need to cover and also how……

    1. Brace says:

      I think he is watching races on tape, trying to figure out, what it this F1 thing and why are those cars going in circles.

    2. Wade Parmino says:

      The problem is that the regulations of the sport are catering for Mercedes and Renault engineering experience. I don’t think a V6 engine had ever been constructed at Maranello prior to this season (someone please correct me if I’m wrong). It’s like telling a doctor who has become an expert heart surgeon over many decades that he has three years notice to become an expert brain surgeon. It is an unfair demand.

      1. Mike says:

        They made a V6 turbo in the previous turbo era of the 80′s.

        http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=n-npEh41xiU

      2. eff1ohsaurus says:

        Ferrari has some experience in V6′s, albeit 50 years ago…

        Enzo’ son Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari designed a 1,5 liter supercharged V6 engine which was 1st uded in the 156F1 and F2 GP cars in the late 50′s, and was the used to power the 246 Dino GP car which took Hawthorn to his only title in 1959.

        The nehine was also used in a number of small sportcars and of course, was used to great success in WRC by Lancia in the Stratos which claimed multiple WRC titles in the 70′s…

        the V8′s and V12 used in later production cars can all be traced back to the V6 “Dino” engine designed in the 50′s…

        Enzo would roll in his grave if he saw where Ferrari are now – “…Aerodynamics are for people who cannot build engines…” Alas, the great Scuderia can’tseem to get either right of late…

  4. Manchesterf1 says:

    the engineering pool in italy is so small.

    1. Bart says:

      it’s definately smaller than in the UK (as far as f1 people are concerned) but much more stable. Ross Brawn said once that this stability was one of the most important reasons for their domination.

  5. Manchesterf1 says:

    “He is paying for the lack of results, that is the law of sport”

    When will LDM step down from lack of results?

    1. Konstantin says:

      Ferrari road car sales have never been better. the company is actually thriving. they make money also from the f1 with these special deals with bernie. but its bad image

      1. Bart says:

        they recently even gave a 3000€ bonus to all their employees at Maranello

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        A lot of Ferrari’s customer base in the UK is called Wayne, Frank, Steve, Rio, Gary and Ryan – and most of them reside in the county of Cheshire oddly enough!
        As long as Goodison Park, Anfield, Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium keep delivering good results then Ferrari’s customer base in Britain will continue to buy their products on a regular basis!
        PS I forget to mention another Ferrari customer called Coleen.

      3. Bart says:

        One of those customers used to live in Wilmslow but a couple of years ago moved to Madrid…

    2. Harshad says:

      At Ferrari, buck stops at TP, not with the president.

    3. Ahmad says:

      Maybe if Ferrari keep on performing like this for this year and next… Surely, he will have to take the blame if his new choice proves even worse.

    4. Anil Parmar says:

      He’s the president of Ferrari, not the F1 team. Last time I checked, Ferrari were doing VERY well and were recently voted the biggest brand in the world, ahead of Google and Apple. I also remember reading that their sales are very strong in markets like China and America.

      1. Witan says:

        With perpetual failure to grasp new technology and win races how long will their ‘aura’ last?

        It doesn’t have to fade totally, just tarnish and sales will start to slide.

      2. deancassady says:

        No, it doesn’t work like that.
        Ferrari are the top brand in the world for a reason, which does NOT necessarily equate closely with their product functionality.

    5. Rich C says:

      “The Law of Sport”… now, is that in the Rules or is it a Technical Directive, or just an opinion, or what…?

  6. AfterLife says:

    So goodbye Ross Brawn rumors.

    1. Ian H says:

      But would LDM still consider Ross Brawn to be “someone from the Ferrari family”? if so that leaves the door open

      1. AuraF1 says:

        Could he change his name to Rosso Muscolo to keep in with LdM’s Forza Italia branding?

    2. Ahmad says:

      Well, I am actually glad Ross will not be working with a diva like LDM.

  7. Kay says:

    Seems like ‘new kids’ can’t do the job and the wise old men like Ron and LdM have no choice but to stick around a little longer. Same goes to Newey as at the moment it seems no single designer can single handedly beat his cars. For Mercedes it takes a whole team effort and several years of development to reach this stage in beating Newey’s cars, and even so, this year’s Red Bull cars aren’t far behind.

    Seems like it’ll be quite a long time before we have another batch of top talents in running F1, including team bosses, designers, etc…

    1. Elie says:

      Kay i will go a step further and say Red Bull is still by far the best chassis in F1 with the RB10- given their PU deficiency as evidenced by all the Renault powered cars- for Ricciardo to be at the front and how those cars are still best if rest- they are still truly remarkable.

      1. deancassady says:

        +1
        looks that way

      2. Kay says:

        I concur with that.

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        You’re right, the Red Bull chassis has excellent clean, efficient downforce, good suspension compliance, superb traction and an excellent aero map that allows Adrian to run the cars with more “rake” than any other.
        It’s just that they are 80 Bhp/80 lb ft of torque down on the Merc cars……….which is about 0.7 seconds a lap, so its somewhat incumbent on Renault F1 to get more grunt from their engines. Sorry, PUs!

    2. Jonathan P says:

      Indeed. If the Mercedes engine is as good as people say, then the Red Bull is probably still the better chassis. Newey seems to be the Schumacher of designers.

    3. Angela says:

      They are NOT just Newey’s cars, they are Red Bull’s cars.

      Newey is not the only one working on the design, aerodynamics and engineering of the cars, even though he is the only one taking credit for the success.

      Just as Ferrari’s success was not only due to Ross Brawn, Red Bull’s success is not due to Adrian Newey!

      1. Ticketyboo says:

        +1 A fact often overlooked.

      2. Wade Parmino says:

        I think though, it is Newey’s aerodynamic insight that makes that little bit of difference between a great car and a magnificent car.

      3. Kay says:

        Of course Newey is not the only one, but go back to where RBR was before Newey came, look where they were.

        Part of Newey’s reason, as explained by himself, was that he wanted a fresh challenge to build up a team from base, putting various structures (talents) in place and build a winning team. Designers, engineers, drivers, etc.

        So without Newey’s direction how do you think RBR managed to be where they are?

        Of course F1 is a team sport, but at the same time the experience and expertise can also make a huge difference. If that’s not the case, then why is everyone singling out Brawn / Bob Bell to lead Ferrari, cheer when Ron returns to lead McLaren. These are management and the way these people manage their teams are what make them into winners. An engineer may be good at his job, so are designers and various people, but it still takes s leader knowing when to pull what string to make everything work in harmony and Newey is one of these people that has this talent in addition to his design skills.

    4. Optimaximal says:

      Adrian Newey is not ‘the single factor’ behind Red Bull’s success either.

      It’s a combination of his design nous, the work of the teams under Rob Marshall and Dan Fallows (nee Peter Prodromou), a large enough budget to support continuous improvement & refinement of the car and a similarly large investment into a new 60% scale Wind Tunnel ahead of the game when AN joined Red Bull.

      1. Matías says:

        that’s maybe, but, in the last 25 years, how many cars designed by newey weren’t front runners? he must be a big part of them i guess…

      2. gollino says:

        He made quite a few bones for Mc Laren.

      3. KRB says:

        Huh? Dan Fallows’ name at birth was Peter Prodromou?!?

      4. Optimaximal says:

        Shush, you know what I mean…

  8. Andrew Winter says:

    Regulations ruining a great sport?

    The last 2 races have been the most dynamic and competitive I have seen in a decade of F1.

    The drivers are now being challenged, and the best have risen to the top, and this is what the spectator wants to see.

    Ferrari just need to catch up, and grow up.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      +1

      The regulations were changed to accommodate Ferrari’s moaning about aero dominance and needing to get back to an engine racing formula! That’s what’s so irritating about his pronouncements – his biggest beef since Red Bull (and briefly Team Brawn) took over has been that aero trickery has made the cars more like planes than automobiles (to paraphrase him). So now we have a regulation change that makes the PU the dominant factor and Ferrari screwed up again. They even built in testing days again which Ferrari have been hammering on about.

      Now LdM is saying the regulations are ruining F1 again. So what he’s saying is F1 should go back to what exactly? Does he want the V8′s and blown diffusers back? So he can crawl around behind Vettel again for another 4 years?

      Real leaders don’t just moan about things – they offer solutions. Currently LdM seems to be ‘the solution is to let Ferrari win or the brand is tarnished.’ Hardly helpful.

    2. Jon Read says:

      Sorry, have to disagree, the drivers that rise to the top are normally the ones in the best car. Thats why hamilton & rosberg last year were bit part players, now they have the best car, they are on top. Ricardo was a bit part player at torro rosso, now he is challenging for podiums….in a better car.

      and the racing has not been that good this year

      1. Purple Helmet says:

        The best drivers tend to end up in the best cars.

        You missed the last race I guess?

    3. Random 79 says:

      Agreed.

      It’s a long way from a few years back when the drivers had all the toys like traction control and could almost drive the cars with one eye closed while making a cup of coffee.

      Now they actually have to concentrate and use all of their skill just to keep them pointing in the right direction, and I for one think that’s a good thing.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Agree.
        Having said that can a certain Venezuelan actually point his car in the right direction at all, eh?
        Speaking of Pastor, do you think he was inspired by going to the circus and then deciding to become a human cannon-ball, albeit in an F1 capacity??
        Mind you, its easy for us to be flippant, but one of these days Mr M’s actions are going to cause serious injury to an innocent party unless he gets a stern talking to.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Yep, agreed. I’ll sum it up simply:

        The thing that both Maldonado and Grosjean have in common is a bad history of doing silly things on track that could have resulted in major injuries.

        The difference is Grosjean learned.

      3. Dave Aston says:

        I don’t understand why driving into Hamilton on the slow down lap at Spa a few years back didn’t get a multiple race ban; he was basically using his car as a weapon. His explanation at Bahrain (Gutierrez left me nowhere to go) is hilarious in it’s level of delusion, but the fact that he will seriously injure someone at some stage isn’t funny. He’s had so many crazy incidents, in the junior formulae too, that we must conclude, sadly, that he has a screw loose. I don’t think he should be in motorsport, it’s a risk to drivers, crews, spectators and marshals.

      4. Wade Parmino says:

        Speaking of traction control and the like, I thought F1 was at it’s best when the best technologies were being employed. There has not really been any profound mechanical innovations since the early to mid 90′s. I think this is because teams know there is no point in pursuing such technologies like TC, active suspension, continuously variable transmission, ABS, etc. As soon as something innovative is pioneered, it is banned.

        Supposed driver aids enable the driver to drive the car better, faster and safer. If Senna had been driving the 93 Williams spec car instead of the neutered and dangerous 94 version, he would not have had his fatal accident.

        Formula 1 should be the absolute best technology being driven by the best drivers. So long as it is a level playing field, there would still be excellent racing on track. Possibly better racing, as drivers will be able to focus all their attention on passing the next car, instead of being preoccupied by the concern of making sure their own car stays on the track. Super aggressive passes are much of the time not even attempted because the driver knows his car would be too unsettled and the risk of losing control would be too great. Traction control and active suspension would enhance driver confidence as well as the car’s capability.

        Most of these technologies are relatively cheap as well compared to the cost of aerodynamic R&D.

      5. Optimaximal says:

        Lets not go dragging up these ‘dangerous’ claims about cars, especially the FW16…

        The car was compromised, yes, but as evidenced later in the year, once the niggles had been solved, it was sorted.

        What happened 20 years ago was an unfortunate accident driven by many circumstances including car design, human error and just shocking and tragic bad luck.

      6. Gaz Boy says:

        Ah, Senna……………I can’t believe it is nearly 20 years now since F1 and the world lost the genius of that magic softly spoken Paulista whose sublime gift, dedication, focus and motivation lit up F1 for the past of 10 years.
        I know Ayrton had a bad side – Suzuka 1990 was one of the most awful pieces of driving in F1 history – but now I understand fully the political background behind the 1989/1990 seasons I can sort of understand Senna’s persecution complex. I’m not condoning what he did at Suzuka 1990, but I understand the perspective behind it.
        Portugal 1985 has to be one of the greatest wet weather performances in F1 history. Look at the evidence – Senna qualified on pole, led away from the start, led every race lap, set fastest lap and won by over a minute. And bear in mind his opposition that day included the likes of Mr Lauda, Mr Prost, Mr Rosberg, Mr Mansell and Mr Piquet (some of who stuffed their cars into the barrier that day) it kind of puts into perspective Ayrton’s genius.
        Ayrton, thanks for the memories – you lit up us spectators world, thanks for that.

      7. Random 79 says:

        That’s a valid way of looking at it, but for myself I’d still prefer to see the driver doing the work, not the car.

        The truly great drivers will still be able pass the cars in front and I think those passes are made more impressive by the skill that’s needed to make them stick.

        As bad as the ’94 Williams was I don’t think the loss of active suspension was what killed Senna – I was under the impression that it was a component failure (on the steering I think) that led to the crash.

      8. Patrick says:

        The difference between the two cars had nothing to do with Senna’s accident. The steering column was modified and welded at the track to Give Senna a more comfortable driving position and it appears that the welding broke which caused the steering to fail mid corner.

  9. Gudien says:

    Where does Domenicalli go now? We still haven’t heard from Whitmarsh over at McLaren since he’s been replaced.

    And what are Alonso and Raikonnen to think? I’m guessing Fernando will be frustrated at yet another un-competitive season while Kimi will be happy to take his Lira.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      I don’t know Kimi does get bored very easily. If he’s driving round the mid-field constantly he has the wealth and experience to ditch F1 and go and do something else.

    2. Matías says:

      actually, both SD and MW where abducted by aliens, or better, they rejoined their species: how many TP in f1 were so nice as they are? they must be aliens, for sure.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Well that’s one mystery solved then :)

  10. Hello says:

    Well I’m sorry Di Monty but in the recent past you haven’t won anything without mercenaries.

    1. Ahmad says:

      Spot on. Maybe he should also replace his “mercenary” drivers with some Italian ones?

      1. Denis 68 says:

        May as well seeing as they won’t be winning anything any time soon.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Is that Fizzy I see holding up his hand?

    2. john3voltas says:

      Come on guys. You’re putting too much emphasis on the mercenary word.
      Was that his words in English? LdM is not particularly very fluent in English.
      On the other hand if it’s a translation from Italian it could well be a translation that helps selling newspapers.
      All in all, I’m not so sure if he meant that all non-Italian sports are mercenaries otherwise he still have quite a few in the team that he must ditch, right?
      On the other hand, Ross is indeed a mercenary so LdM might be referring to him.

  11. hotAir-O-foil says:

    So . . .

    How many ‘mercenaries’ are in your design department?

    If you are going to be ‘more present’ in F1 does that mean you’ll stay to the end of the race next time?

    If you don’t want the ‘ruining of a great sport’ get all the teams’ consensus on the rules and don’t do unilateral back-door deals with the management.

  12. AuraF1 says:

    ‘For us doing well in Italian Politics and not being humiliated in F1 is our life’…sorry fixed that for you Luca…

    1. lord horn says:

      +1000

  13. Witan says:

    It must be encouraging for Fry and Allison to know they are ‘merely mercenaries”.

    Further proof that Montezemelo is the problem not the solution.

    PS is this statement and the action which prompted it a breach of EU law?

    1. Basil says:

      By mercenaries he does not mean foreigners but people outside of Ferrari.

  14. Spyros says:

    Why do I suddenly have a mental image of Mr. Burns in Simsons, saying: “Release the hounds”?

    1. Elie says:

      Lol yes !

    2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Classic ;) That would be “Release the Italian hounds”.

      Stefano Domenicalli even looks a bit like Smithers!

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Ha ha! He does!
        “Smithers [Stefano], who is that ninny drinking all the wine and vodka at the bar?”
        “Why that’s Raikkonen sir, from sector No.7 G”

      2. AndyK says:

        Haha excellent:)

      3. BeauJ says:

        You Sir, just won the internet!

    3. Rich C says:

      Exxxcellent!

    4. Adrian says:

      Luca sounds like a terrible leader. Too much politicking and not enough results.

  15. goferet says:

    Well Luca’s reasons for appointing Marco sound more like Ferrari nepotism and not necessarily based on ability as Marco has no F1/racing experience.

    But it’s true, sometimes experience in F1 is overrated for I believe the most important currency for anyone to succeed in F1 is luck.

    So we wait and see which way the cookie will crumble in Marco’s favour but seeing as Italians aren’t generally lucky in F1 e.g. Only 2 world champions in F1 history ~ maybe Luca really ought to have gone for a mercenary.

    As for Ron Dennis and Luca’s more hands on approach to the sport, I don’t think this will help their cause too much for as long as Jean Todt is around, things won’t necessarily go their way.

    P.s.

    Interesting, with Ferrari’s change in team principal, this means Red Bull are the only team not to have sacked their team principal to date.

    After the fuel-gate episode, Horner is worth keeping eye on.

    1. Optimaximal says:

      Fuel-gate, engine-gate and probably-not-winning-the-2014-championship-either-gate at current trot…

      Still, it’s safe to say he won’t be out after this year – it seems you need 2-3 years of bad performance/luck to get the boot.

    2. Angela says:

      +1

      I find it very naive that Montezemolo thinks everything will change in a day and now that Mattiacci is team principal, the engineering department will do great progress…

      That’s another season gone like that for Ferrari, and by the summer break, Alonso will probably be looking for the exit!

      As for Horner, I am not sure he’s going anywhere any time soon. He has laboured long and hard to build this team and Mateschitz apparently has too much trust in him to fire him or force him to resign.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Angela

        But the fact Alonso really doesn’t have options else were may see him staying with the Red team for a couple more seasons.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Indeed.
        Fernando: Catch 22 situation………don’t want to stay yet nowhere to go…………

      3. H.Guderian says:

        Alonso has already signed with McLaren (I guess)

      4. Mhilgtx says:

        You are so right. That is one of the many reasons why we terminate most of the staff when we go into a new clients dealership. Then we let some re apply but most of the management I have found it just better to move down the road. This needs to be done at Ferrari starting g with LDM I would add in Alonso as I think he is destabilizing but while not a pay driver he brings a ton of money.

      5. justafan says:

        Ferrari would never fire Alonso because he brings Santander bucks. They might fire Kimi again, though, if a better driver comes to be available.

    3. maindedieu says:

      James, are you sure he used the word “mercenary”? It is not quoted as so in the main italian press agency, ANSA.

      Using or not such word is not an irrelevant matter: this word is used in Italy by fanatic sport supporters, to denigrate people not committed (as they would like) to the team they’re supporting.
      It’s part of the lexicon of the most degenerate share of sports’ audience and, in the words of a team principal, it seems like he’s trying to catch simpathy among all levels of supporters, including the more emotional ones.
      In that respect, this may be seen as a sign of Luca over-defending his choice, like he is aware of its weakness.

  16. Goldy says:

    Another nail in coffin

  17. jakobusvdl says:

    “The big beasts are returning to the jungle, sensing a change in the natural order” – love the sound of that!
    Do you think they are sensing that Bernie’s time is coming to an end, and want to be there to seize that opportunity, or are just back to rescue their teams reputations?

    1. James Allen says:

      Both but certainly the former

      1. Thompson says:

        It’s full time a successor was found for Bernie – it’s definitely time for change.

      2. Mhilgtx says:

        James I have a client that has a Ferrari dealership as well as Fiat and Chrysler-dodge dealerships. He has said he is pretty impressed with the Ferrari guy and thinks he is “Sergio’s” boy or that was his opinion.

        Is it possible that Sergio is exerting pressure on LDM? I am unclear on the relationship between FIAT and it’s subsidiaries. I know we essentially gave them Chrysler for free.

      3. James Allen says:

        That is one theory doing the rounds in Italy, yes

  18. Alpha16 says:

    The last “Ferrari Man” reduced Ferrari from Champions to a mid field team in 6 years!

    This “Ferrari Man” who knows nothing about F1 will probly reduce them to a back of the grid team in even less time!

    Red Bull are gaining more power by the week in F1!they have money equal to Ferrari and if they keep winning who knows they might end up with more power then Ferrari in F1!They already receiving almost as much revenue as Ferrari from the FOM.

    The longer Ferrari continue to loose the less and less power they will have and the less serious the rest of F1 will take them!

  19. protus ambe says:

    Still making the same mistake as he did with aDomenicali.

  20. Qiang says:

    It’s the brand name of Ferrari at stake here.
    If they can only make half-good engine, which
    is suppose to be more road car relevant then
    the future of this Italian brand is not very bright.

  21. Sour grapes by Luca. His memory is so short.

    1. Incredible arrogance is more like it. Wonder what message he is sending to his “mercenary” drivers and the other “foreigners” currently in Ferrari employ? Perhaps Gene Hass can benefit from the exodus.

  22. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    As the flicker of light that is a brilliant innovation fades from the Ferrari engineer’s brain, replaced with thoughts of:

    Am I enough of a Ferrari man?

    Am I towing the company line enough?

    Am I being critical by pushing radical improvements so Luca thinks I’m a mercenary damaging the brand?

    Is my shirt the correct red colour after ten washes?

    Does my third removed granny’s cousin, born in Venice, make me Italian enough?

    Ssssh, is that Luca coming along the corridor?

    ;)

    But in all seriousness I wish the Ferrari F1 team can get themselves and their drivers back to battling at the front. They (Luca especially) really need to separate all politics from their F1 engineers and keep all road car, sales and non-F1 business away from the F1 team.

  23. Jonathan P says:

    I’m not the biggest fan of the turbo engines etc., but the idea that “They are ruining a great sport through the regulations” is over-egging the pudding to say the least. Does Luca seriously think that, say, 2004 was preferable to current F1?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Sadly I think he does.

      To be fair his team was winning back then ;)

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Gosh, was 2004 really 10 years ago?
        Why Gaz Boy, it was.
        I say that because 10 years ago who would have been predicted that in the 10 years onwards from the crushing Ferrari dominance of 2004 a drinks company would dominate F1, than Ferrari would be put out to pasture competitively speaking, that Macca and Williams would be bit players, that Ross the Boss would have his season in the sun with his mates Jenson and Rubens and that a young gun who likes raising his middle finger would practically turn F1 into his personal fiefdom?
        If you had said that 10 years ago, you would have had the response of “Are you living in Walter Mitty land, son? Can’t you see Ferrari, McLaren and Williams are going to dominate F1 for the next decade, no one will catch them………”
        Food for thought eh?

      2. Mhilgtx says:

        Anyone that remembers how uncompetitive Ferarri has been at times in the past

      3. littleredkelpie says:

        And just as the herd mentality of the ‘fans’ couldn’t see beyond status quo as it was at that time, the ‘herd’ seems to be of one mind yet again, foretelling of Ferrari’s collapse into a 20year oblivion and Mercedes stellar and unstoppable domination. yawn.

      4. john3voltas says:

        Gaz, where did you get that “middle finger” from?
        Never seen that young gun giving the birdie.
        Back in 2004 it seemed like we were building a dynasty.
        And if it hadn’t been for Flavio and his mass dampers I’m sure we would have won another 1 or 2 WDCs.
        I know I’m going to bring a lot of Hami fanboy boooing with this one but I still would love to see a certain Toyota telemetry in Brasil’08 and we must not ignore Brasil’12 with a certain WDC winner that overtook other drivers under yellows and didn’t get any penalty.
        Since ’97 to the present day (16 seasons) we’ve either won or came second on all of them with the exception ’05, ’09 and ’11.
        So, statistically speaking, we’re still a big contender.
        I’m not saying the sport needs to change in favor of Ferrari like perhaps LdM wants.
        I say the sport should change to favor the spectacle: no more marbles due to tyre degradation (which will favor different trajectories and probably more overtaking), come up with a solution for the low engine decibels and please, please, please, let the teams run proper in-season testing.

    2. J Hancock says:

      Of course he does, it’s the great paradox of manufacturers in motorsport. They want the most competitive series possible to maximise viewers, but also want to dominate every single session and race to maximise their own coverage.
      .
      At least it hasn’t gotten to the state of Moto GP, where the rules have literally been written by Honda and Yamaha to deny anyone else the chance of being competitive.

  24. aveli says:

    in kilburn there is a saying which goes something like this, “when you’re in a smelly room for a while you no longer notice the smell. it takes someone from outside to express how disgusting the room smells and have the motivation to increase ventilation in order to get rid of the smell”.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Profound and disturbing at the same time :)

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Sounds like a good description of present day F1!

    2. garyp says:

      Or pigs don’t know that pigs stink!

  25. Kainfri says:

    Even if Luca has his own agenda criticizing the new rules, we should not discard what he says.
    Everybody keeps saying that new rules produced Bahrain. It’s false.

    If Webber was closer to Vettel, and Red Bull allowed both to fight freely, we would have great fights last year.

    It’s not the new rules that produced the show (fast degrading Pirellis did more for that in recent years) it’s the fact that Mercedes drivers were even-matched (or the fact that faster Rosberg was behind).

    The day (like Malaysia) that Lewis is faster and turns 1st at turn 1, and with no safety car, we will revert to boring races.

    1. Robb says:

      F1 has never had all exciting races. They’ve been a lot of ho-hum races with a few exciting ones sprinkled in here and there. Bahrain showed that this new formula at least has the potential to continue that trend.

      If you can tell what this entire new era is going to look like after just three races, then you’re a lot smarter than me.

      I am smart enough though, to know that knee-jerk reactions rarely pay off.

  26. azac21 says:

    More dark days are coming Ferrari’s way. Luca himshelf should had stepped aside. It is clear that he is the one that was in control all those years. Not Stefano.

    When Ferrari cannot develop the best engine (or even the second best) then Ferrari has failed. Not only its F1 section but the whole Ferrari brand is discredited. People/public can understand a Ferrari that will not have great aerodynamics or other F1 specific technologies but a Ferrari with a poor engine is a huge stain on the brand and PR disaster.

    Now Luca is chosing an F1 outsider from the US side of the business to head the team. Himself will be even more active in the team….

    Mama Mia!

    1. Rupert Suren says:

      Ferrari should maybe look to the FIAT engineers whose knowledge of small capacity turbo-charged engines is pretty good. Ferrari are fast losing cred when their engines are being seen off by Mercedes and even in relative terms, the humble Renault.
      I can’t see Alonso waiting past this season for another crack at the championship

      1. jules0711 says:

        I’d agree with this, the tuned Fiat Uno Turbo was frighteningly quick in its day. I’ve been in one that did 120 mph on a motorway, and that was with three adults and a dog in it.

  27. Ian H says:

    James

    Are Ferrari under pressure from Italian media & fans to promote from within the Ferrari family or would good results from a ‘mercenary’ keep the Italians media & fans happy?

    1. James Allen says:

      No, but I sense a growing influence from FIAT/Chrysler board and Sergio Marchionne in particular

      1. AlexD says:

        James, so for them having Italian leaders is more important than ultimate success? I mean success…as a win of both titles.

      2. Bart says:

        That’s probably the case here, James. The most important decisions seems to be taken in Turin (FIAT’s HQ)

      3. zombie says:

        James, Sergio Marchionne spends more time in US than he does in Italy these days. I saw him speak in NYC a few months ago, and i could say his business acumen is top notch. His way of doing things is more American than Italian ( no offense meant towards Italians ). He came across as a no non-sense businessman.

        Who knows ? Maybe Matiacci is exactly the kind of a guy the Scuderia needs to pull it out of its slumber. I saw Matiacci’s linkedin profile and like the good salesman he is, he says he believes in getting 120% out of his team. Flavio did pretty well at Benetton and Renault getting 4 drivers and 3 constructors. So Matiacci may just work..

      4. Or perhaps Marchionne started to feel threatened by this upstart Matiacci, who was doing great things, and so “rewarded” him by orchestrating a move to the F1 team. That would delay his rise to the top a bit and who knows, a few years of failure in F1 might take the gloss off him. But then again, I don’t think true Ferrari men (the Italians, not the mercenaries) play those sorts of political games, do they?

      5. mike says:

        that cannot be a bad thing can it James?? He is used to dealing with limited resources in limited time frames-LDM is the other way around. Structurally, does LDM report to Marchionne or at same level on board???

      6. Mhilgtx says:

        Marchionne is in firm control at least of the business end. He has a job as long as he wants it saving FIAT getting Chrysler for little to zero cash outlay restructuring it and he is a manufacturing guy with accounting back ground.

        No I suspect Sergio is getting his guys feet wet at Ferrari and will end up helping LDM retire.

      7. mike says:

        Yes I saw the work Sergio did in keeping things on the tracks with Fait and Chrysler. LDM is a guy dressed in dynamite. Certainly needs some reigning in by someone. The more he touches down on racing operations, the worse it performs. Did his best work when not seen and BEHIND the curtain. Never underestimate the power of ego.

  28. Richardd says:

    Well if the new team principal fails, then the Ferrari president must resign…

  29. Elie says:

    These are precisely the type of comments why most people know the biggest change Ferrari Need is Luca Resigning- because the reality just wont sink in!. He has not yet accepted that Ferrari mentality is why they are loosing year in year out! – Rather than say ..”we need a new Ferrari and we will put someone in who will inspire change” he ridicules the only people who have proved any success in Ferrari- non Ferrari people or “mercenaries”. Marco might be just the guy to succeed we dont know enough about him so far .. But he will certainly need to inspire a technical team or appoint someone who can do that.

    James I really like your use of “big beasts” returning the jungle were you suggesting- Dinosaurs- its ok , ok – I know you didnt actually say it..:) Unlike Luca Ron has always been a Macro and Micro manager -one very much capable of analysing the detail and putting together a big picture with that in mind.. Luca is not a details person and his strategic mind is often off target and tainted by politics and history anyway , so he will add little value to a team that needs constructive leadership – stay at home Luca- love from Kimi :) .

    Ferraris recent acqiisitions Allison and other top level aero people are what should drive the technical operations to geater heights. I feel they need some strength in the engine / PU dept given their chief can barely pronounce Turbo -”Torrboh” lol

    Either way ,interesting few months ahead and Im expecting some more changes being announced soon once “Luca shows Marco the ropes” and he settles into the job..

  30. Angela says:

    “Montezemolo and Ferrari have a powerful position in the sport with a veto right and a say in who replaces Ecclestone as Formula 1 CEO.”

    Why do they have this right, who gave it to them and what are the other teams doing about it?

    “They are ruining a great sport through the regulations, we will not allow that.”

    Surely, Mr Montezemolo you’d have a very different opinion if Raikkonen and Alonso were winning instead of Rosberg and Hamilton, right?

    1. James Allen says:

      It was negotiated into their commercial agreement with Ecclestone and FOM.

      1. Angela says:

        And none of the other teams complained about this?

      2. davexxx says:

        - For what period of time? Can the ‘other teams’ ever get F1 away from this Ferrari control??
        With Ecclestone’s sun setting, Ferrari doing badly while other teams do better, it seems out-dated and unfair

      3. James Clayton says:

        What exactly does this veto cover? They keep talking about it but it’s never actually been used, has it? I mean – they weren’t able to veto the Engine regs even though they’ve clearly never been in favour of it.

  31. james encore says:

    “After 23 years with us, Stefano had the courage to resign, a rare quality in our country. ”

    If anyone else suggested the Italians lacked courage there would be an outcry that it was – at best – the worst kind of national stereotyping.

    Ferrari have in the past gone and got the best that money could buy whether that was drivers – going all the way back to the early years of F1 – technical staff (John Barnard, Ross Brawn etc.) and so on. It’s a very big change indeed to call that hiring mercenaries.

    Luca said nothing against the new regulations until he found his cars weren’t looking any too clever. It almost seems Jean Todt has been determined to show he is no longer a Ferrari man and has ended the role of the FIA as an operating division of Ferrari (although Ferrari still get extra TV money, still have a power of veto not given to other teams and so on). The idea that the governing body will change the rules because the team with the most romance attached to it can’t make an efficient engine might have held sway once (remember why refuelling was brought back in the 1990s) but I think those days are gone. Luca needs to stop belly-aching and hire people who can make a competitive team – calling the best people “mercenaries” is a way of taking Ferrari back where it was in the 1980s and early 90s.

  32. Richard says:

    @Gaz Boy and @Andrew Winter’s comments pretty much say it all. Agree wholeheartedly.

  33. Owen Brooker says:

    This appointment suggests to me that Ferrari are going to go through another 20 year spell without winning a Championship.

    1. clyde says:

      yeah Ldm has replaced a team principal with 23 years experience in f1 racing with someone who has none …. now all he needs to do is replace his drivers and james Allison with novices and Ferrari will be winning again :-)

  34. franed says:

    The penny drops, Ferrari are going to SELL their F1 their cars!

  35. Matt W says:

    Montezemelo hasn’t learnt anything from his post spygate purge of foreign talent it seems. The reason they lack technically is because they refuse to go for the best talent regardless of nationality. Ironic really considering Ferrari feel they are a global brand.

  36. FrankCanada says:

    These comments are funny. Foreigners would have never created a brand or force like Ferrari. Formula 1 would be just a european version of CART with out Italians. I mean there are no Italian drivers! Formula 1 is becoming true farce. Nuvolari, Ascari, Farina and the like must be spinning in their graves.

  37. forzaminardi says:

    Its worth noting that for all the criticism coming the way of the new guy (from me included), the same comments could probably have been levelled against di Montezemolo himself in the 1970s – young, business-focussed and slightly flash Fiat protege that he was. We’ll see how it pans out but clearly there has to be more than just a new figurehead to the team.

  38. Carl Craven says:

    RBR and Mclaren have driver programs and are promoting drivers from within, so why if Ferrari want Ferrari men, do they hire the two most expensive mercenaries around in the form of Alonso and Kimi.

    Luca needs a filter between mouth and brain.

    1. Darrin from Canada says:

      Yup

  39. Rob says:

    Flavio was a jumper salesman, he didn’t do too badly….

    1. Patrick says:

      T shirts

      1. Rob says:

        I bet he sold jumpers as well… Probably round the back.

  40. Random 79 says:

    “he has vowed to spend more time in Formula 1 personally”

    So he’ll stay the whole race next time? ;)

    Good luck to you Luca. I admire your new found commitment, but I doubt your presence will actually make the cars any faster…unless of course you’re also willing to go out there and give them a push :)

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      And knowing Ferrari’s luck at the minute they would be disqualified for “outside assistance!”
      Ha ha! Come on Ferrari, get your act together! We need – as spectators – as many competitive cars challenging for race wins as possible, and with your resources, finance and pedigree you should be able keep those silver, navy blue and pure white cars honest for a couple of hours on a Sunday!
      Wonder if Luca and the Maranello lads and lasses actually read this website?

      1. Random 79 says:

        I reckon most if not all of them would have someone in their PR department who would keep one eye on sites like this, and I have been led to believe that one or two of them might even contribute comments themselves (albeit under a sneaky alias).

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Well, that’s my chance of a free 458 gone!
        Actually, I don’t think I’d want one anyway. Am I mad? No, sensible actually – it does have a reputation for combusting from time to time………….something to do with the glue getting too hot on the rear axle or something!
        Still, if Luca offered me a free Fiat 500…………..Luca I will promise to say nice comments about the mighty Scuderia!
        (If you’re wondering Random, Fiat can sell every single Fiat 500 they import into Britain – every single one! And disliking a 500 is like disliking Daniel when he smiles – impossible).

  41. Mikeboy0001 says:

    This guy has a very archaic approach to the modern F1
    He should step down and give the place to someone with a broader view on the World
    Even Ferrari’s road car’s will eventually have to become something like the Mclaren P1, where the hybrid package isn’t just used for green purposes, but also for increased performance, and F1 is the perfect place to explore this technology at the moment
    I can understand when a regular fan often doesn’t get this, but if the Chairman of Ferrari also doesn’t realise this, then he’s become obstacle to the brand’s progress

  42. HBT says:

    He’s such a charmer. Ferrari’s greatest period of success, as others have noted, was brought to them by a bunch or “mercenaries”. That period aside, Ferrari for all their longevity in the sport, are perennial underachievers. Two WDC’s in the 60′s, three in the 70′s and then nothing for 21 years. Historically it’s actually a lot more normal for them to be where they are now than it is for them to be at the front winning things. This is all part of the myth propagated by LDM, that people buy into, God knows why. I’ve never watched F1 because of Ferrari, and on many occasions it’s been despite them. Stop whining, fix the car, and compete. I am sick of this twerp and his overblown sense of entitlement trying to skew the playing field because his cars aren’t winning.

    1. ubergreg says:

      Couldn’t agree more, HBT.

      I’m aware of the Scuderia’s historical place in the sport and all, but LDM speaks as if Ferrari has had a shocking past few seasons when, in reality, it’s the Schumacher years which were the anomaly.

      His choice of words lately have been more damaging to the sport — and possibly his own team — than this fascinating, fresh and technologically bold new formula could ever be.

  43. Brett says:

    I see this lazy recruiting approach more often in long term CEO’s who can no longer be bothered with doing the hard yards to find the right candidate. It’s a sign that the CEO has over confidence in his/her ability and ego takes over, let’s call it arrogance.
    When friends are recruited into important personnel appointments without merit, it rarely ends happily for either party. I forecast 12 months, with Luca’s “I can’t do wrong” attitude, he won’t accept any blame for the poor appointment and Mattiacci’s departure will be advertised as a ‘mutual’ decision, or ‘personal’ reasons.

  44. Marcbob says:

    I thought Toyota had already proved that to win in f1 you have to do what it takes, not what your company philosophy would like it to take. Ah well, one of the imponderable questions in life is why obviously intelligent people so often act so stupidly. Way to go Luca!

    1. KARTRACE says:

      Right you are, his leaderships sucks, for a long, long time. He is poking his nose into something that he has no idea about for long time. His biggest victim was Stefano and SF as such. Stop interfering into the world that has changed long, long time ago.

  45. clyde says:

    Ldm seems to have lost his mental balance and is now making statements bordering on senility….perhaps he should throw out his mercenary drivers and and employ Italians from within the Ferrari family ….even if they cant drive :-)

  46. Peter Jones says:

    Red bull and McLaren say “thanks Luca.”

  47. Ry says:

    It’s a bit different at Ferrari than any other team… At least, now it’s different. Whereas other teams are only interested in hiring the best possible candidates for any given role to make the strongest, fastest most brilliant team possible; Ferrari are interested in heritage and national pride. I think that’s great, to love your country and love your team and to hire from within. But F1 is a wild, violent beast that consumes the weak and damages the strong -no one stays on top forever, no one escapes the nature of racing. Being that as it is, a game of survival; the strongest and most brilliant cut throat candidate, regardless of race, gender, nationality, previous teams and experience, etc. is what I would look for. But who knows? Maybe Mr. Di Montezemolo has done just that, and the man he hired for team principle just so happened to be at Ferrari already and has been for some time. I say good luck. They’re by no means my favourite team, but they most definitely are the team I like to see my favourite team race and hopefully beat. Cheers to you, Ferrari. Get competitive Ferrari, put on a great show and bring a massive fight to the front of the grid. I’d definitely love to see that. When it comes to championship hopefuls, the more the merrier!

  48. Rob Newman says:

    Will he get rid of the mercenary drivers then?

  49. kfzmeister says:

    What are your thoughts James?

    Should Alonso look for a switch next year to McLaren?

    Can Luca’s involvement really be a good thing like Dennis taking more control? I see Dennis’ involvement more effective than Luca’s

    1. James Allen says:

      Ron said he would have him back, but I wonder if he would want to work with Ron again

      Also Honda is an unknown quantity in year one in 2015.

      1. Bayan says:

        But don’t they already provide engines to other series so surely they can use what they’ve learned. Only issue i see them having is getting up to speed with the two ERS systems but i’m sure Mecca would help with input there (from the Merc engine).

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        James, I think Fernando has more chance of gargling rusty nails than working with Mr Dennis!

      3. H.Guderian says:

        James, does he have another option???

  50. deancassady says:

    “…paying for the lack of results, that is the law of sport.” – Luca Montezemolo

    says it all, doesn’t?

    but what about Luca?

    Formula One is a highly specialized culture, with extremely specialized and diverse management demands.

    As a management consultant with over 25 years experience, I have a lot of questions concerning, “… Ferrari heritage is more important than F1 knowledge …”?

    Prima facia: I disagree.

    My first pick would have been Boullier, but he’s gone.

    I think it is safe to say that a short term fix is not a reasonable approach; so red fans can forget about competitiveness in the 2014 championship.

    Until Red Bull sort out their power issues, it will be a one team, two horse race, and then, a two-team race.
    Nobody else is close, even taking into consideration the steep development trajectory, for the entire field, as a result of stabilizing the new technologies.

  51. stephen james says:

    could someone please arrange a holiday to england for this [mod] man + his italian engineers, first stop on the tour should be brixworth where they can learn how to build an engine

  52. Alan from Toronto says:

    What we are going to see in Ferrari is a repeat of the decline similar to 1992-1994 when the team was really low in terms of level of achievements. 1995 and 1996 were a bit better as they at least won races.

    Let’s pray for Alonso and Kimi, wishing that the non-Ferrari driver market next year has room for them to jump ship. I think they are rich enough to buy themselves out of their contracts.

    Alan
    Toronto, Canada

    1. justafan says:

      But why would they want to leave? No other team would pay them the amount of money that Ferrari is paying them.

      1. Krischar says:

        Money alone would not make any top class pilot happy (Notably Alonso). There are certain people who are born to win and only interested in winning nothing else (Alonso)

        Let it be Kimi or Alonso or if both have any desire still left in them to WDC they have to move out of this Ferrari team soon and find other options, otherwise as you say if they are happy with fat pay cheque’s then no one will remember their legacy

        Money is important, however what drives most of the top class pilots in F1 is a just fast package and quick car

  53. dux says:

    I totally agree with LDM good to see that he hired an Italian from within Ferrari. Having no F1 experience may well be his biggest asset.

    1. Hahahahahahaha – good one dux – hahahahahahaha. No, stop it, my sides are hurting. Hahahahahahaha.

    2. Steve JR says:

      It’s like replacing your head chef with the guy who runs the marketing dept…so on that basis, would you think having no experience leading a kitchen would be an asset?

      1. dux says:

        Read between the lines a little LDM wants to take a more active and increased role in Scuderia Ferrari. Given this info his appointment makes perfect sense.

  54. Gord says:

    But the Italians were famed for their Condottieri (mercenaries)…

  55. Richard Piers says:

    Practically everyone in F1 is a mercenary, so silly words.
    Winning is what is important to Ferrari, almost more than anyone else. They represent Italian industry from whom they get their income and the nationality of the main men is a very secondary consideration.
    They have made a strange and very questionable choice and Di Montezemolo is quite definitely not the man to start interfering in the running of the team. Brawn is the man if they can get him, otherwise the cupboard looks a bit bare, or is Newey looking for a change ?

  56. Tone says:

    James, is the Ferrari ‘veto’ rights really true?
    They seem to approve a lot of rule changes they hate.

    1. James Allen says:

      Certainly on appointment of F1 CEO

      The have had a veto right on rules for years but I’d need to double check that it’s still in place

      Not something that gets talked about very often

  57. Mike84 says:

    Ferraris are slow these days, I’m buying a Red Bull instead.

  58. Ayrton says:

    The amount of pseudo racist comments on italians in the past few blog posts is shocking and I’m surprised that James is letting some of them to be published.

    I think that this is the best blog on F1 and generally has really nice insightful discussions, but some of the people in here are medieval.

    1. Patrick says:

      The same could be said of Luca and his description of foreiners.

      1. Ayrton says:

        I don’t think that the mercenaries comment implied any nationality. It could be an italian mercenary. He wanted a man from within the company that understands its inner workings and is already devoted to Ferrari instead of a careerist. That’s his call, it has some logic, it might work it might not.

        But whatever it is, I’m not defending LDM, but the idea that you should not place nationality to inform any judgement, and some of the comments escalated in cheap derogatory assumptions. And it is so depressing to read.

      2. Patrick says:

        You assume too much. Assumptions are the product of a narrow train of thought. LDM is a public figure and as such the public are entitled to their views on him. I was commenting on statements that LDM made and I will interpret them as logically as I can and draw my own conclusions. Unlike you, I am not an LDM fanboy. Maybe you should apply for the position of his personal spokeman?

    2. dux says:

      It’s ok to be honest I think most Italians are not too keen on the English anyway and the same can be said about the English on Italians. Notice I say English not Irish big difference lol.

      There has always been a huge bias against Ferrari from English media not from James Allen of course. That’s why I love his site a very objective guy.

      1. Ayrton says:

        “It’s ok to be honest I think most Italians are not too keen on the English anyway and the same can be said about the English on Italians. Notice I say English not Irish big difference lol.”

        Wow bring on generalisation and let’s keep this discussion alive with deep intellectual involvement!

        I hope you don’t know what ‘dux’ stands for in Italy, and is some kind of coincidence with this discussion, otherwise there is no point to even have a discussion.

  59. F1ONA says:

    This mess will only end when LdM has the courage to take responsibility for his appointments, hence the Suderia’s performance, and fall on his sword.
    [mod], I doubt he has the integrity of Domenicali. So Ferrari are in for a rough few years!

  60. Ed H says:

    “After 23 years with us, Stefano had the courage to resign, a rare quality in our country.”

    So Italians don’t know when to resign? Way to insult your whole nation LDM. (Although that is kind of true, I mean, look at how long you’ve been around Luca) And we all know Stefano decided to jump from the sinking ship before he was pushed; he didn’t have a lot of choice.

    “He is paying for the lack of results, that is the law of sport.”

    Umm…Not everyone can win in Formula One Luca; you got two 4th places this year so far so that’s not a total disaster. Also, I don’t think there’s a “One bad race and you’re out” clause written anywhere in Stefano’s contract.

  61. Steve JR says:

    Bernie, Luca and Max…what do they all have in common other than age?

    I always find myself shaking my head with disbelief after reading articles containing their soundbites. I just hope I know when it’s my time to retire

  62. Kev says:

    Funny that there is an outrage about LdM’s comments. As much as Ferrari’s fortunes are not looking good, the other English team (McLaren) didn’t do exactly too well in the recent years.

    Ferrari were the last team to challenge RB’s domination even if they didn’t have the fastest car.

    So if he understands the company and his workers well, nationality doesn’t matter. Him being a Ferrari man and an Italian might actually help matters.

    We need to give him sometime before judging him based on LdM’s comments.

    1. James Allen says:

      The ‘mercenaries’ comment has been met with some bemusement by the Ferrai guys on the ground in China too

  63. David Thompson says:

    The way i see it, Ferrari are lacking the brains to produce a competitive car.

  64. Schnell! schnell! says:

    As much as LDM has the Ferrari man he wanted, I still think what he needed was the mercenary he eschewed.

    I’m sure domenicali, whitmarsh and brawn will be very happy to be out of the pressure cooker of f1, at least for a time…..

  65. fox says:

    I only liked Ferrari red color. Then started to love more when Schumacher & Alonso were there. But in the future only color will remain.

    Regarding Italians vs. mercenary it’s clear. LDM failed to convince right mercenary to head his team. Plan B was to hire ambitious Italian.

    Bye Ferrari. BTW Williams got best coloring for this season!

  66. JohnBt says:

    Pride and so called honor for his fellow country men will destroy Ferrari. Feels like the dark ages reminiscence of the renaissance period.

    Luca must adapt to the new age of globalization where mercenaries tactic are used.

    Alonso wasted so many years, must be real frustrating and verbal diarrhea will follow soon I suspect.

    Let’s hope China will produce a good enough race this weekend.

  67. Rafael says:

    “…that his Ferrari heritage is more important than F1 knowledge…” Wrong. Wrong. WRONG! For the life of me, I cannot comprehend the logic of that statement… or was there never one to begin with… It is that sort of thinking that plagued and cost Ferrari championships in the ’80s and early-mid 90s, and it is that sort of thinking that is again plaguing the team today (post-Schumacher/Todt/Brawn). This guy, Matiacci, may be a loyal and die hard Ferrari man, but those traits should have never taken precedence and/or served as a substitute for the actual requirements of the position and job he recently assumed (skills/knowledge/industry experience)!

    I understand that Ferrari is rich in history and heritage… but frankly, those are accomplishments of past, made to sound extra-legendary through some rhetoric and romanticism. As Bernie Ecclestone put it, “they think having the name “Ferrari” is enough for them to win… unfortunately, it is not.” Ferrari needs to stop living in the past… and that should start with Luca.

  68. Gary says:

    We all gravitate to those tasks at which we are best and most comfortable. For Mattiaci that is going to be schmoozing Ferrari guests in the Paddock Club as that is the extent of his F1 experience and plays to his strengths. Epic fail.

  69. AMC says:

    On a lighter note, I hope Luca takes a taxi to go to the Shanghai track. Those fellas will make him change his mind about ‘taxi drivers’.

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