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Ferrari identify areas for change as F1 boss Mattiacci gathers steam
Scuderia Ferrari
Marco Mattiacci, James Allison
Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Aug 2014   |  4:25 pm GMT  |  148 comments

The reign of Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci is little more than 100 days old, but this week the first changes in his restructing of the team came to light.

Former Lotus technical director James Allison is in overall charge of the entire technical project, both chassis and engine.

Luca Marmorini paid the price for Ferrari’s costly underestimation of the scale of task and investment required to produce a class leading hybrid turbo engine. His role as head of the engine side goes to Mattia Binotto, who has been with the team for many years and was Michael Schumacher’s engine engineer during the glory years.

Mattiacci knows that he is not looking for quick fixes, but rather must put in place a plan to bring Ferrari closer to the front in 2015 and challenging again from 2016 onwards.

XPB.cc

This is the first half season during Fernando Alonso’s five seasons there in which he has not won a single race and he has just two podiums to his name.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Mattiacci’s first 100 days of reviewing the state of the Scuderia has revealed the following key issues:

* The response times are too slow, from suppliers to internal processes, the team needs to move more quickly, to match its rivals.
* Inferior hybrid technology – Mercedes invested more and for far longer in the KERS and its successor systems. The factory at Brixworth is a centre of excellence within Mercedes, competing within the company for contracts on new electric and hybrid vehicles and that has hugely benefitted the F1 programme. Although Ferrari can develop its engine before the new homologation period starts in February 2015, catching up could take years.
* Too much emphasis on reliability at the expense of performance in the hybrid development phase. Alonso is the only driver to have scored points in every race this season, but he’s not been a real contender for victory.
* Lack of co-ordination between chassis and engine departments. This is a huge failure, given that the two departments are a few dozen metres apart, rather than in different locations and even countries in the case of Red Bull and its supplier Renault. Hence Allison’s over arching role.

There was no mention in Ferrari’s statement this week of Pat Fry, who was in charge technically until Allison’s arrival and who now has a senior engineering role, including operational activities at races. However he continues in his role.

As for the drivers, there have been discussions about extending Alonso’s contract beyond the end of 2016, but at the same time Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are both potentially available at the end of next season.

McLaren, which is going through its own restructuring programme under Eric Boullier and is likely to see some significant changes on the technical side soon, is also in the market for Alonso and even for Hamilton.

Those three drivers are sure to be much in demand next season, as the negotiations intensify and the top teams look to set themselves up for the next phase.

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148 Comments
  1. Dren says:

    This is how I see it for 2016:

    Mercedes: no driver change
    Ferrari: bianchi & vettel
    Mclaren: Alonso & bottas/Magnussen
    Red Bull: ricciardo & kvyat
    Williams: button?

    1. J N H says:

      I keep finding it odd that anyone thinks Alonso would go to Mclaren. Unless the Honda engine is truly barn storming then they will have nothing to offer.
      Money? Ferrari can match whatever Mclaren could offer.
      Chassis? In the last decade Mclaren have made plenty of competitive cars, but none with the kind of built in advantage that others have enjoyed. The last three seasons have been disastrous in this respect, lots of innovation and ‘radical thinking’ but seemingly very little attention to detail.
      Consistency, competence, strategy? I think it’s fair to say that in the last five years Mclaren have hampered their drivers far more times than their drivers have under performed. In 2012 Hamilton and Button were arguably the strongest driver pairing on the grid, in one of the fastest cars, yet still Mclaren found ways to end the season with neither title to their name.
      .
      If the Honda engine is amazing in 2015, it will be in a Red Bull for 2016 and Alonso will be calling Christian Horner hourly. Or if Williams continue their upward trend he will find a way to replace Massa, or he will stick at Ferrari or retire since Merc will be closed and Mclaren have no more chance than Ferrari.
      .

      1. Kram gp says:

        I would love to see a top driver in a Williams again. And it may just happen. They have a a good chassis and the best engine. There is no real evidence to suggest Honda will be amazing and even if Renault and Ferrari close the gap to Merc, they will be making improvements of their own.
        If Alooso had been in a Williams this year I strongly think he would have been on the top step

      2. Rohind says:

        Honda will never issue identical spec engines to all its customers. It is known for favoring a single customer. So Honda issuing engines to Red bull is highly unlikely.

      3. Iwan says:

        Agree with your thought son Alonso to McLaren. They have the best season on the grid this year and look at how they struggle. Even if the Honda is rocket the chassis still plays a big part.

        At this stage of the race both of those are unknowns.

    2. Gudien says:

      I find it very interesting that F-1 is going through a downturn in fan support, a crisis in young viewership, and is being directed by a man the age of Bernie Ecclestone. Throw in the current technical regulations roundly criticized by drivers, technical directors, and fans alike. Is F-1 still the pinnacle of auto racing? Really?

      Ferrari’s leader Luca Montezemolo has several times hinted the team could leave Formula One. Is it a successful business model to continue to spend the vast amounts of Italian Lira Ferrari have spent only to be soundly beaten year after year with no end in sight? Manufacturers Porsche (former F-1 engine supplier), Audi, and Toyota (former F-1 entrant) have moved to ‘sports cars’. Popular and highly rated Mark Webber has moved to ‘sports cars’ with the continued personal sponsorship of Red Bull. Will other drivers and possibly even teams follow?

  2. Gaz Boy says:

    Do you know the irony of Ferrari’s slide into technical mire – it’s entirely self-induced.
    When Ross the Boss left Maranello at the start of 2007 he left behind a superb tech department, but arguably he and Rory Byrne were never replaced like for like. Instead of building an even stronger aero/tech department, and somebody with the vision, direction and clarity of thought that a leader like Ross the Boss provides, Ferrari were just happy with what “they had”.
    Big mistake.
    The couple of seasons after Ross the Boss left were pretty successful, as the technical momentum created at Ferrari transcended over into the 2007/2008 seasons. However, the 2009 season would see the collapse of the Roman empire. Ironically, it would be Ross and that other bloke Mr Newey who would bring about their downfall…………..
    2009 was a turning point for F1, not just because of slicks and the new regs and the like, but because of the ban on testing. The new solution to minimal track running was simulation software, CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and mathematical analysis to incrementally increase lap times. With no access to the UK/Commonwealth F1 “kit car” industry, Ferrari has been technically stranded. Perhaps if they had a well connected leader like Ross the Boss, they could have foreseen the switch to CFD and mathematical analysis and invested in the correct – key word – technology.
    But………..they didn’t have a wise and above all street wise leader (like Ross) who could pre-empt the F1 change over from track testing to sophisticated simulation technology. And my goodness, haven’t Ferrari suffered because of it, while the Inglese teams such as Bulls, Brawn/Merc and now Williams have really got a huge advantage in that area.
    The irony is while Ferrari have slid towards technical mire, the UK/Commonwealth kit car teams have raised the bar to such a height that unless Ferrari can develop a CFD system that is massively superior to the Inglese teams it seems like Ferrari will be wandering the desert of competitive wilderness for quite some time.
    It’s worth pointing out that Ferrari’s wind tunnel upgrade to 60% was a total disaster – more evidence of a lack of leadership and clarity of thought at the top level at Maranello.

    1. PeterF says:

      Early last year there were reports of Byrne being involved as a consultant for this year’s car. He was even quoted in the media about how innovative F14T would be. What happened, any idea?

      1. Sebee says:

        What do you mean what happened? You can see what happened.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        As I’m not privy to the inner working of Maranello I don’t exactly know, but there’s a big difference in consultancy and being the lead designer of an F1 project.
        Also worth being in mind, as I mentioned, that when Rory was head designer Ferrari were really on the old empirical way of development – testing, testing and more testing. Now that Ferrari advantage has gone, CFD and simulation tools are the way to advance development, and it’s pretty obvious Ferrari are lagging behind in that area.
        Also worth being in mind during the Byrne era, Ferrari had the massive advantage of bespoke Bridgestone tyres – it’s no coincidence since this new one tyre manufacturer has been mandated in F1, Ferrari have lost that crucial ability to tailor compounds and tyre design to their specific requirements – from now on, they have to just get on with what their given.
        The cultural change in motor sport in the last 10 years has been remarkable – and Ferrari haven’t been able to keep it up with it.

      3. JonathanT says:

        Rory Byrne did the layout of this year’s car (i.e. deciding where the ancillaries went etc.). I believe Ferrari employ him on a consultancy basis whereby he works something like 100 days a year for them.

      4. PeterF says:

        @Gaz! Boy I see what you are saying, but then again Newey still draws with pen and paper, so that would show that a designer with a true understanding and feel for an F1 car is the key, rather than CFD advancements alone. But surely all that testing helped, especially in the hands of Shumi!

    2. Bart says:

      In 2006 Ferrari decided not to upgrade their obsolete structures from the mid-90′s…. They thought they would’ve won anyway

    3. WARREN G says:

      It’s so ironic then that Ferrari have consistently been best of the rest the last four years. Granted, much of that is down to Alonso’s determined efforts and ability to deliver his maximum at every GP, but he still needs a car capable enough, and while they’ve been difficult to drive, the cars produced by Ferrari, considered failures by the team, have still beaten your “Kit car” teams in the WCC more often than not.

      If Williams had such a fantastic CFD department, where have they been for the last few years? It’s not like 2014 is the first year we’ve had limited track testing.

      Ferrari’s problem has been weak leadership, not geography or nationality. The current boss seems a lot tougher, and while he doesn’t have any F1 experience, Flavio Briatore has shown before that technical knowledge or F1 experience are essential if you’re a good leader and know how to get results from the people around you.

      It’s also worth pointing out that Ferrari’s NEW wind tunnel, brought online at the end of last year actually works just fine and Allison is more than happy with its correlation.

      Finally, McLaren, that supposedly technologically superior team with highly advance CFD, tire modelling systems second to none and a top notch wind tunnel, where are they this year? Are they still using Toyota’s wind tunnel in Germany?

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        “Ferrari have been best of the rest”.
        Who wants to finish second? What wants the “ultimate” accolade of a silver medal? Isn’t finishing second the first of the losers?
        It reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Lisa has a day-dream about being beaten by a school rival in the orchestra or something: “And now, here is the second best band in the world with their new song Born To Be Runner Up!”
        Technically, Napoleon finished Best of the Rest at Waterloo, as did the Italians in the War in the Western Desert. End result – they lost. Same with Ferrari.
        If you’re not winning – you’re not trying hard enough! (Circa Colin Chapman).

      2. mixmeister73 says:

        Ferrari downfall lies first and foremost with LDM as he stated that he wanted Ferrari team to be more Italian hence why Ross and Co left and here is the result of “more Italian team” It starts there and then it just started adding up…

      3. f1 fan says:

        I attribute their failures in previous years solely to wind-tunnel issues, Usually it takes months to develop parts in WT, by the time planned parts arrive its mid-season already and when none of the parts work on track, they are behind and season is lost, same issue in 11 and 12, in 13 they used Toyota’s tunnel, so no surprise they weren’t competitive previously. This year i think ferrari has good chassis, unfortunately they under-delivered on the engine side, other wise car is efficient aero-wise. Also, keeping in mind this year they will have in-house WT re-opened after major over-haul, next year they will be competitive after engine upgrades i believe.

  3. Spartaco says:

    Good article James ,

    Putting JA in overall control makes sense , but when oh when is Fry going to get his marching orders ? – not sure what his contribution is , if anything , other than putting his name to the annoying sound bites after each GP that then appear on Ferrari’s Twitter feed.

    Spartaco

    1. Steve Zodiac says:

      Perhaps he and Sam Michael could start their own team! Always be last though!

      1. clyde says:

        +100 :-)

    2. PeterF says:

      I seem to remember James Alison being highly complimentary of what he found at Ferrari under Fry’s captaincy.

  4. mjsib2301 says:

    There is clearly something amiss inside Ferrari. Brilliant people leave Ferrari and are successful at other teams e.g Costa at Mercedes and Smedley at Williams however they were never given the space/freedom to show their potential at Ferrari. Let’s hope the failure that is Pat Fry is gone and James Allison is given a real chance to succeed Adrian Newey as the best designer in F1

    1. Sami says:

      Pat Fry may have failed at Ferrari, but he was the “father” of the McLaren MP4/22 of 2007. The spygate notwithstanding, it was a hell of a good car.
      Cheers!

      1. John in SD says:

        It could be said though that that the MP4/22 was a carryover/enhancement overseen by Fry from earlier Newey designs in the same regulation era (except for the change from 3 litre V10 to 2.4 litre V8 engines), i.e. MP4/19B (2004), and MP4/20 (2005).

      2. deancassady says:

        Sami:
        I read your article below, about ‘the complete driver’, and I enjoyed it ,and think it well-reasoned.
        I respect Alonso, but am turned off by the Alonso Media Corporation, and certain other aspects of his driving; needless to say, I don;t think it is only the Spanish media which is over the top for the well-deserving two-time world champion.
        Of course, one must acknowledge… he’s good, no doubt about it, amongst the greats.
        mas tarde.

    2. Jean-Christophe says:

      I can see some contradiction there. On the one hand you say that brilliant people leave Ferrari only to be successful elsewhere while deeming fry as a failure. Don’t you think he too might be successful elsewhere?
      I remember people calling for Aldo Costa’s head but Brawn still hired him.

      1. petes says:

        Bit to early too to pin Williams upsurgence on Smedley.

    3. WARREN G says:

      What, exactly, does Smedley have to do with Williams having a good year? He’s a race engineer, not a car designer.

      1. James Allen says:

        He looks after the liaison between the drawing office/wind tunnel and the race operations side

        In other words, making sure that any updates are the right ones and that they work. Which they do.

  5. goferet says:

    Marco seems like a focused sort of fellow for he has taken the bull by the horns and set in motion changes that can get the team back to the front.

    But according to Allison, the team has figured out it’s weaknesses but the problem is it’s much harder finding solutions to the problems.

    Now I don’t think it was the right decision to fire Luca Marmorini for as we saw with Aldo Costa when he joined Mercedes, perhaps Luca just needed to get transfered to a different department in the hope of getting back his creative juices.

    For sure, it will be fun to see Ferrari fight their way back to the front but am afraid the team may need a younger drivers inorder to achieve this e.g. Schumi was 27 when he joined the team

    Okay, on the driver market front, I don’t expect any movement from the big stars as they all seem pretty happy in their various teams which only leaves the young guns as potential recruits such as Bianchi.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      I think Kimi holds the key to the driver market for next year and beyond – in does he stay for 2015 or is told to close the door behind him?
      Apparently, the Ice Man has a cast iron contract for 2015……..but Kimi’s manager said he had a cast iron contract for 2010 as well…………….
      It’s reported on the BBC F1 website that Lewis wants – and will probably get – an extension of his contract, possibly an extension until the end of 2017. So that’s Merc sorted out.
      Mind you, will the Middle Finger Pointer bail out of Red Bull? Do a straight swap with Nando? Stranger things have happened……………….but don’t count it out.
      Ah, the silly season…………..where would F1 be without it!
      PS Goferet, as you like stats – look at this for a weird coincidence. I posted it to Random 79, and I think you’ll be interested in it too.
      In 2004 the WDC was dominated by a GER driver who won 13 times. The following year, thanks to a regulation change, he struggled and was reduced to the role of a walk on (sometimes walk back to the pits) bit player.
      In 2013 the WDC was dominated by a GER driver who won 13 times. The following year, thanks to a regulation change, he struggled and was reduced to the role of a walk on (sometimes walk back to the pits) bit player.
      Who said lightning doesn’t strike in the same place twice?

      1. Folkdisco says:

        Gaz, Kimi had a cast iron contract for 2010, and had a year out driving through trees for fun, paid for by Santander. The Santander deal was bonkers, but there you go. I have never met a Spanish F1 fan, as in someone who just loves the sport whoever is driving, like me. But a great many Espanols are Fernando Alonso fans. Espana is flat broke, but that doesn’t seem to stop the nation paying top dollar for sportsmen, La Liga or F1.

      2. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        I too think Kimi has to stay in 2015 for breaking his contract would mean Kimi would have to pay Ferrari this time

        As for Vettel, I would be surprised if he left Red Bull whilst Newey was still there but if Newey left the team then this would have made Vettel lose confidence in the team and perhaps look else where.

      3. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        Oh thanks for the stats, yes it’s an odd coincidence that both Vettel & Schumi struggled after strong seasons. Maybe the figure 13 in sport really isn’t lucky.

        Also if you have time maybe you have have a look at my comment which is at number 12 on the JA on F1 article >>> How close to Vettel did Webber get during 5 seasons.

      4. Stephen Taylor says:

        Kimi has contract so the least Ferrari can do is let him fulfil that contract in my view.

      5. Sebee says:

        Kimi stays or gets paid for not driving in 2015. Kimi will not break contract.

      6. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Fokldisco: Yes, you’re right – Kimi’s contract extension from Ferrari until 2010 was fsical madness and lunacy. It was incredibly one sided towards Kimi – basically, it had the proviso that if Ferrari decided to drop the Ice Man from its F1 team he would be entitled to a massive financial settlement.
        Who negotiated that extension contract? Why would a time draft and finalise a contract that severely restrained them financially in comparison to the employee who signs it? Doesn’t make sense to me. It’s almost an attitude that perhaps Ferrari have got too much money and want to get rid of it……………..
        There again, there a lot of things about Ferrari that don’t make sense………………
        Personally, I think it’s a waste of talent, commitment and expertise to see in the last few years Nando struggling to make a competitive impression. In the summer of 2012, he along with Lewis and Seb, was on Mercedes shopping list for 2013/2014/2015, but Nando and his manager (or one or the other) turned down the offer, or maybe Lewis and his manager were more receptive to Ross’s overtures.. Whatever, Lewis got the nod, signed on the Merc dotted line, and the rest is now history.
        I think secretly, having an opportunity to join Merc F1 and turning it down is something Nando regrets, but there you go.

      7. Sami says:

        There are a few of us, Folkdisco, a few tenths of thousands of Spaniards, who did care about Formula 1 before Alonso turned up.
        And life is not easy for us, believe me.
        To make things worse I am a Team Lotus nostalgic and a Kimi fan, my other favourite drivers being Lewis and Seb among others, (others to which Fernando does no belong).
        You just cannot figure out how fanatical the new bunch of Alonso followers have turned out to be. They never cared about F1 before, and as soon as the fellow from Oviedo won his first Championship, led by a popular media which did not care about the matter before either, they did invade the Internet with their utter ignorance and hooligan manners, convinced that Fernando is the best driver ever, (sadly I am not kidding).
        I happen to follow Formula 1 since the late seventies-early eighties, and was a staunch Senna supporter. Well, each time I turn on the TV to watch a Grand Prix through the Antena 3 TV Network, I do have to put up with a reporter that has nicknamed Alonso as “Magic”. Yes, “Magic” Alonso, again no kidding, may be James should ask the mentioned reporter, (I am sure he knows who he is), why he does keep doing such a thing.

        For the Senna nostalgics this is an all out offence. And a very serious one.

        You see, in my country, when you were an F1 fan before Fernando arrived, you were considered something of a freak. When he started to succeed,for a short while, his newly arrived fans would turn to you in search of advice. Afterwards, as many of the old time F1 followers started to point out, that may be, just may be, Alonso was not as good as some Spanish media would say, we were branded as snobs and almost traitors…

        Formula 1 old timers are hated by the main stream of Fernando’s supporters, unless they toe the line of declaring him “The greatest ever”.

        So Folkdisco, just bear in mind that there are a small bunch of old Formula 1 fans in Spain, who long for Ayrton Senna, Niki Lauda and other great champions of the past, and do not belong to the sheepish flock that you have described, that, sadly, exists.

      8. Rohind says:

        @ Sami… Aah…Finally spotted a ‘sane’ Alonso fan !!! :D

      9. devon says:

        You may not buy into the Alonso hype, but he is as good as people say.

      10. WARREN G says:

        “In 2004 the WDC was dominated by a GER driver who won 13 times. The following year, thanks to a regulation change, he struggled and was reduced to the role of a walk on (sometimes walk back to the pits) bit player.”

        That’s not an entirely fair comparison though – in 2005 Michael finished 3rd in the WDC, albeit a long way back. He also beat Barrichello by quite a margin who only finished 8th.

        Right now, Vettel’s team mate actually has a mathematically realistic chance of winning the WDC and is comfortably beating him. Michael’s struggles came about thanks to the tires (the all conquering F2004 was used in a modified form for the first two rounds and was even slower than the F2005GA), Vettel’s because of his own lack of adaptibility to these regs.

      11. deancassady says:

        I’d like to see Kimi in the Honda-McLaren next year.
        I think Ferrari is a long term project, and I do think it is inevitable that Vettel will go there, maybe as soon as 2015! I Vettel-Hamilton Ferrari team as their car approaches the sharp end of the comparative competitiveness could be truly legendary.
        I don’t see how Alonso and Ferrari can get their mojo on; it’s one of the biggest disappointments in F1 history; but that’s just the way it goes, sometimes.
        Back to Kimi, I think he’ll stay at Ferrari, unfortunately.
        In 2015, I foresee a strong Red Bull-Ricciardo package challenging in the top two of the championship, all season; thus assuming a revival at Renault power.
        The McLaren questions: is Boullier that good? Can it make a 180 degree change and develop a chassis close enough to take the Honda power, assumed to be competitive, to a challenging capability?

      12. Sami says:

        Which people Devon? The ones that claim that he is an excellent driver, with whom we all basically agree or those who pretend that he is “The greatest ever”? Those who call him “Magic Alonso”, may be?
        You should come around here and open your eyes and ears, you would be in for a shock…

    2. petes says:

      Luca, according to what was writ, paid the price for misjudging the scale of investment required.
      About there is where beancounters rear up, Cavallino Rampante like, and what you see is the result of stymied investment courtesy of them.

  6. Harry K. says:

    James, are the rumors true that under Domenicali, fear of failure was blocking innovation among Ferrari employees and how has the internal culture under Mattiacci changed?

  7. goggomobil says:

    The unquestion talent of Allison and it seems Mattiacci being a top notch in management field one would thought a success is not far off.
    However Tombazis is still at Scuderia, since his return from McLaren his designs of a single seater according to the bottom line were dud, perhaps Mr Allen would know ? does Tombazis walks a thin line at Scuderia.

  8. Richard cummins says:

    Lewis in a Ferrari? Would love to see that one after winning the next two WDC,s

    1. James Clayton says:

      Yea now that he’s a bit too long in the tooth to have a stab at Schumacher’s records, I figure he quite fancies the legacy of winning championships for three different teams – McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari championships would make quite a CV wouldn’t it?! :)

      1. JDanek007 says:

        that would be pretty awesome.

        i just found out yesterday that an old friend of mine who i dont talk to very much now watches F1 and is a Hamilton fan! i was stoked.

  9. Random 79 says:

    If Marco really wants to beat Mercedes he should follow their example: Hire a bucket load of people and then fire the team principal :D

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Preferably somebody whose name begins with R……………………boom boom.
      PS Bit off topic, but have you seen that fantastically witty Toyota Hilux ad for the New Zealand and Australia market? Oh bugger…………..
      I have to admit that car adverts in AUS and NZ are so much more amusing – and creative – than those shown here in the Mother Country. Car adverts here are usually very worthy, but a bit po faced and a bit too serious.
      Having said that, a few years Top Gear attempted to make a Volkswagen advert, and, predictability Jezza and Captain Slow fell foul of the Mother Country’s very strict regulations…………..

      1. Random 79 says:

        Yep, if it’s the one I’m thinking of it was around a while back – and yes, it was good :)

      2. Horoldo says:

        Is this the Hilux ad (2013) you were talking about? couldn’t see a 2014 version.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghXm-6vNuEU

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Horoldo: No, it was an earlier ad – the one at the end where the dog and the wife get splattered in mud! I have seen the one you listed below, it’s also very good.
        Actually, a few years ago there was a cringe-worthy car ad featuring a certain F1 driver. I don’t know if this applies to viewers Down Under in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, but there was a Fiat 500 TV advert (I think around 2011 if my memory serves me correct) featuring a certain Mr Alonso. However, Fiat, in their infinite wisdom, decided to overdub Nando’s voice with what sounds like a Mexican bandit! Oh dear…………..
        I’m sure its on You Tube somewhere. It’s absolutely appalling – I’m amazed Nando consented to let it bet shown the edited version had been cut!

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Random 79: At the end of the brilliant Toyota Hilux ad, with the dog lying face down in the squelchy mud and saying “bugger” – well, isn’t that dog in the mud scenario an accurate analogy for Mr Vettel so far this season?

      5. Random 79 says:

        Yep that’s the one all right, except I’d guess (and I may very well be wrong) that inside the team Vettel has been saying a lot more than “bugger” ;)

    2. audifan says:

      that would work only if the team principal hhad already developed the best car for next season as at mercedes
      don’t think tht is the case at ferrari

      1. Random 79 says:

        Good point.

  10. FormulaEDiary (Anil Parmar) says:

    What are you thoughts on Mattiachi James? He seems like a very strong leader to me. Stefano was a great bloke and he lived and breathed Ferrari red, but the fact that Mattiachi has already identified so many areas for improvement speaks volumes of Stefano imo.

    1. James Allen says:

      Initial contact and impressionshave been positive

      He’s clearly a talented manager but its a big ask with zero F1 experience

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        I don’t know if this is true or not – I haven’t got SKY – but apparently, according to online reports, on SKY F1 Ted Kravtiz tried to interview the new Ferrari boss and he gave Ted a one syllable, very curt (rude?) answer and another time poor old Ted was totally blanked!
        Is that correct?
        If that is true – he needs a bit of media training when dealing with the English speaking press and TV!

      2. Step says:

        I don’t think it matters at all Gaz Boy. Leave the media circus to LDM, Marco only needs to worry about speed & race results, period. Ferrari fans care less about Ted & the UK media – they want a ‘competitive animal’ leader who gets results (he looks like a grumpy, hard nosed results driven leader to me – just what Maranello need).

      3. C63 says:

        @GazBoy
        I saw one of the incidents that you are referring too – it wasn’t really as bad as all that. Ted tried to interview Marco as he was walking back into the garage from the pit wall, immediately following some sort of calamity in quali’(cock up with Kimi I think). Anyway, Marco just kept walking and said no comment – incidentally, when he spoke with Ted the next day he apologised.

      4. Crom says:

        @Gaz Boy: Yes I saw Ted’s Mattiaci incident, then after the race Ted tried again and got a surprisingly humble apology from Mattiaci, who seemed very moved by the events of the race.

      5. Paige says:

        James,

        I’m sure would would agree that Mattiaci is far more prepared to be a F1 team boss than, say, Flavio Briatore was when he get put into the gig by the Benetton family once upon a time. I mean, to begin with, his career actually dealt with cars, not runways of fashion shows.

        Some people are just born to be Executives, and it doesn’t matter where you put them. Look how many CEOs in Corporate America bounce around among various sectors. Clearly, they don’t have the kind of sector expertise that people who have spent decades in the industry would have. But they learn what they need to learn fast, and they know how to plan, put the right people in place, etc..

        I think Mattiacci will do just fine.

      6. Paige says:

        Gaz Boy,

        The response that Mattiacci gave to that question was a product of his year in the Corporate world. “No comment” is a typical corporate response.

        That is one of the things Mattiacci will have to learn about F1. Corporate responses to the media don’t work.

    2. Drgraham lewis says:

      Having spent much of my life as a board level company ‘fireman’ in different (often outside of my technical speciality) large and varied projects around the world, I can assure readers that it is always quite easy to be parachuted in and find many weaknesses. That’s the easy bit as any organisation suffers entropy.

      It it considerably harder to find solutions that will work over the short, middle and long term and regardless of if he is talented manager or not, one thing you try really hard not to do if not destabilising the current structure is a priority, is tell the world what the issues are before you are able to announce firm and lasting solutions alongside them that people (not just a board) can believe and invest in.

      Its a peculiar Euro mentality and I am surprised his years in the US did not remove some of these traits.

      Some of you will recognise the term ‘seagull management’

      Fly in, squark a lot and shit all over everything then fly away again…

      Let’s hope he is made of sterner stuff than that!

      Mind you – this is Ferrari…

      1. Ceejay says:

        To be fair, Mattiacci himself has made no comments and not told the world. This is all “according to the Gazzetta”. Mattiacci just says “announcements will be made at the appropriate time”. So his plans could bear no relation to what the Gazzetta chooses to fill its summer slow season with.

      2. Rich C says:

        Actually, Canada Geese are better at that than seagulls, it just doesn’t sound as cool.
        The geese arrive in squadron strength, accompanied by loud pronouncements of ownership, then strut around self-importantly, eating all the good stuff, chasing off any other critters that might live there permanently, and littering the ground with… “stuff”. Finally, when everything is totally ruined and there’s nothing edible left, they fly away to do the same in greener pastures.
        Much like politicians, come to think of it.

  11. Jock Ulah says:

    And one more point:-
    ‘Too much emphasis on god-knows-what at the expense of aesthetics.’

    It’s one of the ugliest cars on the grid this season –
    What looks like a tractor goes like tractor.

    So, Ferrari, you’ve got nothing to lose –
    Upgrade the style department for 2015.

    1. Thompson says:

      @Crusty – what’s wrong with the Ferrari?

      Hey James during the summer break any chance we do a compare 13 v 14 car designs pole?.

      If you run out of news & stuff?

      1. Jock Ulah says:

        I can help . . . seeing’s your reply has strayed . . .

        Ferrari 13 was Fugly
        Ferrari 14 is Fuglier

        . . . Simple.

    2. Rich C says:

      Maybe they could crowdsource the styling? I’m sure everyone on this site would be happy to draw a few squiggles for them? Of course we’d have to put it on a bit of paper and snail-mail it to them since they seem computer-challenged.

  12. Crusty says:

    Mattiacci is getting straight down to brass tacks. I don’t think he likes Alonso on a personal level but is toeing Luca’s line ….. for the time being …

    He put as first on the agenda for this week’s meeting the pitwall failure that left Raikkonen out of contention in Hungary. That implied that Fry too would have his position re-considered.

    Marmorini and Fry both came in together with Alonso 2010. Will Fry go back to McLaren and take Alonso with him?
    My guess is it will be Alonso there sooner than anticipated and he has probably already signed a protocol of some kind with Dennis … subject to confirmation.

    1. goggomobil says:

      Crusty, your crystal ball is almost there the last paragraph one may differ with the assumption. Alonso could have left Ferrari if, and I mean big IF,a clause in his contract stipulate a under performace of a car.Now can one say it under performed ? certainly not. It was Ferrari pit wall that deprived Alonso of two WDC and he had scored and continue to score points in every race a question must be “put” whether he has ground to brake the contract with Ferrari. On top of it by the end of 2015 he will be 35 years, in addition his pay cheque is double of any guys on the grid and paid on time.
      Marmorini,Fry and Tombazis are yesterday bread and they should be given a holiday and the post card that follows with its pay cheque saying hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more.

      1. Dutch johhny says:

        In 2010 he was in it purely on luck.. how many times did Vettel dnf from the lead 3a4 times?
        It was luck that got him there in abu dhaby in the first place..

  13. Gaz Boy says:

    PS Can’t imagine Mr Dennis and Mr Alonso suddenly becoming friends………..

    1. C63 says:

      I agree – it would require a significant turnaround from both parties. I am pretty sure Ron has said something like ‘ all he wants to do is win and if that means hiring Alonso then so be it ‘ (that was the gist of things not a direct quote) but I have not heard anything quite so magnanimous from Alonso.
      The thing is, Nando really needs to get his next move right, as it will likely be his last before retiring. I don’t think he has a lot of options really. McLaren are unlikely to get everything right in the sort of time frame left for Alonso and Red Bull without Newey are a big question mark. Mercedes will most likely hang onto what they have got and that leaves Ferrari.
      Looking on the bright side, the weather at Maranello is usually nice, the food is good and the company car is not too bad either ;-)

      1. Sebee says:

        So is the grass greener elsewhere for Alonso? The dried out “red” grass could turn green with a good watering.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @ C63…never underestimate the power of the ‘need to succeed’. if ron dennis is driven to win and alonso shares this self same attitude then i see no reason why they cannot come back together to bolster their joint needs.

        all alonso needs is a superior car that can win races and all dennis needs is a driver who can deliver that performance. they don’t need to have dinner together.

      3. C63 says:

        @Sebee
        To be fair to Ferrari, they have given Alonso a car capable of winning the WDC in 2 of the last 4 seasons. If luck had been on his side he could very easily be a 4 x WDC and Vettel ‘only’ a 2x WDC. Ferrari’s strategy at the final race in 2010 was ridiculous and the final race in 2012 Vettel was a very lucky boy indeed.
        Still, ifs and ands and woulda,, shoulda, coulda count for absolutely nothing and its the scores on the doors that matter.

      4. C63 says:

        @KC
        all alonso needs is a superior car that can win races ….

        Right there, that’s the $64,000 question – if Alonso is to get that elusive 3rd WDC, which team is his best bet?

      5. cheesypoof says:

        @C63 your definition of a car capable of winning the WDC twice in the last four years reeks of a person trying to hide their dislike as genuine analysis. It’s not and only a fool would believe you. Most would agree that for a car to be capable of winning a title it needs to be able to take pole position on a number of occasions. In 2010 the Mclaren was faster than the Ferrari. As for 2012 major publications have classified that as purely one of the greatest seasons of all time by any driver to keep in any contention. All one has to do is look at the constructors points. Good luck peddling your ridiculously biased and tired analysis as fact. To be fair eh?

    2. Brent says:

      A common goal. What was it Alonso said? He could live with “less respect and more championships” (or similar). I imagine Dennis could forget their spat if it allowed him to hold the constructors trophy again.

    3. Ray C Boy says:

      For some crazy reason I can, and I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility to see Alonso and Hamilton back together at McLaren one day.

      Now that would be a story.

  14. Andrew M says:

    I wasn’t sure about Mattiacci to start with, but in hindsight it might just be what Ferrari need – someone looking at the team objectively and (by Ferrari standards) dispassionately to identify where things need to improve without emotion, egos or politics.

    For the first time in quite a long time I feel that the Big 3 will all stay where they are for the foreseeable future – Hamilton at Mercedes (why would he leave and why would they get rid of him?), Vettel at Red Bull (no better place to go plus his stock is at its lowest after the Ricciardo factor) and Alonso at Ferrari (could go back to McLaren but the Honda experiment will take longer to gel than it will take Ferrari to sort things out).

  15. AlexD says:

    Ferrari needs Ross Brawn

    1. aveli says:

      brawn has already been at ferrari, they have mattiacci now who seem to mean business. give him a couple of years and you’ll probably understand why he was hired. low long did it take brawn to gather the mercedes’ success? he could’ve bought into mercedes when they offered him the shares but for some reason he allowed wolf to come in and steel them. i guess brawn wasn’t confident in the team’s ability. he put the people together but wasn’t sure they’d deliver the goods. how much more money would he have made now? huge error by brawn. let him enjoy his retirement.

    2. Matias says:

      Sadly i don’t see ross needing Ferrari, he can push to be at charlie’s place in the FIA, afterall he get along with Jean Todt, doesn’t him?

    3. goggomobil says:

      Its a young man world,and it’s electronics, electronics that rule the roost.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Ironically, the Italians “invented” electricity, so it’s a bit surprising Ferrari are struggling a bit on the wiring and all that…………….
        It’s not surprising that the UK kit car teams are dominating, as the British “invented” gravity (i.e downforce)………………
        PS Britain also “invented” Australia and New Zealand, so no surprises for Danny Boy’s success too…………

      2. Drgraham lewis says:

        Actually, its always about people…

        The rest is just furniture or tools…

    4. F1heroes says:

      Another thing Ferrari needs is a fast qualifier.

  16. Mike84 says:

    But they have been saying much the same for several years, really since early in the 2008 campaign. Maybe the real problem is not Ferrari but the fact that almost everyone else F1 is in Britain, am I correct? So how could any Italian team ever compete with that pool of infrastructure and personnel unless they relocate to Britain and become no longer an Italian team but just another false-flag British team?

    1. aveli says:

      Italians make good pasta, lasagna and pizza. combining those shape produce the most aerodynamically efficient shapes.

    2. Denis68 says:

      “So how could any Italian team ever compete with that pool of infrastructure and personnel unless they relocate to Britain and become no longer an Italian team but just another false-flag British team”

      So how do you explain McLarens performance in recent years. They are very much based in Britain and are probably the biggest British team in F1. Yet not only are they slower than the Ferrari’s but they are also the slowest Merc powered cars on the grid.

      1. Mike84 says:

        Huh? Please review basic logic. If having adequate resources is a requirement for success, having adequate resources nevertheless does not guarantee success.

        Get it? You need to eat right to win a marathon but eating right does not mean you will win a marathon.

        Logically: (P requires Q) does not imply that (Q implies P)

  17. Vincent says:

    This is one of the major problems with F1 It is now so complex it take years to over come a poor
    design and get a conpetive car on the track. Great new for Australia that we have a new 5 year
    contract for the GP

  18. Stephen Taylor says:

    Despite his poor form I believe Kimi will get a podium/win at Spa. It is his favourite circuit and is the circuit which allows him to show his best form. Kimi only needs 1 more Belgian GP win to equal Senna’s tally of 5 Belgian Grand Prix wins . To equal that would this mark of Senna’s would be fantastic achievement and I think the Iceman can make it happen. I also think Kimi will equal/surpass Alain Prosts tally of 41 fastest laps . Kimi currently has 40 fastest laps in F1. As for the restructuring at Ferrari; Marco Mattiacci is doing a decent job and it is positive that he is not afraid to make difficult decisions.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      ^be a fantastic achievement ( in relation to Senna’s 5 Belgian GP wins)

      1. Vivek says:

        Ferrari has consistently given Kimi horrible strategies this season. Its always his car that fails and his car that loses 2+ places after every pit stop. Compounded with Kimi’s inability to adapt to the car, its been a disaster.

        I’d be very surprised to see him in the top 5, let alone a podium. If he gets too close to Alonso, look out for an “emergency” pit stop due to “suddenly excessive” tire degradation. Ferrari’s problems all go back to 2008 IMO. They backed the wrong driver that year, throwing their own WDC under the bus and have never recovered since. I still remember the British GP that year when Massa had to be coached around Silverstone in the rain by Smedley. Massa is a great guy. But world champion? Please.

        Hopefully Alonso takes his insufferable attitude somewhere else and Ferrari can close the book on this era. Alonso is a great driver but at some point you have to ask: If Ferrari haven’t had a good car in 5 years what exactly is Alonso’s contribution to it?
        Why not develop the car to suit the guy who almost instantly elevates it with his feedback? (I’m referring to 2009 after Massa’s accident when an allegedly unmotivated Kimi scored almost as many points as Hamilton and 2011-12 with Lotus)

        He may not be able to wring performance out of a poor car like Alonso. But if his feedback helps avoid a poor car, wouldn’t that be the logical option to pursue?

      2. F1heroes says:

        I’d like to see Kimi equal Schumi’s spa win record next year.

      3. Crusty says:

        @ Vivek

        Very well put.

      4. Krischar says:

        @ Vivek

        “Ferrari has consistently given Kimi horrible strategies this season” – OK can you enlight us where kimi was before Ferrari handed him the poor Gambit blot. How many times kimi have put F14T in the top 5 let it be quali or race? Not once Believe. Are you a Despondent Kimi fan ?

        ‘If he gets too close to Alonso, look out for an “emergency” pit stop due to “suddenly excessive” tire degradation.” – Whom you are trying to kid? Yourself. There is no way Kimi can get closer to Alonso not even in his wildest illusion. This is not because Ferrari will put kimi at disadvantage with extra pit-stop like you stated here with bigoted view. Kimi does not have what it takes to perform well notably in machinery which needs lot of Adaptability.

        “Ferrari’s problems all go back to 2008 IMO” – This is the biggest quipp i have ever read anywhere here. Massa is miles better than Kimi. How did kimi won his only quirk WDC. Massa let him through and sacrificed his race victory. Besides that massa have chastened Kimi when they were team-mates at Ferrari until Massa met with an accident. Even today if you put massa v/s kimi in same machinery massa will be the fastest. – FACT

        Finally the dig at ALonso “If Ferrari haven’t had a good car in 5 years what exactly is Alonso’s contribution to it?” – OK, then let me know why Ferrari have a technical crew and little bit of engineering people who work for the team. Can you explain what is their responsibility in terms of building the competitive chassis which gives enough downforce and power for the pilots to unleash it’s potential. Fact is Ferrari have fired loads of people for their under performance and the last fastest package came in 2008 “F2008″ ever since then Ferrari have produced drivel cars from 2009 to this point. Despite all this melee Alonso have performed well above the expectations and delivered some unbelivable results.

        Alonso Amazes people and the entire F1 paddock, while kimi is just pathetic to watch

        ‘But if his feedback helps avoid a poor car’ – Is this why Kimi was beaten by Grosjean

      5. Vivek says:

        @Krischar

        That is a very well thought out reply. I didn’t fully understand the points you made there since you’ve thrown in quite a few dense observations all in one go and have mixed up opinion and fact. Could you please elaborate further?

        And thank you for introducing me to the word “quipp”.

    2. Matias says:

      sadly for Kimi, as much as he likes Spa, he doesn’t have the car to win it. The leading laps of Alonso in Hungaroring were just a mirage, unless there’s a heavy rain, or something like that, i don’t see Alonso winning on a normal day, let alone Kimi who’s struggling so much with this F14t…

      1. Krischar says:

        @ Vivek

        I meant it as a Quip, by the way i have not tried to scoff your post.

        What i meant is, how Alonso can be held liable for the failures endured by the Ferrari team simply becuase of inept technical crew and team boss? Your thought says Alonso is accountable for the poors cars produced by Ferrari time and time again – This is very hilarious. Alonso have no need what so ever to the blame. Ferrari are not good enough.

        When you say Ferrari gave kimi poor gambit plots all most every race this season – you sound very delusional and bigoted. What kimi has done to improve the performance from his end at least within cock-pit? Answer is Nothing. FACT is kimi is poor pilot than massa when we compare the 2013 to 2014 season till this point.

        Ferrari to give kimi an emergency stop when he gets closer to ALonso in the Race? Will this ever happen? NO. Kimi cannot even dream to get closer to Alonso. This is not because Ferrari will favour Alonso. Kimi does not have what it takes to compete with Alonso. What makes you to suggest Kimi will get closer to Alonso maybe you had dream of this nature? Alonso is fable and Kimi is just pathetic.

        Ferrari backed the wrong driver in 2008? Massa have proven Ferrari he is not a push over. When massa partnered Schumi back in 2006 mnay have wrote him off even before the season started. Yet massa had held his own Against the 7X WDC and surprised people with odd victories over schumacher. As soon as kimi joined massa as team-mate i knew massa will triumph. Yet due to his errors and relaibility woes. Massa ended up short against kimi and only had the choice to make Ferrari as WDC with kimi and instead not himself. Yet in 2008 right from the start Massa have put kimi back in his place by the mid season of 2008 massa performed superbly and took the title fight to lewis. I concur that Ferrari were faster than Mclaren back in 2008. Yet it was massa who delivered the results. Due to collisions, Hungary failure and Singapore debacle massa have lost the WDC by a single point. By the way i am not massa fan or pro-massa yet credit where credit is due. In 2009 until hungary it was massa who scored more points than kimi and out-performed his most vaunted team-mate in good fashion. Above all Massa himself confessed that Alonso is the strongest team-mate he ever raced against on the track and accepted defeat. Massa’s recent performances with williams clearly suggests two FACTS. 1. Massa was poor when pitted against Fernando 2.Massa have lost none of his hunger or speed as he recently scored a pole with williams 3.Ferrari are average and mid-table team at best. ONly fernando dragged the team out of the trouble and kept the Ferrari in the title hunt due to his own brilliance rather than the team.

        Bottomline is Alonso is the very best. sadly you may find this truth a little too much of a hurt.

    3. Richard says:

      Doubt it, they (Ferrari) already said they will have a hard time in Belgium and Italy. So will all the Renault powered cars.

    4. Olivier says:

      That’d be awesome, but it is going to be difficult. Williams has good straight line speed and should do well in Spa.

      Ferrari will battle for P5. Unless we have a freak GP … it certainly is going to be Kimi’s most epic win at Spa.

    5. Ray C Boy says:

      I can think of six cars that have to have a problem before Kimi wins Spa…but you never know.

  19. C63 says:

    Mercedes invested more and for far longer in the KERS and its successor systems. The factory at Brixworth is a centre of excellence within Mercedes, competing within the company for contracts on new electric and hybrid vehicles ….

    Something I spotted in the article above – it appears all the naysayers, who claim the new hybrid technology [in F1] has no benefit to road cars, are wrong. Proof, if proof was needed, right there :-)

  20. Richard says:

    Drivers will probably stay where they are for 2016, maybe Vettel may switch, but Alonso won’t have him at Ferrari, and I doubt Lewis would want him at Mercedes. So his only option is McLaren, which is a big unknown with the Honda engine…

    1. Matías says:

      as for now, Nico got the contract extended, not Lewis (yet) so i don’t know if he have the veto right to 2016. (yet)

      1. Richard says:

        So Vettel’s options are down to Red Bull, and McLaren.

  21. Andrew says:

    James , do you really see another top team coming in for Vettel now? Along with Kimi his stock must have taken a massive hit this season. Surely the success of Ricciardo must encourage teams to look to the younger drivers.

    On a related point. What is the general view amongst the journalists about Vettel now? For the last 4 years he has been praised to the heavens. The likes of Andrew Benson from BBC put him 4th in his all time list, ahead of Alonso and Hamilton (and several others). Is there a realisation that perhaps they weren’t objective enough when assessing his ability?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes I do.

      It’s a strange year for Vettel, certainly, but his quality is undoubted if you look at some of his performances over the last four years, good car or not.

      This year does need properly explaining, but he’s one of the top three drivers in F1 still

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ james….’top three’? maybe a top five.

      2. harv says:

        I admit it still is too early to pass judgement on Vettel, however when Jenson Button won his WDC, there were similarly people saying some of his drives were incredible too – Vettel needs to show he can do what Alonso has been doing over the last few years, overperforming with the 2nd or 3rd best car. Who is to say he won’t, once he gets his teeth into not having a car perfectly suited to his style.

  22. Ram says:

    When will Jules join Ferrari… or is it Nico HUlkenberg who has the edge

  23. don says:

    I think Alonso will extend his contract and stay at Ferrari – why take a chance on leaving even IF Mclaren wants him and I don’t think they do? And whose to say they will produce a winning car within the next couple of years anyway?

    Ferrari will get better and produce a car not as good as Merc but Alonso doesn’t need the best car to win – just something close.

    1. Sergio says:

      I agree with you. Personally I think Ferrari is the best place for ALO

    2. Krischar says:

      @ Don

      “just something close” – Ferrari have not even produced a car which is somewhere closer to the best package in the field and this has been the case ever since 2009 to this point. when Brawn dominted in 2009 RBR fought back likewise when RBR started to dominate since 2010 it was Mclaren and Lotus to a lesser extent took the fight to RBR whereas Ferrari remained was a sitting duck. After all the debacle Stefano resigned. Mattiacci is unknown and does not have enough in knowledge about F1 seems like Mattiacci is even more a gamble that ferrari took than Stefano.

      Best example is look at massa this season. People wrote him off at Ferrari yet in the williams team massa have claimed a pole and drove some superb races

      Ferrari simply are not good enough and will never recover unless and until somehow they can bring back the in-season testing which will not be approved by other teams or nor by bernie.

  24. luqa says:

    Is there any truth to the rumour Luca Moarmorini has signed with Renault?

    Ferrari’s biggest problem is their prima donna Fernando Alonso. He is a great and vastly talented driver, but he doesn’t seem to be able to develop a car in the same way as a Schumacher. Nor does he seem to have the ability to effectively communicate with the designers. Is it a language barrier, a cultural one, or simply an attitude? FA gets into the car and drives, and from media reports rarely gets involved in testing on track or in the simulator.

    As an example, take the relationship at Red Bull with Vettel and Webber with Newey- a match made in heaven.

    1. James Allen says:

      Heard his name connected with them

    2. lucyinthe sky says:

      Ha ha!!! I´ll bet that when Marmorini joins Renault, their engines will be great, just as Mercedes chasis are great with Aldo Costa.
      Ferrari will take 20 years to improve, with Lou diMonti at the helm.
      Fernando, leave for Mclaren!

    3. kenneth chapman says:

      @ luqa…..from what i have read over the years it would seem that alonso does very well in communicating with the team. he speaks fluent italian and i should also think that there would be very few, if any, cultural differences that would result in a negative attitude. alonso has been around the F1 traps for a long time now and by all accounts he has the ability to implement a fully capable set up.

      the problem, as i understand it, relates to the car and not to the driver. this has been recognised publically and published. the unfortunate thing is that in this first year of the new technology there has been no allowance for any mid season changes that would bring the teams back to some sort of competetive performances. a major mistake in my view given the scale of change introduced.

      mattiaci would be desperate to hold on to alonso. he is their main contributor to performance related WCC points which in turn equals revenue. as for kimi, well he is a ‘candidate for divestment’. he has contributed very little and he would be a drag on the team despite mattiaci’s public support saying that he is just what ferrari need? why he would say that is difficult to comprehend.

      hopefully raikonnen can improve over the balance of the season as i, for one, was really looking forward to an all out competetive drive from him in a ‘me versus him’ intrateam battle. unfortunately he has failed to deliver.

      1. don says:

        I don’t know if FA will leave but in addition to the fact they are going nowhere to Luca giving him a “B” grade for last years masterful season and bringing in Kimi to pressure FA to do better is reason enough to walk.

        Please leave Fernando – they don’t deserve you!

      2. luqa says:

        Valid points Kenneth. The point is just because I speak English does not make me an effective communicate. I suspect the same might be true for FA. If the problem relates to the car as is suggested, surely he would have had input into its design and development this year as well as previous years, and thus to some extent he is the victim of his own limitations.

        Where FA cannot be faulted though is the poor performance of the power unit- no power or torque, or poor delivery = no go.

        As we all do, FA has matured as a person, his perceived arrogance has diminished. No longer does he, as in the past, let Massa do his dirty work for him- testing and simulator work as has been pointed out below by don below.

        Maybe I’m too hard on FA, times HAVE changes, the days where drivers could make up deficiencies with hard work, motivation and near unlimited testing (ala MS) and budgets are no longer with us. Drivers are becoming more and more the tools or robots of the Engineering department, almost interchangeable….

    4. Mikeboy0001 says:

      I was never an Alonso fan, because I dislike the man for what happened in Mclaren and some other stuff out of F1 world, but what he does on track is indeed incredible.
      He’s probably the best driver out there, race after race, season after season, and also certainly one of the all time greats, so he’s the least of Ferrari’s problems
      He’s given them so much more than what they’ve given back, and it’s very unfair to criticized him on this
      As a fierce ex-Hamilton fan, I just hope some day I can have at the same respect for Lewis, who until recently I always loved, as I do now for Alonso, who I always disliked
      Ain’t life funny!!!!

    5. TomM says:

      Maybe give Alonso unlimited track testing and custom Bridgestones like Schumi had – then judge him!

      1. luqa says:

        Point taken..

    6. Bart says:

      Hi luqa,
      “he doesn’t seem to be able to develop a car in the same way as a Schumacher”
      I think you’re pointing in the wrong direction. Honestly, I think you totally wrong. They have an obsolete structures from the mid-90′s plus all the problems listed above. Seem hardly anything to do with the drivers

    7. Hunter C says:

      I think anyone can tell you how vastly different the landscape of today’s f1 compared with michael’s time is. There is virtually no on track testing. Ferrari used to spend thousands of hours 24 hours a day track testing at fiorano. Today? Cfd and wind tunnel. Even test drivers are just sitting around scratching their backsides.

      Didn’t want to bring this up either, but Schumacher got entirely too much credit for “developing” those cars. Ask Eddie irvine, “Michael could drive anything fast, but he was not much of a good car developer”

      1. Krischar says:

        @ Iuqa

        Schumacher? He is not as good as people try to make of him, yes he have 7X WDC. However they are mere stats. Alonso ended the schumi reign. As few others have already pointed out here. Ferrari had unlimited testing and used their own track to the good effect. Ferrari were supplied the cutomized bridgestone tyres and had an advantage over others. Unlimited budget No restrictions on the aero front. Lack of quality pretenders in terms of teams and pilots when schumacher who 5X WDC on the row

        Ferrari had everything and were far too stronger politicaly and financially, such days are long gone, now With level playing field and scattered budgets and No IN-season testing have created far too many complications for the team which they are not able to handle. Feckless technical crew and boss did not help either

        The only shining light in the team is Fernando Alonso, without Alonso Ferrari are a Mid-table team and once Alonso leaves Ferrari will hapily compete with Maurussia and Caterham with Kimi at the helm, such a talented pilot against the likes of chilton and Erricsson.

        I hope Ferrari will finish outside the top 3 in the WDC standings which will make Alonso a free agent.

        Fernando please leave this team and do not waste your supreme skills anymore for the team which is spineless and lackdaisical

      2. tifosif1 says:

        Oh please Mr. Krischar a.k.a. Andrew Benson (in disguise). Alonso ending MS reign, by that yardstick Vettel exhumed him. leave MS alone, he do not need your confirmation for his undisputed greatness. Coming back to Alonso and as you are trying to convince so hard (reading your post I am convinced he is even better than Senna). Ferrari is and never was so bad as if it can be compared with Marussia and Caterham, even in 2009 ferrari fans never rubbished ferrari team (team was never in contention to win but still got one win and few podiums and same was cheered by us). Cometh the man (Mr. Alonso) and his over the sky Ego started making his achievements better than of his car or the team (as if some kinda driver can defy law of physics and outperform the machinery is such a way despite some of his stellar drives which we all acknowledge). Final Note – Let ALonso go to any team, only the man will be counted and rest of the team will be finished/rubbished (may note the high regards he had for Renault – team that gave him 2 WDC not to mention Mclaren and now Ferrari, even if he is not so vocal in criticizing them these days)

    8. Richard says:

      Schumacher was able to develop a car because he was testing alot more than actually racing the car.

      1. Krischar says:

        @ Tifosif1

        “Vettel exhumed him” – Very hilarious and delusional

        Vettel ? Who is he. The one who has been presented 4X WDC as a heirlooms by newey and webber at RBR. The one who gets beaten by young Dan ricciardo week-in and week-out. The one who refused to drive RBR at the jerez test eariler in the pre-season and throwed his trantrums. The one who failed to respect fellow cohorts in the sport and still does the same / moans in the team radio all the time when someone passes him on the track

        See i never mentionned Alonso is better than senna or something in that sentence, becuase i have not seen the races or highlights which has been done by senna. Schumacher may have 7X WDC and so is vettel 4X WDC. Yet are they good enough as much as people try to make of them (Like you here in this example). NO of WDC’S does not mean anything other than stats. What alonso does week-in & week-out in the shoddy Ferrari cars time and time again is impressive. NO other pilot cannot keep such hunger and motivation to perform consistently despite the team’s spineless technical crew and boss

        I do not know too much about Benson either, yes he is F1 savant in BBC.

        Finally whom you are trying to kid? If you say Ferrari have produced good cars since 2009 to this point and recriminate Alonso for the ferrari failures. Then you need to take out your insular views towards Alonso and be more subjective.

        All the savants in F1 and the paddock have confessed and documented how poor the Ferrari cars over the past 5 seasons or so even this includes JA as well. Recently mark hughes have done a useful thread on the issues which ferrari have from the chassis and engine side as well.

        Just befoe the pre-season massa have confessed Ferrari cars were not just slow, they are also very difficult to drive and his recent performances at williams do not lie the picture about Ferrari. Williams are on the upward trend.

        Law of physics? Even the engineers at Ferrari have confirmed that ALonso more or less exceeded the expectation during his time at Ferrari. Alonso have always out-performed the team–mates and machinery. Very recent example in Budapest confirms my constructive views. Ferrari should have not finished on the podium in hungary. Yet Alonso found a way to put the roppey F14T in P2 come the raceday.

        Bottomline is Ferrari are not good enough and they are only a mid-table team at best. just on par with Force India’s and STR

      2. Krischar says:

        @ Tifosif1

        Yet they are not good enough as much as people try to make of them

    9. don says:

      You are correct on one account – he is a great and talented driver.

      Maybe you should tell Ferrari Alonso is the their biggest problem – but hurry because they are trying to extend his contract for another several years.

      The fact he won two world titles (beating Michael both times) calls into question your theory about not being adept at developing cars and communicating effectively with his engineers.

      By the way, during the race at Hungary, the “media” mentioned FA spends loads of time in the simulator unlike Kimi who detests them – maybe you got the two drivers mixed up.

      1. tifosif1 says:

        @Krischar, by that same yardstick how Alonso ended the MS reign, you may be well aware of the ferrari 2005. 2006 if you still remember, need not to elaborate. My point is that no pilot be it Senna, Mansell, Clark, Prost and so on is bigger than the team although many of them have exceeded expectations and we love them for their skills, mind you I haven’t seen them racing (few highlights here and there, but yes it was mega). coming back to Mr. Alonso, why every now and then team needs to be ridiculed (Renault, Mclaren and now ferrari). Many a times things don’t go our way and we can take few examples elsewhere and story is quite the same for team sports inspite of individual brilliance. finally, let Fernando leave and ferrari will be more or less in a same position.

  25. Torchwood Five says:

    Very nice banner pic. Was that Red Bull really running on a beach, or was that picture manipulated?

  26. Rohind says:

    Christian Horner has confirmed that Vettel will be driving for them in 2015. There was no mention of a contract extension for 2016, except for a lot of heavy words like trust, belief,mutual understanding etc etc.

    I think Lauda was indeed right. By exposing that Merc and Mclaren made back channel attempts to poach Vettel, which caused them to issue a public denial, Red bull is closing the doors for Vettel.

    It is bad days indeed for F1 if other engine manufacturers are unable to catch up next season. Renault and now Ferrari has issued statements to the effect that it may take years to catch up with the front runners.

    FIA should go easy on homologation rules if they intend to make the grid competitive and F1 exciting for the fans.No body likes to see Merc domination for another 4-5 years with no competition from other cars

  27. aveli says:

    ferrari’s performance will certainly change a great deal in the next few years with all these changes taking place but am not sure which way the change will go. if it’s for the better mattiacci will be a hero.
    does anyone know if there has ever been an f1 driver described as immature in the history of the sport?

  28. franed says:

    Hi James, Luca et al
    I am now (04/08/14) getting spam ostensibly from your site addressed to and based upon based upon my ID and email in the post http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2009/03/flat-out-on-the-straits/#comment-3593 You banned me for some reason. saying you had not , but nonetheless, if I put my normal handle or email in any post you reject it. I still have no idea why. (The Askimet filter says I am not banned and my ID/email woks fine on Joe’s blog and my own)

    The spam I am receiving is formed as advice of a reply to my post on your blog. (which I do not have ticked) Then followed by some rubbish about handbags
    I was your first blog year’s most prolific commenter and I have your signed book. (in which you wrote that I am a legend) (and I think 8th the second year. That should identify me beyond doubt.)

    I am concerned that either wordpress or your own database has been hacked or copied. I shall repeat this on a current thread.

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks and apologies

      We will look into it

  29. Dougel says:

    A pattern of blame and firing people seems to be emerging at Ferrari. I’ve never heard of Ross Brawn go to a team and fire people, especially anyone previously proven to be very talented, which suggests it’s not the way to build a successful team.

  30. Bart says:

    James, take a lot at what Aldo Costa is saying here about Ferrari and F1: http://blog.quotidiano.net/turrini/2014/08/05/aldo-costa-si-toglie-i-sassolini-dalle-scarpe/
    Quite interesting. Cheers,Bart

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