F1 Winter Break
More on that Ferrari reshuffle
More on that Ferrari reshuffle
Posted By:   |  14 Apr 2009   |  5:40 pm GMT  |  26 comments

The Italian media is suggesting that Luca Baldisseri has been made the fall guy for the poor start to the season, particularly as far as the poor strategy decisions of the first two races.

Corriere della Sera says that when Stefano Domenicali said on the Sunday night after Malaysia that ‘everyone has to take their share of responsibilty’ it was ‘Baldo’ he was thinking of.

Corriere also says that Baldo ‘mentioned in his blog’ that morale was low. This got me looking for said blog. I’ve not turned it up yet, but if any of you can find it, please let me know its location.

A point I failed to make earlier but which has just occurred to me is that the team managers’ meeting in Shanghai is going to have a different feel about it as the representatives of both McLaren and Ferrari have now been replaced; Dave Ryan and Baldo. This was also one of his areas of responsibility. How fast things change in F1. I wonder if they will ring each other up to compare notes on Sunday?

Meanwhile there is some rumour that Ferrari will turn up in Shanghai with a double decker diffuser. This is not the case, apparently. A modified car was shaken down at Vairano last Friday before being shipped out and it features some minor updates to the diffuser as well as the front wing and wheel covers. But it is not a step change in performance, which the double decker diffuser and floor would give.

A B spec version of the F60 is expected in Barcelona (presuming that the appeal today fails). The way things are looking Barcelona is going to be like a new start to the season with a bunch of new car launches!!

Baldo’s role at the factory, presuming he stays on, is going to be important, however. Think about the scheduled switch next season to a budget cap. With what we know so far of plans for 2010, that means that you have to throw maximum effort at having as competitive a car as possible at the end of this season, because the funds will not be there to re-invent the wheel over the winter. You need to get as close to the maximum that these rules will allow as possible.

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"A modified car was shaken down at Vairano last Friday"
How does this work with the testing ban James?


I think creating a new role for "Baldo" is a very sensible and great HR decision from Ferrari as you can't say he has been demoted. It will be interesting to see how the development race is going to unfold during the season and when will be Ferrari And McLaren competitive again. From that point of view Baldo's role will be crucial again even before 2010. It would be good to see them to react and come back from their current form quickly, but they have lost valuable points alredy. I think that's what the sport needs and not the politics.


[quote]With what we know so far of plans for 2010, that means that you have to throw maximum effort at having as competitive a car as possible at the end of this season, because the funds will not be there to re-invent the wheel over the winter. You need to get as close to the maximum that these rules will allow as possible.[/Quote]

As I mentioned before, when you said that teams who did not accept the budget cap would not be competitive, the only possible way to develop the extras allowed within the cap is to do it before the cap comes in. Even if drivers accept nominal salaries of say $5M there is a huge amount of new work to be done which I maintain would be impossible under the budget caps.

The budget cap is like taking you to The Fat Duck and saying have whatever you want, oh by the way you can only spend £10.
(which may just buy you a coffee)


that's an interesting point regarding keeping development to the maximum throughout this season due to the introduction of the budget cap for 2010. Are you suggesting that whoever are the fastest in Abu Dhabi are likely to be the quickest in Australia 2010?

When the budget cap was first proposed I was not so keen on the idea but I am warming to it now. However, despite of Max's view that it can be policed surely teams will get around the budget limitations somehow? Or is the impending hearing for McLaren and its possible draconian punishments going to act as a deterrent against a possible transgression in the future?

I'm pretty sure either Renault or Toyota may pull out at the end of the season. May be Mercedes could do likewise due to the recent poor publicity (notwithstanding their share in McLaren).

James how likely do you think it is that USF1 will enter next season and what about A1GP Tony Texeira's ambitions? Can you think of any other possible new teams? I do agree with Max and Bernie in that the sport is going back to how it was in the early 80s with more independent teams.

It would be great if we could have grids of 26 again providing that a certain level of quality exists. I do believe that it's highly unlikely that DNQs will ever happen again. I cannot believe anyone would ever be prepared to fund a team that does not qualify for the races.


Is this Luca's blog?


I don't speak Italian so I could be making a fool of myself here!


Not sure where Baldo's blog is, but there is one written by a member of staff on the Ferrari website that could be him (http://www.ferrari.com/English/Scuderia/Blogs/Staff/default.aspx) - interestingly, they say that morale is high! This was written after qualifying though...


What do you want with Baldo's blog?


Hi James,

you wanted to find Baldisseris Blog, well try this:


Hope you can speak Italian though... 🙂

I also hope it is not a fake, that is hard to tell if you cannot properly understand the language.

Take care


Another question along those lines - what testing would USGP be allowed to do this year, before they are officially a 'racing F1 team' and covered by the in-season testing ban?

I would very much like to see the bigger teams have 'a' and 'b' spec teams running different budgets in 2010. One a full funding and one that can purchase the updates at 'market' rates - heavily reduced because a sole-supplier contract has been signed (or some such legal loophole).


My Italian is rubbish and I could be wrong but I think this is the blog you're looking for.



Another F1 scapegoat, this is becoming more a game of politics and saving face than on track racing.

I am a die hard F1 fan and even with all these goings on I still staunchly defend its existence to my friends who are MotoGP fans (more overtaking less overthinking people). I tell them, thats what I like about F1, loopholes, clever people, high tech engineering, etc, now, unfortunately, my discourse gets thinner and thinner each scandal post spygate...

But that is what F1 has made itself into, through regulations and high money interests there is no going back. Dare I say it, maybe Mosleys legacy isn't all that bad, getting back to basics...


I hardly see any new teams other than USF1 making it in time for Australia 2010. However, Toyota or Renault could very well pull out at the end of the season, and possibly Williams.

Back to the diffusers, spanish site thef1.com is saying that Renault might show up in China with a new diffuser, but interestingly they seemed 100% confident this afternoon and I just checked the site a while ago: they changed the tone of the article, so now 'might' seems a plain might... I see them, however, more likely to actually do it than Ferrari, if as they claimed today they truly worked on it for a while, consulted and got a NO from the FIA that forced them to abandon the project.


Hi Allen! It's to see you here ... I wanna echo what has been said about the new cars in barcelona ... I really do think that is going to be the case in when F1 hits europe ... I don't think also that the diffusers are illegal. They are simply clever interpretations of the rules. Yes I like Ferrari and it's my favorite team ... but to be honest it's really great to see other teams also on top of the step and see your team to under go the struggle again and that's just how sport is ... you win and you lose. It's great for the sport!


Hi James,
Thanks for the best and most interesting site on F1.
With regard to budget caps next year there are ways around that surely. Half or more of the drivers salary could come from the advertising/marketing budget, and the rest from the racing budget. How will they control this?
I have often wondered why when cigarette advertising was banned that the companies like Marlboro, B & H etc never came up with a coffee, or similar product of the same name, and carried on advertising.
If what Rory Byrne says about the Brawn diffuser is correct then we are in for a rough ride!!!!!!!!!


With a new Ferrari and the other teams bringing new stuff, Barcelona might be an interesting race for once.


I just looked at the translated version of Luca's blog. What I see from his comments is basically a feeling of regret. It seems that he was at the behind of that decision and he thought he would easily become a hero if it has started to rain heavily just after Kimi changed to extreme wets and won the race. But it was not the case. The rain started a couple of laps later and Kimi destroyed his tires in a bone dry circuit. This was a gamble but Ferrari was not in a position to gamble at that moment. They could behave similar to the others and still gain valuable points.


Seems that grandprix.com have the jump on everyone, unless they're just anticipating, but:

"The FIA International Court of Appeal has decided to deny the appeals submitted against decisions numbered 16 to 24 taken by the Panel of the Stewards on 26 March at the 2009 Grand Prix of Australia and counting towards the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship.

"Based on the arguments heard and evidence before it, the Court has concluded that the Stewards were correct to find that the cars in question comply with the applicable regulations.

"Full reasons for this decision will be provided in due course."


I have a question, wasn't all three (meaning Luca, Stefano and Michael) sitting in the pitwall during the GP. Wouldn't all 3 of them come in the same agreement of what to do during the race?


Does anyone has heard or read speculation posted on http://www.grandprix.com about Ron Dennis leaving Mclaren F1 so the FIA don't banned them from the championship? They speak about the "vendetta"against Mclaren, and how Dennis leaving will ease off the penalty. I think it is foolish to say it, but the site is usually biass towards Mclaren so we don't know what truth is true.


Six straight-line tests per team are allowed in 2009 as exemptions to the testing regulations. This is presumably one of them.


thanks James this has just made a mockery of one of my points in another of todays posts! cheers 😉


USF1 has said that their car will not be ready until the end of the year/early next year. So they will begin testing with the other teams next year. That said, Peter Windsor, one of the team principals, said that even if they had a car to test this year, they would honor the spirit of the rule and not begin testing until next year.


James studied Italian (and French and English??) at Oxford! (and is working for Italian RAI TV this year isn't that right?)


as you can see quote tags dont work 😉 🙂


You have always been allowed to do a 70 km shakedown test in the week before a GP. That did not change with the testing ban.

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