As the new year kicks into life there is plenty of action at Ferrari; the team is beginning work on a new base for its F1 team which is due to open in time to develop the 2015 car, on a site between the Cavallino restaurant and the existing team headquarters, known as Gestione Sportiva.
At the same time the team announced today that from February 1 it will have a new head of communications, Renato Bisignani, formerly of Renault F1, who will replace Luca Colajanni, who held the position for over a decade.
This change has been rumoured since the end of last season, but was confirmed today. It is a change which will not mean a great deal to F1 fans, but will resonate within F1 media; Colajanni did a difficult job with great passion and attention, but inevitably some relationships were more tense than others. I always got on well with him and enjoyed his sense of humour.
As for the new HQ, which will be a trapezoid shape, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, team principal laid the first stone on Monday and the Ferrari website noted,
“The first excavations have indeed begun of the foundations of the building that will house the offices of the management, engineers and administrative staff along with the working areas of the team. The location, which is owned by Ferrari and currently used as a car park, is situated between the Cavallino restaurant and the building that is currently used by the Scuderia.
“The project has been planned in accordance with guidelines inspired by the practicality, efficiency and style that characterise the Formula One programme. The aim is to create an environment that has been well thought through for the people who will work there. This programme, which has benefited from the positive steps taken in favour of the employees and their families, has earned Ferrari the title “Best place to work in Europe” from the Financial Times.”
Anyone who has been behind the scenes at Maranello and seen the existing factory will concur that this move has not come a moment too soon. The existing race bays and engine build shop are historic (although the technology inside is state of the art) and the team needed to move into a 21st century building, which it will now be doing. It’s a significant investment, albeit not on the scale of the McLaren Technology Centre. But then it doesn’t need to be, as Ferrari has many other new buildings on the campus like the wind tunnel and logistics centre.
Ferrari’s traditional start of season bash in the mountains, known as Wrooom, kicks off today (hence the timing of the Colajanni announcement) with press conferences scheduled with Domenicali and the drivers. So watch out for lots of Ferrari stories in the next few days…