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Ferrari’s Marco Mattiacci says ‘Whatever is needed, we will do’
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  18 Apr 2014   |  12:34 pm GMT  |  93 comments

New Ferrari boss Marco Mattiacci, speaking at his first race in charge at Ferrari, did not today rule out the possibility of bringing in new personnel as he seeks to revive the racing fortunes of the Scuderia.

“A team is made first of people, people, people, people,” he said in Shanghai on day when Fernando Alonso topped the opening practice session timesheet and finished second in the afternoon. “As I said, the chairman [Luca di Montezemolo], we discuss and discuss and clearly, whatever is needed, we will do, even going to the market but with the clear idea that not just for the sake of going shopping. But if we will find someone that will bring extreme added value to a team that, according to all of us, is one of the highest level teams that there is Formula One… that’s the philosophy at the moment. Whatever is needed will be done.”

He added that together with Di Montezemolo he would be making an assessment of the teams strengths weaknesses but that he has not yet formulated a strategy for taking Ferrari forward.

“I am not a great believer in the word ‘strategy’,” he said. “I believe that every day you need to set a target for improvement. As I said, when you first arrive, you look for what is good and I think that in this team there is a lot a lot of talent. So I am working with the chairman in making an assessment and to see what will be needed. At this moment in time, I really cannot make a call on that.”

The F1 newcomer, who until now has headed up Ferrari’s North American arm, was also forthright about his lack of F1 experience, saying that while he is a keen racer he will approach running the Marenello squad with “a lot of humility”.

“I can tell you that I love racing,” he added. “I race in my spare time. I spent probably 20, 22 weeks in the track last year. I attended three 24 Hour Daytonas, sleeping at the track, tried to learn as much as I could. It’s not Formula 1 but I love racing. I love continuous improvement. I love challenging the team, challenging ourselves to give a better car and to get as much as we can from the track.

“I think that in the last 20 years, I have assembled a lot of teams,” he continued. “I am benchmarking a lot of business structure. So I will try to bring some best practice from that but definitely this is a very specific culture. Reaction [time] is completely different. You need to do things that have to happen yesterday, not in two months like in the corporate world. So I come with a lot of humility to understand and to work very hard. This is what I can commit to the team, to the drivers that are the best drivers in the world. They will have an extremely humble person that will listen and will fight 150 per cent to be a facilitator and to best utilise the talent that is within Ferrari.”

Mattiacci concluded by saying that his immediate goal is simply to close the gap to Mercedes, a task that he said would not be easy.

“I don’t think we are going to give up. Our goal is to close as much as possible the gap to the leader, which at the moment is Mercedes,” he said. “You all know racing better than me, there are many variables that can influence a lap, a race or a championship. So, as this is the fourth race it is still very early to take a decision. But our objective is to close the gap to Mercedes as soon as possible, which is not an easy task. Will I be on the pit wall? For sure.”






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Get a Mercedes engine Ferrari and suppy your current unit to the guys at Karcher and Kirby


what you should do is write off 2014 and start on 2015. you’re too far off the pace this year sunshine. welcome to F1.


if they are looking to win the race to the bottom then they have it so much easier to achieve hiring this guy over dommenicalli. the mind boggles, but I suppose he knows its going nowhere for the next few years so jumped ship before they dropped to midfield team again, which will happen in the next couple of years especially with dommenacalli gone


Just as long as “what is needed” doesn’t involve “mercenaries”


Where can I get some of those “Joe Cool” shades?

Are they Ferrari-branded?


I think it’s a great choice with no real downside. If he isn’t a fit you replace him at the end of the year with someone from within F1.

To rise to his position in business you have to be very intelligent, a skilled politician, and most importantly get results. I don’t see why a man of his ability can’t or won’t make it work.

I can see why Alonso is a bit stand-offish. Mattiacci is coming in to ask the question “who adds value?”. Does Alonso provide better value than Vettel, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo? I don’t know about that. Plus he’s getting on in years.


There is absolutely no way they replace the guy that increased market share in the US by 20% and turned that market into the largest Ferrari market in the world at the end of the year.

What you do is let him clean house and then fire LDM and put him in charge of the whole thing which is exactly what has been rumored in Automotive News for over a year.


agreed. Sergio Marchionne is sending a message to LDM here. Matiacci is feeding the intel back to FIAT HQ on whats happening at the racing dept. Do not need to be a rhodes scholar to know that wherever LDM touches down in this context-disaster follows. Mattiaci knows this, thats the simple part- diagnosis, now comes the hard part fixing, execution and deliverables!!


‘in this team there is a lot a lot of talent’ yes but he doesn’t know who is and who isn’t.


Seems like my kind of team manager.

Too bad the problem is the engine and engine development is frozen.

With 1 sec off pace the season is officially over but I bet at half season with the right aero development and with a proper understanding of tyre degradation we can start winning races.


He did not make a single mention of Super Diva Alonso.

I wonder if Mattiaci will take a Guardiola approach, like arriving at Bayern and put Diva Arjen Robben on the bench for a few matches to sharpen him up a bit.

Of course an F1 driver like Alonso cannot be sidelined… but some cold distance at the initial phase, keeping him a bit at distance, could un-Diva Alonso a bit. In this respect Stefano was responding to Alonso´s every public outcry about performance.

I like Mattiaci´s focus on the entire team and saying that people can be brought in (and people can therefore be replaced… including drivers).

Trust me I am a big Fernando fan, and understand that in his 5th year at Ferrari is he completely frustrated and demotivated.

But in this stage the team finds itself in, everyone needs to believe in possible improvement. Constant public crying for performance is not elegant, and draining energy from the team that need to respond to the ongoing media debate about the crisis at Ferrari.


All champion drivers are super divas, and that’s what separates them from the rest: their demanding and prickly nature are what grants them that extra level of competitiveness, relative to the so-so ones (see Hakkinen-Coulthard/Alonso-Fisichella/Alonso-Massa/Schumacher-Irvine/Schumacher-Barrichello).

Fernando has done everything needed of him – championship calibre machinery or not. Yes, criticising the team in public may not be the nicest thing to do, but sometimes humiliating someone in front of everyone else (especially when they have gotten too comfortable and thick skinned) is the only way to initiate change and to get things done. Frankly, it was Ferrari’s mistake (specifically di Montezemolo and Domenicalli) to respond in defensive fashion (i.e. “tweaking Fernando’s ear”). If those two had just looked at things from an emotionally detached standpoint, they would have realised that it was them (the team) not delivering their end of the bargain by constantly making bad strategy calls and/or consistently coming up with a 2nd/3rd package. The fact that LdM and Domenicalli went out there and went tit-for-tat with their star driver only highlights how much they don’t get it.

“Whatever is needed, we will do.”… Haven’t we heard Matiacci’s boss (LdM) and predecessor (Domenicalli) say those words with utter conviction countless times in the past, only for Ferrari to fall short over and over again?… I’ll believe it when I see it.


Bang on. All problems seen here derive from poor EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT decisions. ALOs moaning are just the logical end game to poor decisions at the top. This is why LDM goes after him, he knows what ALO is really getting at when he complains. EVERY complaint is a direct slap in LDMs face. LDM is from the PERSIAN consiglere school of management. They REALLY did kill the messenger who brought the bad news. ALO is right, give me a unit that can compete. Mattiaci could be the measured tones that is the buffer between ALO and LDM. Domenicali was LDMs mouthpiece, pure and simple. Mattiaci sound like a pragmatist- this will get interesting!!



Well said!!!


Well you have to feel for the guy! Talk about being dropped in the deep end. An offer you cannot refuse, if he can manage men/women and they respect him that’s half the battle. He is not pretending to know anything.

But you cant help wondering if the concrete mixer is read for failure.

I’m not a Ferrari fan, but let’s see if he plays fair or is allowed to by LdM.

Good luck to him, heaven knows he needs it.


“You all know racing better than me….”

This is the new boss? Sometimes it does help to bring in someone new to shake things up and change course, but in today’s F1 often very detailed decisions have to be made several times a day and screwing up any one of them can hurt you on a race weekend. Mattiacci might be a great long-term choice but does he the technical knowledge of the car, team, etc. to just step in on the fly and manage day to day operations?


Mercedes say they may need to shed some staff. Ferrari say they may need to recruit some staff. Staff exit one door and enter another. F1 continues to go round in circles.


Naysayers beware – this guy actually sounds like he’s got the goods.


By the way Random, I think I’m correct in saying Australasia has several different time zones. So, theoretically during the European season, F1 spectators in Daniel’s home city of Perth and the desert areas of Western Australia can phone/e mail/skype their mates on the East coast of AUS and New Zealand to tell them what happened in the race? Is that possible?

I say that because there is a two hour difference between Western AUS and Eastern AUS, and Perth/Western AUS is the closest time zone that Australasia gets to Europe……..or have I got that theory wrong?


You’ve sort of got it right – we have three different time zones with a total of two hours difference, but you got it backwards: The eastern states would in theory get the race two hours before Western Australia (assuming the race wasn’t shown live in the first place, which they usually are).

Mind you, you’re right when you say they can still let everyone in the east know what happened during the race – it just wouldn’t be breaking news 😉


Was there meant to be a smiley on the end of that?



Just seen him talking on the BBC F1 website – he seems calm, methodical and willing to listen and learn.

Perhaps coming from a business side of Ferrari where you have to listen to your customers whinging and whining about “my bloody Ferrari caught fire, what are you going to do about it???” means Marco has developed a sensible, rational approach to dealing with difficult situations?

Luca – you could have unearthed a good egg.


Gaz, I think this is Serio Marchionne’s boy. If thats the case LDM better watch out. He will have his job. Sounds like Flavio in the day when he always had the “customer first” approach. The difference will be if LDM can leave the racing team alone for Mattiaci like Carlos Ghosn left Flavio alone for Renault/Bennetton.


I still think this is the classic case of training your replacement and LDR’s. Days at Ferarri are numbered.

I did like Alonso sounding panicked as his little buddy won’t be there to make sure he has preferential treatment.


ALO didn’t need any “preferential treatment” against the great Kimi so far, did he???

P.S.: ALO heaters are *so* funny.


Fiat getting Mattiaci to replace LDM long term is not totally out of the realm. Makes a lot of sense. If he shows that he can handle LDM and manage “up” than thats a high probability. Day to day ops? a piece of cake .ALO is the best, simple- he is the type to go-put anyone against me I will beat them- no problem and its playing out. Many forget that he was wooed to Mcclaren it was not “his” team. How did Ron Dennis do it. Personally I think promises were made to Alonso to No1 status etc. Dennis lied in ALO eyes- he is a fairness guy, when he sees lies-he is going to talk on it. Dennis LOVES the action of 2 drivers fighting but long term-never works.

David in Sydney

Wow, I hadn’t thought of that but yes, he has the CV do replace LDM…


He just thumps his team mates because he’s better than him, and understandably asks the team to get his team mates out’ve the way when holding him up. Not that RAI has had much chance to hold him up as he’s been thumped already! No preferential treatment I’m afraid, just Ferrari doing what’s good for them

Fernando "150%" Alonso

” …will fight 150 per cent…” That’s what i’m talking about 😉


From that, he seems a nice guy. Certainly nothing like Di Montezemolo. But then Domenicali and Whitmarsh were nice guys……hopefully Mattiacci is a bit different.


What a tough, tough job he has ahead of him. How do you earn the respect of two of the best drivers on the grid when you have nil racing background? He must be a very confident man. A Ferrari man. Good luck to him. I hope Ferrari turns things around soon.

First order of businness, get Kimi a dodgy dossier.

Scuderia McLaren

Maybe Ferrari should have hired Hass. I mean, Hass isn’t into reinventing the wheel, so I hear. He will just solve logistical problems no one ever has in F1.


On a serious note, Alonso should enjoy his final season with Ferrari.


Do you think Alonso will be axed before next season?



Yes. They will “axe” Alonso and manage things with KIMI. 😎

Or they can hire Vettel 😎 😎

Scuderia McLaren

Maybe ‘axed’ is the wrong word, but he won’t be there. The rhetoric surround his leaving won’t be relevant.


I love his humble but clear and determined approach. I have a gut feeling that in the forthcoming months many will be surprised by this strong new spirit in F1. Mattiaci seems the right person for Ferrari at the right time. After the frustration of Bahrain many Ferrari fans will be happy and thankful with this new spirit of hope. So should be the rest of the F1 fans. Winning the championship from a strong competition (Ferrari or any other team) gives so much more value and satisfaction.


James, what do you make of the Bob Bell to Ferrari rumours?


I;ve heard that one before. I have 2 questions though : 1. How and where will they squeeze in Bob Bell ? and 2. Apart from 2005-06, Bob Bell’s performance has been just about satisfactory. So i’m not sure if Bob Bell can do any magic to turn around the Scuderia within an year or two.


In answer to 1, I imagine it’d be a role along side Mattiacci, dealing with the track-side sporting operations, leaving Mattiacci to deal with all the political stuff.

And 2 isn’t really a question 🙂 But I agree to some extent.




Early days I believe Bell will be interviewed but we will see . Luca from past experience will be the Judge .


Wonder how much Ferrari will have to give merc to let him start mid season like Allison last year?


The first impressions of Marco is that he’s somewhat similar to Kimi as they are both mavericks.

Not only doesn’t he have real F1 experience but also spends his free time racing and of course loves sunglasses >>> and so I should expect lots of surprises from marco for with mavericks, anything is possible.

Yes well wishes to Marco in his new endeavours, and having spent a lot of time in the Americans, hopefully he has picked up some business tricks which he can successfully employ on the team.

As for closing down the gap to Mercedes, maybe Ferrari can pull this off as their wind tunnel issues were fully resolved.

However, Ferrari’s biggest achilles heel has been qualifying pace, so not sure if this problem can get fixed without the help of some mercenaries.


To be honest, I don’t think Ferrari need a humble leader. We already had this with Domencali.

A huge team like this needs somebody that leads from the front with confidence and purpose.


I dont see how humility and confidence are opposites. If he has clear direction and purpose, it doesnt automatically preclude him from being humble at the same time.

I think you’ve confused humility with being either mild mannered or meek.

kenneth chapman

for that you need flavio.


agreed, Flavio was the best for common sense spending and pipeline development of drivers. Moreover, he took no rubbish from those below him or hounded those above him to his POV. Dictator?? yes, but democratic in that he always listened. How else are you going get such separate multiple parts aligning to a successful cohesive, winning sum??


Sounds quite like another Italian team leader/owner who had a modicum of success over the years.


Good point about Ferrari’s rather wayward wind tunnel correlation issues. God, I just sounded like Ron Dennis! Argh!

Anyway, back on topic, yes you’re right about qualifying being the Scuderia bug bear. Ferrari hasn’t had a dry weather pole since Singapore in September 2010…….that’s a long time ago. Fernando’s poles at Britain and Germany 2012 was a combination of his supreme ability and the Big Fella in the sky flooding the track.

I’m trying to think, when was the last time Ferrari locked out the front row of the grid? If my memory serves my correct, I think it was France 2008 in June that year.

Not only that, but Magnys Cours June 22 2008 was the last time Ferrari had a 1-2.

Kind of puts things in perspective.


Germany 2010 was the last, no? The infamous “Fernando is faster than you” race.

France 2008 was the last front-row lockout though.


Yes, thanks, I forgot about that.

Mind you, the result in Germany 2010 was a bit dubious……… say the least.


@ Gaz Boy

Whoa, impressive memory sir.



6 years without a Ferrari 1-2? That’s a long time, especially when you consider 10 years ago Ferrari were chalking up the double act every couple of races…………..


Sounds promising, lets race now


Sorry, its not raceday yet, still just political BS days.


Really ? thanks 4 letting me know


Always happy to be of service.


Fernando seemed very aloof during the driver’s press conference- as if he is tired of saying the same thing year after year. I wonder if he is really starting to question how much longer he can keep doing this, or how much longer he wants to stay in F1. There are no spots that are open at teams that would be an upgrade- specifically, Mercedes and Red Bull. This is a bit reminiscent of Prost’s time at Ferrari, even though he lost patience a hell of a lot earlier than Fernando has. (And he clearly has.)


With over 800 staff On the books and with plenty of money With healthy car sales and the Maserati Alfa brand getting stronger ( which is pocket money for Fiat ) Ferrari f1 will be here for a very long time , perhaps red bull or Mercedes will withdraw just like Toyota Honda BMW as it’s all about money . Marco Mattiaci with his intelligence from record sales of Ferrari in North America and Asia will get things back to winning ways and also get Ferrari road cars selling faster than before . Marco said “he is no engineer but will over 800 talented staff we will close the gap to Mercedes , but it’s going to be hard “


Most of Ferrari’s UK customer base lives in Cheshire, some blokes called Wayne, Phil, Gary, Rio and Ryan usually pop round to the local Ferrari dealership once in a while…………

Blimey, with a customer base like that, Ferrari probably generate at least 90% of their turn over from Cheshire!


This is what made Schumi magic: he never lost patience.


Tell that to Coulthard 🙂 at certain SPA GP.


+1 you would never hear the man speak negatively about his team


So Mercedes power unit engineers all just received a retainer bonus from their current employer?


Payable when? Jan 2015?


Maybe this guy will put everything in place, but I think right now he is a very risky choice. They have two of the best four drivers, new facilities etc. Mattiachi needs time to learn, he will need at least a year just to understand the structure, procedures, get to know people etc. Before making sensible decisions to fix things. Gerhard Berger would be the right man, right now.


Luca needed someone who he could trust not to lie to him, and who had a proven record of management success.

As Mattiacci said, first thing is to evaluate the personnel in-place, and then devise an on-going personnel structure taking into account who you want to keep, and who is available in the marketplace.

The interesting thing to me is that when Jean Todt was brought on-board, his previous racing experience was the F40LM program, not F-1.

Of course, Todt assembled an absolutely horrendous record as Team Principal./s


Such a great recommendation! I don’t know if his allegiance to the Red Bull camp would scupper such an opportunity, but Berger really would be the right guy to take Ferrari forward. No BS, just get on with it!

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