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Ferrari restructuring must allow engineers to be creative – Newey the main target
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 May 2014   |  11:32 am GMT  |  142 comments

Marco Mattiacci, the new team principal of Ferrari, has a good idea of the scale of the job he needs to do in order to return Ferrari to winning ways and it isn’t going to happen overnight.

Ferrari will have a major aerodynamic update package on the car for Montreal, as it traditionally does and a significant step on the power unit, which has been a major handicap on the straights this year.

If this doesn’t bring the team a good step closer to Mercedes, then it will inevitably begin to commit more resources to the engine side and to wind tunnel time to 2015, where it can make a difference.

But Mattiacci’s task is long term. Ferrari has lost the winning habit and he needs to recreate the culture that existed there under Jean Todt.

Current Ferrari technical director James Allison (below left) said at the weekend that Ferrari has no shortage of talented people, but the environment needs to be right for them to take risks. He blames a culture of fear of failure and unrealistic deadlines for Ferrari’s failure to innovate in recent years,

“There is a wealth of talent at Ferrari, the experience and quality of the people on the technical side is a match for any team. It is a question of giving them the encouragement to actually go off and do more unusual things and then have the time to look at them and know that if they fail it’s OK because there’s still time to put a back-up plan in place and for that to work,” he said.

“Creativity and originality will only come if you set out to allow the engineers in your organisation the space and the time to do that.

“If you force them to operate with their back against the wall, up against deadlines that are very tight, then there is no time for them to think about how they might approach something differently.”

In Monaco the talk was once again of Ferrari’s all out attempt to hire Adrian Newey away from Red Bull. Again, this is not going to happen overnight.

“I remain committed to Red Bull for the foreseeable future,” Newey said in Monaco.

But the foreseeable future is only the next year or two. Beyond that, anything is possible if the right circumstances are put in place.

Newey has been with Red Bull for seven years and historically that is about the length of time he was with Williams and McLaren before moving on to seek fresh challenges.

Newey is well aware of Ferrari, what it stands for and the prestige of the brand. He owns, drives and races Ferraris. He has no ideological barrier to working for Ferrari in Italy, merely to its reputation for being a turbulent environment.

He has said that previous attempts to hire him – of which there were many – came at the wrong time in his family life.

Now divorced with children who have mostly grown up, 55 year old Newey is at a different moment in his life. He has a new partner, Amanda Smerczak (above). His son is a keen kart racer and Italy is the hotbed of karting.

Anecdotally, one has the impression that Newey is indeed looking around at the moment, considering what to do next and he has bought himself some thinking time with his Monaco statement.

Ferrari is believed to be offering Newey a spectacular package which would give him, in addition to a massive salary comparable with many F1 drivers, the opportunity to be across Le Mans project, maybe even have a hand in designing a road going super car, but above all to make Ferrari the fastest F1 car out there.

All of this will be very tempting but what Newey needs is certainty that he and his department would be protected; from politics, from internal pressures and interference from FIAT and other outside forces and would be allowed to get on with their work.

He would also need a free rein to know that all the resources he needs are at his disposal, no questions asked. Mattiacci has been given a freedom previous Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali never had – to be able to sign things off quickly himself, without needing lengthy approvals. He has things set up more like the Todt regime in that sense. The team management can react more quickly and be more dynamic.

Newey works best in a protected environment and it is the thing he will be most concerned about at Ferrari, given its culture and politics. Todt managed to ring fence the team and was the strong man holding back the inside and outside forces to allow the team and its engineering innovators to thrive.

Mattiacci must reproduce that, and convince Newey very soon that he can do so, or the project will have little chance of succeeding.

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i think ferrari may be going for newey and horner.


If they were , and I say were , to get Horner and Newey then I will bet Dietrich Mateschitz sells RBR within 12mths of them going.

Forget Seb how about Bianchi and Ricciardo at Ferrari

2 young guns having a crack

Hell why not roll out Flavio as their Manager

that will get the paddock jumping again


You hit a Bulls Eye,Bianchi is Ferrari Academy

driver to some extent Malrussia engine deal also included Bianchi as a part of, now as for Ricciardo a Italian through and true and a real deal to boot,and bear in mind there is no Italian driver in F1.

As for Flavio?,odds on to replace Bernie failing that he is Ferrari bound for their La Mans project.


Dan is true blue dinky di Aussie. With an Italian name 😉


Bernie once stated he will quit working when they carry him out of the paddock on a stretcher. I believe him.

H.Guderian (ALO fan)

What about *buying* RBR???


H.Guderian (ALO fan)

P.S.: Marko not included, of course.


Indeed. 4 of the 8,345,213 drivers that Marko considered but mostly binned acrimoniously, have worked out 🙂

I'm being facetious of course but kind of how hard is it, when you have the luxury of a whole team + seats in the 'new' teams to trial your young drivers and play survival of the fittest?

I would have a good go. Let's start with each of the junior formulae and... pick the winners? Sounds basic but would probably work.


Why not? He knows how to discover fresh talent. At least 4 of the 22 drivers on the grid have been discovered by the Doctor. Nobody else in the paddock comes even close.

Steven Bremer

Add Seb to the mix as well. I can't see him staying without those two.


I agree. Vettel and Newey could go together. (I disagree slightly on the Horner part - I personally agree with the future that sees him at the FIA) As for Vettel and Newey, it's no secret that the successive RB# iterations Newey has pinned specifically for Vettel. And Vettel's feedback has directly influenced Newey's concepts. So they obviously greatly influence each other.

Not really about this Newey article, but I've always thought since the moment I saw it happen that on the podium at Monza a few years ago, Fernando said something to Seb to the effect of 'See what being a Ferrari driver is like? Look at THIS.', referring to the sea of Tifosi and the pomp that overwhelm that podium ceremony. I think that was the moment that Vettel decided Ferrari would be his next stop.

Going back to the scope of this piece, I think Newey and Vettel have developed such a strong working relationship that either one could tip the other towards Maranello. And if this deal The Scuderia is offering Newey is true - including the Le Mans project and the supercar, I heard close to 20 million per year in salary - I can see him at Ferrari for 2016. (I think Seb's current contract is through 2015. I could be wrong.) If 2016 does happen, another hard year would be a bitter pill for the Faithful to swallow, but 2014 has proven one thing for sure: 'good things do come...' Mercedes. Domination.


And then we have drinks company that make sports cars.


I think Newey is going to McLaren with Alonso and Honda and good luck to them there.

I don't think Newey is essential. Allison is brilliant and will have his input soon coming through.

Ferrari: You can't help thinking of the mafia, and how that is run!

But Ferrari are also like a lumbering professional army, with ranks and beaurocracy. If you serve x years in x department you get promoted. You have to do something really taboo to get sacked.

In spite of this, they have brilliant people and they have risen to great heights, but not the pinnacles they could reach.


So tell me then what taboo did Raikkonen?


Sorry Crusty , Newey is today , and is on top of his game

Sadly Allison is already walking to the march of the Red flag

What it needs is to start from scratch with an open mandate , and sadly I feel Allison whilst brilliant , does not have that clout with the upper echelon

Newey if he goes will have a raft of musts , and one of those will be a from a super strong CEO to wheel washer criteria


What's the bet that if Newey retires and the situation at Ferrari still frustrates Allison too much, he'll be heading at Red Bull to replace Newey? Perhaps, Allison is not as good as Newey yet, but the Lotus last year was magnificent!


As for the Drivers Ferrari have, I feel they are two worthy guys, as for the Car their both are driving it is Not a worthy car, Ferrari must find that pace that is needed to challenge Mercedes, this is Ferrari were talking about here,, come on guys what are you up to?? It's Canada next when are you going to give us something to cheer about??

H.Guderian (ALO fan)

The main problem here is a frozen engine development.

This is for sure the most stupid thing I've EVER seen.

If a bunch of (clever) guys come up with an engine that is two seconds faster than the others, that's it. GAME OVER after only four or five races. No one will be able to catch them and everyone knows it AFTER FOUR RACES!!!!

A frozen engine development is great BUT FOR THE CLEVER GUYS. FIA must allow all others to keep engine development. If another team close the gap in two or three months, froze them too.

This stupid rule will kill F1.


I couldn't agree more. Let the rules specify two displacements (one with turbo one without) run them on organizer supplied standard fuel, limit KERS to two uses per lap (but otherwise no KERS limits), and then let the teams innovate. Any number of cylinders, any size and type of KERS, any configuration (boxer, in-line, V, etc.)


I agree, while not entirely frozen this rule is daft. Teams will spend money anyway and is the fans who suffer cos we are stuck with one engine manufacturer dominating. Why not allow one engine upgrade per year at any time? That way slow teams can catch up early in the season and fast teams can save their change and use it later on to bump things up.


You wouldn't say it's stupid if it was Ferrari the one with the advantage, if alonso was winning

H.Guderian (ALO fan)

The day ALO has an engine with two seconds advantage is the day I stop watching F1.


Don't do it Mr Newey! Stay in the English motorsport valley!

Actually Adrian, if you are reading this, it's your life, your career and your choice..........but there's a big, big difference between the green and pleasant land of Southern England and it's motorsport valley, with it's work ethics of being pragmatic, sensible, down to earth and efficient and rather chaotic and very political Northern Italian motorsport industry and it's very different approach to life and sport.....

That's not a slur against Ferrari, but I think it's fair to say the way the Inglese teams go about things and the way Ferrari go about things is very different, and, yes, a lot of it is cultural. Always has been. Like I said the English teams believe in pragmatism over idealism, and considering Mr Newey is a hands on sort of bloke I can't imagine him working well in the political back stabbing hot house that is Ferrari F1.

Ah, but Ross and Rob Smedley worked well enough at Ferrari you say? True enough, but I think both Ross and Rob are big tough no nonsense Northerners who have that forceful character about them that probably made the Italians slightly fearful if they stepped out of line. I'm not implying Adrian is some 7 stone weakling or anything, but I don't think he has the same forceful personality as Ross or Rob, but in the British F1 industry you don't need that.

Still, it's Mr Newey's career, but I guess Red Bull will counter any Ferrari offer financially speaking, after all, they can afford to.

Don't forget, a lot of good people have gone to Maranello and fallen out with Ferrari over the years.............Surtees, Amon, Ickx Lauda, Arnoux, John Barnard, Professor Prost, Our Nige

and even Rubens to a certain extent all left under a cloud. Either all those aforementioned people mentioned are a bunch of idiots, or Ferrari is a political, chaotic hot-house that grinds people down to the point of distraction. Take your pick..........


Newey is a lot tougher than he looks. He is the only member of team RBR who stared down Vettel after multi-21 and basically scolded him. Interestingly it was Vettel who looked down like a chastised schoolboy when Adrian said, 'that's not what happened was it Sebastian?'

Newey is described as granite by Brawn. I think you might be surprised. I think his bald head and gnomic smile make people think he's a kindly old soul but at 55 he's a fair bit younger than he comes across - and I think he keeps the steel better hidden. Read about Neweys fairly rebellious youth and you get a different image of a quietly very hard individual.


Aura F1, wouldn't deny Mr Newey is tough enough to survive and flourish in the British F1 industry.

But the Italian F1 industry? Even big strong blokes like John Surtees, Our Nige and John Barnard have come a cropper at Maranello.......Ferrari have a bad habit of grinding the Inglese down to distraction......

As I've said working in the English motorsport/F1 valley and working at a certain team in Northern Italy are worlds apart..........

Come to think of it, even Stefano earlier this year couldn't bear the almighty burden on his shoulders..........and he's Italian! Ferrari will put you out to pasture however tough and mentally agile you think you are.......


Newey isn't a TP or a driver though. The Italian Scuderia does have something of a deference to the lone genius. Rory Byrne was allowed to get on with it as he had the strong barrier of Todt and Brawn against the outside world.

If Newey went there he'd have to have the team with him, his bodyguard phalanx - and he'd go on with his work without even involving himself in public with the politics.

He's not just tough, he's smart - and I don't mean just an aero genius! He knows when to keep out of it - look at Red Bull, he's up front when he is praised or they're winning, he's less in the picture as soon as there's trouble - leaving it to Mr Horner to take the tough questions. Lest we forget it was actually Newey who ordered Webber's front wing removed and given to Vettel, but it was Horner who had to do the public answers to questions of favoritism...

I understand the Italian pressure is different but I think people forget Newey is not some bewildered boffin in his toolshed creating genius contraptions - he's very well versed in politics and knows how to survive a knife-fight in the boardroom.

I think the Italians might actually have found their equal in byzantine minds...


@ gaz , Ferrari in Italia is a religion ! Italian folk do not support any other team in f1 .... It has so much power and wealth it does what it decides when it needs to , they have more than enough people employed to go forward in creating a winning car , the politics internally at Ferrari are being relaxed as we speak .


Perhaps being the national team of Italy is a psychological burden for the personnel who work there?

Is working for Ferrari so stressful and draining the team workers crumble under the pressure???

I'm not an expert on matters of the cerebral nature, but being a figurehead for a nation for nigh on 60 odd years must be a very cross to bear.


to want and get be an employee of Ferrari is .... the best job . There is massive pressure and they say the boss is as or more poweful than the Pope in the Vatican ... Ferrari will bounce back with the correct management , they have had good fortune with Shumi and staff , Alonso is a top driver and sadly has not got the right technical Guru`s Shumi had but things will happen . The pressure is on Ferrari and with the Agnelli family behind them with people they know in high places ... its just like the Godfather movies all over again.

Marc Saunders

And then The Padrino comes and says "let it look like an accident"


I agree, the missing puzzle at Ferrari is leadership.

Yes, the team has talented personnel and just need a strong Captain to give them freedom or steer them in the right direction.

The same thing applies to Mclaren and Renault (Lotus) when both lost Ron Dennis and Flavio.

Regards Newey pitching his tent at Ferrari, I really doubt if it will happen considering Newey's track record of working with private teams.

Also, the fact Newey owns shares in Red Bull, this will make the split unwelcome besides he said Red Bull was his baby as he saw it grow from the ground up.

Further more with Vettel pledging his future to Red Bull, this would give Newey another reason to stay.

Besides all that, I was under the impression Newey is thinking of turning his back on the circus in favour of designing boats.

And if Red Bull's winning run has come to an end (i.e. The Newey 7 year itch) then his withdrawal from the sport might happen sooner rather than later.


If Ferrari give up on development at Montreal, I believe this would be the earliest they have ever done so.

For sure, if the Canada upgrades aren't too good, Ferrari may not win a race this season.


It's just the wrong time for Newey to switch teams.

He can't be happy with Red Bull's power unit issues, but he also doesn't know yet whether Ferrari's power unit will be competitive for next season (it clearly isn't this year). Unless the future power units give him a level playing field, and hence a chance of building a championship winning car, Newey will just keep his powder dry. If the situation continues into the next season, I think he's more likely to leave F1 than to switch teams.

H.Guderian (ALO fan)

If I were Mattiacci, I'd start developing the engine as hard as I can and use it in the remaining races - I mean NOW (in the number two driver's car, of course). Ok, the number two driver will loose all his points (*IF* he is able to get any) but, on the other hand, they will have a rocket for 2015.

Make sense???


Ferrari would implode. Did you see Raikkonen's whining in Spain? It would be much worse in your scenario. And fans would threaten the lives of Ferrari workers and their families - like they used to do in the past with Lotus.

H.Guderian (ALO fan)

Yes. Seems the Iceman is melting.


Agree , but the dog hates the corners

poor entry and poor exit are killers of horsepower

Sort the car it's all about power to the ground without frying the rubber

Rubber and power win races agreed but in the right order


@ H.Guderian (ALO fan)

Yes that makes sense, only problem is I thought engine development in the true sense wasn't possible during the season because to the engine freeze.


Ferrari have already gone over 12 months between wins, which in the new millennium is their longest ever wait! Having said that, although they technically "won" the 2005 US GP, that so called victory was rather hollow..........

Agree on a lack of leadership. I remember last year, I think it was in Hangary, Gary Anderson on the BBC was commenting on the lack of structural leadership at the Scuderia - Gary pointed out the lack of firm decision making during qualifying hinted a possible Ferrari malaise. As usual, Gary was right, and here we are in mid 2014 and Ferrari are completely stumped for ideas in this new formula.

Yes, I can't see Mr Newey packing his bags for Maranello. The Italian media can be very cruel, virulent and downright nasty to what they perceive a scapegoat for a lack of success at Maranello. Why would Adrian want all that potential flak on his balding head????????

Ferrari's main issue, in a nutshell, is that those pesky Inglese kit-car teams invested heavily in clever CFD, simulation software and mathematical analysis, and my goodness, isn't it paying dividends now!

I remember James May I think making a good analogy about comparing Ferrari to British sports cars which is relevant to F1: Ferrari are like an Italian waiter, you don't get better service or food, but with the all arms flailing and shouting, it is somehow more entertaining...........


Ferrari aren't doing so bad compared to the "English" teams, if you consider Merc and RB are Austro-German (and no I don't care where they're based - all teams are multi-national to a less or greater extent).


@ Gaz Boy

Lol... On his balding head indeed.

Come to think of it, perhaps this is the reason why Newey is so clever,


If you're going to San Francisco put some flowers in your hair.

And if you're going to Maranello wear a bullet proof vest.....



Can Newey and Allison coexist on the same team?

Do you think that possible move could intimidate Allison?



I think it's more about Newey and Pat Fry being together on the same level.

I recall in the past when Newey learnt Pat Fry joined Ferrari as Tech Director, Newey was a little surprised. Newey obviously knows Fry well as Fry was under Newey at McLaren.

Newey probably thought Fry wasn't up to the level required to work as Tech Director yet.


Brilliant engineers love what they do. What they do is create innovative solutions that ultimately leads to a winning car/team.

Unlike the case of a driver where there is only one drivers world champions spot available. In the engineering world, it is about creation of the ultimate car, and more clever heads there is, the better.

So there is no conflict of interest, and if Alison and Newey works together, I think they will be super-unbeatable.


From speaking to engineers who know them both…Yes

Andrew Woodruff

Yes being the answer to which question? Yes, they could coexist? Or yes, Allison would be uncomfortable with Newey around?


Yes they could co-exist


The yes answer was to the first question or the second one ?


James, could it be Mattiacci was on the same flight back from monaco?

I found this in the airport lounge in Heathrow. It looks authentic ....


Scuderia Ferrari

Via Trento Trieste

Secret Report

Dear El Presidente

You wanted me to think outside of the box:-

Primo: La Macchina: Forget Newey.

Recommend: Allison to be Solo Tech Supremo.

Recommend: Allison to select New Tech team personnel. Bdgt $50 bn.

Recommend: Old Tech personnel continue to produce Ferrari engine & chassis, but only for golf buggies/ milk floats/ supermarket trollies.


Secondo: Piloti Team Drivers:

Best Ever All Rounder Alonso will work well even with bad tools, but always finish second to a specialist whose tools do not fail.

NB: 5 years Alonso = 0 repeat ZERO success. WHY?

Because with All Rounders success depends on rivals failing.

Specialists Vettel/Raikkonen/Hamilton/ require extreme precision tools to succeed. Give them the tools: they succeed. Always.

Recommend: Ditch Alonso. He is planning to ditch us anyway.

Recommend: Keep Specialist Raikkonen.

Recommend: Get Specialist Vettel from RBR. At any price. Now.


Summary: G. R. O. A. N. Get-Rid-Of-Alonso-Now.

Summary: J. A. M. James-Allison-Is-Your-Man.

Summary: R. A. V. E. S. Raikkonen-And-Vettel-Equals-Success.

Cordiali Saluti, Marco


H.Guderian (ALO fan)

My recommend TO YOU: Y.D.H.A.I.O.W.Y.A.T.A

Meaning: You Don't Have Any Idea Of What You Are Talking About!!!!

If you could give "precision tools" to Alo, he would win TEN WDC's in a row (no need for overated drivers).

P.S.: You are a Kimi fan, huh??? 😎


Surely he cant turn this down James. The opportunity to get the keys of Maranello, to design your own Ferrari be it F1, road cars or other racing series, for a racer like him is surely too big to turn down.


For someone of Newey's caliber, he doesn't need huge brand names like Ferrari to make a name for himself. His name alone is attractive to many around the world. Plus he already has a great fantasy car in the name of X2010 created, plus raced various Ferrari cars in the past.


I think we should have a new contender for Driver of the Day simply because of this. Not sure if the links can be pasted here but:

Fernando Alonso snubs Justin Bieber


I'd guess it would have to be an almighty offer to bring AN over from RBR.

He's got such a free rein now, and no doubt with RB involvement in Americas Cup boats, that would give AN some opportunity to do something different if he's bored. And if his son is any good at driving carts, it would be easy to shepard him into RBR driver program when Dad builds the cars! Having said that, it would be interesting to see if he could turn Ferrari around. I doubt it, due to the culture there & the politics JA mentions.

My two cents worth anyway.


I think Ferrari will get newey sooner or later. I see him in a red shirt come 2016.


James, thank you for changing the topic. And thank you for explaining the mechanism and dynamics related to what it takes to have Newey working for Ferrari and also what needs to change internally.

From 1 to 10, how do you rate probability that he will end up in a Ferrari?


Impossible to say until we see whether Mattiacci can get hold of the team and I don't know him at all yet


I envisage Ferrari must also employ Newey to retain Alonso. He won't keep sticking around otherwise.


Im surprised the Vettel to Ferrari rumours have died down.


Looking at their current results its not that surprising, seems like it would be a step back for both Seb and the Scuderia...


Why would anyone want Vettel now?


I don't think Newey would go to Ferrari as he will not be in control & there are too many Captains in the Ferrari set up who prefer to keep their jobs with air tight contracts. So for him to be in control he would need Monty et al to sit in the quiet chairs & not be on show like concerned parents in a public school tweeking the ears of their drivers.

They need to cull a huge amount of deadwood before tgey can even consider Newey who will bring alot of Red Bull staff with him on a slow trickle.

Newey will be designing the next Red Bull backet speed Yacht for the Americas Cup & designing F1 cars for Red Bull. He knows he has full control at Red Bull.

Why rock the boat besides the new f1 college at Silverstone is also close to his guest lecturing will also be in his schedule.


Great to see that new college up and running. To be honest, I'm surprised it took so long to instigate a facility in motor sport valley - but better late than never.

Perhaps Ferrari could send some sponsored Milanese, Roman and Neapolitan students to the UTC Silverstone...........pick up some advice from those Inglese eh? If you can't beat them, learn from them! Actually, that's a point - is the engineering and aerodynamic university/college facilities and degrees better or worse in Italy compared to dear old Blighty? The fact that most teams are based in the UK leads me to believe the Italian engineering education sector may not be as good as Britain and the commonwealth.

I stand to be corrected....


Probably not. Us "yanks" have MIT, Purdue, Cal-Tech and a whole bunch of other great engineering schools but seem incapable of churning out anything more in racecraft than a pushrod V-8 that reluctantly turns left.

I think it's the tea.


Backet = backed 😉

&" on" the quiet chairs :-[


James, excellent insight in the scope of offer made to Newey. Also great picture of Allison at Mattiaci side. Looks like Mattiaci is appreciating the valuable inputs.

A few comments/questions:

1) If you, James.. as external, know about these changes (or changed environment) since Mattiaci´s entrance, then how come Fernando Alonso publicly came out and said he saw no changes. We know that Fernando is highly intelligent and must have known.

2) you mentioned the internal politics, internal forces, Todt building a ring inside the team to protect from these. I do remember it was said how Todt protected the racing team from everything else Ferrari. Could you shed light on these forces?

Is the external force Luca DM? I thought Domenicali only reported to Il Presidente.. and since Luca is a former team manager and lives to see Ferrari winning, then how could he (Luca) as external force work against the racing team? How complicated was the decision-making inside the Scuderia? How many signatures did Domenicali need to execute actions? What type of decisions are we talking about here? Spending items? Hiring staff? Did Domenicali have to push choices of his technical staff through a political mine-field of decision making? And if Luca was not the only one to support/object, who else had a say? FIAT boss Sergio Marchionne? FIAT/Ferrari group? What was the impact of this burocratic/politically charged decision making in recent year? The windtunnel failure for example?


About Mattiaci´s appointment to the racing team, something inside me tells me it was done by Luca DM to achieve two things: 1) to piss off Fernando for good and push him away (so that Ferrari can sign Vettel)... the signing of Kimi (last Ferrari WDC was the first step to achieve that)..., and 2) to see Mattiaci fail in public, since he was becoming a popular rising star within the the Ferrari family. Both of the above would help to reinforce / save Luca´s position within Ferrari/FIAT group.

Bring back V12's !!!

Why on earth would they "want" to p**s off Fernando? Hes the most valuable asset Ferrari have at the moment! I know there has been some controversial decisions in the paddock but just look at the points total between him and Raikkonen, unbelievable!!


Kimi needs to settle back in in Ferrari. Give him some time. Same with Fred. Schumi needed 5 years for the first Ferrari title. Don't you forget this, please, people.

H.Guderian (ALO fan)

I think it's quite the opposite.

The board of Fiat sent Mattiacci there as a mid term replacement for LdM.

LdM days at Ferrari are numbered.

AND they are free to fire Alonso whenever they want. No need to "piss Fernando off".


If LDM picked Mattiacci as the new TP why would he want him to fail? Matticci's failure would be LDM's failure


Possibly because he was rising too fast and becoming too well known internationally, ie a threat to LdMs position in the next 2 or 3 years or even much sooner.

By moving Mattiaci sideways (it was certainly not a promotion) it places him in a position where LdM will be a genius if Matti succeeds, his (LdM's) status increased. But if Matti fails to produce a miracle within 2 years he will be gone, relegated to South America. LdM will remain. (though I think he may go anyway to be a future prime minister of Italy, which he will find a sad disappointment)



If Mattiaci would fail big time in public, it will damage LdiM too who personally took him at the hand into the world of F1.

So I don't think Mattiaci will fail but only time will tell.


I am no Ferrari fan at all, couldn't careless if they never won ever again, but don't suppose that will happen as everything in life has a cycle and their time will come again some time soon.

But on the Newey issue, what a place to end his career, to have gone through several teams and made them winners, then to go to Ferrari now that they are not a winning team, just like when suchmacher and all the other pieces to that puzzle came together, for a new jigsaw to be complete and Newey at the helm, I would love to see that happen for the man.

He is assured of his place in the history of F1, but what a cherry on top of his cake to turn them into winners and finally give Alonso a car that is talent deserves…..

Come on Ferrari throw the kitchen/bath and downstairs toilet sink at it and get him onboard ASAP……

DO IT NOW……..!!!

(** As a Jordan and Mclaren Fan)


"As a Jordan fan" - do you mean you like Eddie's shirts!!!!

Seriously, I suspect you mean Force India, they are a very streetwise, sassy nimble little team (sort of the Bart Simpson of F1 teams!) and with the Hulk on their payroll they arguably one of the best, pound for pound, drivers in F1.

That overtake on MiniMag at Portier.........


Dear Gaz Boy,

I notice that you write a lot of posts on here, so am very surprised by your comment.

As a "Jordan Fan", I do mean the team Jordan, not the person as he is now, A TV commentor or the lady with large airbags, but the team! That is why I wrote "As a Jordan AND Mclaren Fan", i.e. I was a Jordan fan first and when he sold the company I became a Mclaren fan, there was no mention what so ever about "Force India", "Midlands" or "Spiker".

My reason to add that at the end was to show the fact that I don't and never will like Ferrari, don't like the team, don't like what they stand for etc etc, but I would love to see Newey at Ferrari as I think it would be good for the sport and for Adrian himself.

So don't suspect to know something else that was not written and don't add words or meaning that are not there.


Right on M Wishart. Exactly my thoughts...


Cheers for clarifying that, although your last paragraph leaves me somewhat confused with a lot of double negatives.

Will agree though, Jordan F1 was a breath of fresh air, much missed.


How much money is the new boss at Ferrari on? His answer after a few weeks in the job, hire Newy! He must be worth every penny!


I find Ferrari's pursuit of Newey interesting. It's been clear that recently Newey has been the premier choice to lead a technical team in F1... until 2014. The formula has changed. The cars are less aero dependent than the EBD era. Couple this with the mismatch between Newey's preferred work environment and Ferrari's culture discussed in the article, is he the right choice for them? I'm not convinced.


well that is only until all the engine manufacturers get to the same level in a year or two. Then it will revert to all aero again.


Even now, who keeps coming in right behind the Mercs in quali, and landing in that third spot on the podium? Ricciardo in his woefully-powered Red Bull. There are three other Mercedes powered teams, yet none of them are close to being consistent podium challengers let alone challenging for race wins.

The cars might have lost some downforce with the exhaust and rear wing rule changes, but all it does is move the bar for everyone. The challenge is still to get the most out of the current regs. The best engine certainly helps, but you still need the traction to put that power down, the grip and stability under braking, and engine power does nothing for your mid-corner speed. Downforce might be down from last year, but to say F1's any less aero dependent is I think a bit misguided. And as you (Pritish) said, once the engines are all evened out again, what's left? It's back to the chassis and aero.


I reckon you could see one of the Force India cars on the podium in Montreal


Might it would help if Ferrari opened a small factory for Mr Newey in the UK. They can then be in the perfect position to poach other UK based engineers (pretty much from most of the top teams).

Adrian can design in the UK and send the designs over to Maranello for testing. Occasionally he can fly over. Ppl like Pat Fry and James Allison would relish the opportunity of working back home in the UK - away form the polemics of Marenello.

Flavio mentioned this Monaco.

James, do you think this is feasible?


No, that would be a disastrous idea. Ferrari proved that in early 1990s with John Barnard


re ferrari factory in the uk


The furniture would be very aerodynamic 🙂


"James Allison...blames a culture of fear of failure and unrealistic deadlines for Ferrari’s failure to innovate in recent years"

Of course this begs the question: surely someone is responsible for creating this "culture of fear"? Domenicali? Now that he is gone it would be convenient to throw him under the bus, except he was not fired, he resigned. Did he fall on his sword or simply give up knowing he could never turn things around as long as this culture of fear existed? If the case is the latter then it is natural to look above his station for answers.

And yet whenever a finger is pointed toward DiMontzemolo regarding Ferrari's woes, often times someone will pipe up and state that he is not responsible for the day to day running of the Scuderia. But over the past five years or so, whenever Ferrari made a public statement to either rally the troops or bring them in line it was usually not Domenicali but DiMontzemolo who made it (his famous "ear tweaking" of Alonso comes to mind). If it really is DiMontzemolo's fault then good luck to Ferrari trying to pry his fingers off the wheel.

It's a shame really, because right now Ferrari are wasting the talents of two of the best drivers in a generation and depriving F1 fans from getting to see them show their true merit.


The culture of any organisation in any industry is always, always driven by the top desk. Funny thing is, whenever on organisation claims to want to change its culture, they nearly always slash, hack and burn the underlings and then spend years and small fortunes wondering why nothing has changed.


Montezemolo was the one who created the "dream team" of the 90s. He brought Todt,Schumi,Brawn,Byrne and Martinelli together.

Peter Freeman

And got rid of them...


They became to powerful ... Luca's job was under threat.


Fair enough. But the 90's were a long time ago. Most people get less flexible mentally and more averse to risk as they pass middle age, especially if much success came fairly easily to them at a relatively young age.


Ferrari need a Ross Brawn more than an Adrien Newey. I think if Ross Brawn comes back as team boss he can bring Bob Bell and Aldo Costa back to Ferrari as well. Also that will attract Vettel to partner Raikonnen at Ferrari and those two get along well and will drive the team forward without the Alonso tantrums and politics. I think the likes of Newey are better of at Red Bull or Mclaren Honda, Ferrari need a leader like Brawn to pull the team together.


I agree about Brawn however Costa would be foolish to go back to Ferrari after they fired him last time around and he seems happy at Mercedes as well.


Statistics only tell half the story. No one can deny Ross Brawn his place in F1 and his role in Ferrari resurgence, but that is only a part of the story. Those were the days of unlimited testing, relentless testing on track, having the best driver in field, pretty much an unlimited budget but the two most important factors in my opinion for that success were Rory Byrne and the bespoke Bridgestone tyres. Without those two, especially the tyres there would be limited or no success.

So whilst Ferrari do indeed need Ros Brawn badly, he is not a magician we all seem to think he is and someone who will fix all of Ferrari's problems.

As for getting Vettel, maybe it will happen one day but right now Ferrari don't need him. There isn't a driver in the field who could have done a better job than Alonso has the last few years he has been at Ferrari, maybe some might have done an equal job ( I doubt very much) but it's naive to think anyone would have done better. Right now, he is their biggest asset and they will be desperate to hang onto him anyway they can.


It well be necessary to trade Alonso for Vettel in the future as Alonso will fade while ageing and Vettel will only get better.


I think Alonso's whining is destroying team unity and they need a change of environment. Alonso can go back to Mclaren and try his luck with the Honda engine, whereas Vettel is destined to drive for the prancing horse, and with 4 world titles behind him, he could pull a Michael and be the first driver to win a world title for Ferrari since Raikonnen. Ferrari need someone to bring the team together, and Alonso is clearly not the driver who inspires unity, we saw that with Renault in the last stages of 2006 when he accused his team of trying to make him lose the title, then at Mclaren in 2007. How he continues to get away unscathed from the crashgate scandal in 2008 is beyond me. And since coming to Ferrari, he has driven well but his politics and lack of team work has been clear to see, and one of the main reasons why I think the team could do well without him.


@ Karima: Did you not hear about how many tantrums Senna used to throw? Champions are born selfish, and Alonso is no different. But I agree in your assessment - the partnership needs to end for Alonso and Ferrari, to the benefit of both parties. I would love to see Vettel take Alonso's place at Ferrari and partner Raikonnen for a few years before Kimi calls it quits. Alonso could still get the Red Bull seat once Vettel moves to Ferrari, unless Marko and co decide to promote another protege, in which case its back to Uncle Ron at Mclaren for Alonso.


wow. everyone is entitled to an opinion and all that, but …. just wow. And since when did Vettel do anything for team unity!?!?


This story is just to get people to stop talking about Ross Brawn. Ferrari may have made an enquiry, but I don't think it was a realistic prospect from the get-go. I'm almost certain Ross will show up somewhere on the grid in 2015, although I'd love to see him turn from outlaw to sheriff and work for the FIA so the bigger spenders are less able to do 'clever' things the current crop of FIA inspectors are unable/not clever enough to find.

Peter Freeman

In other words he may go to Ferrari if Flat Foot (LDM) keeps himself out of the way. As it's been since JT, RB and the winning gang left, Flat Foot has been the main runner and the Horse inevitably became a donkey.

H.Guderian (ALO fan)


H.Guderian (ALO fan)


One out.

Two (LdM/Fry) to go.


James, really interesting to hear how Ferrari is managing there employes. I am curious why they are that way.


"a culture of fear of failure and unrealistic deadlines"

Sounds like when I worked for a company of Italian origin.


This post shows the difference between mere reporting and true journalism. Very interesting reading, thanks James.


If he is given the leeway he requires, we could see Newey going for one more F1 challenge.

Ferrari as they stand now are surely a team that need all that his mentioned in the article. Mattiacci seems to understand that and hopefully for Ferrari and their fans, he also has what it takes to make it happen as he seems to have the free reins to do it. Won't happen overnight to be sure.

If Newey does get there in a couple of years, you would think that by then Ferrari would have made good on their PU and be on part against all.

With Vettel in his luggage?

Even if right now Vettel is not on the good side of most Tifosis, a winning Ferrari driven by Seb would change all of that very quickly.

With or without the Vettel part, I would like to see that Newey move though.

I find the idea of a Ferrari road car design by Newey very exciting. Not that I could afford such car. Marc


I have been a lifelong Ferrari fan. All they do since 2009 is talk, talk and then talk some more. I do hope that Marco can organise them better and get this sorted out! THis season is gone...concentrate on next year and stop the embarrasment


I think that Ferrari is probably on Newey's "bucket list" - it poses a unique challenge for him and if he can be insulated from the pressures of Ferrari and be allowed time to flourish, I think he will do very well.

That being said, James Allison has hit the button on the head. Ferrari need to allow their designers time to explore unconventional options. If everything produced is right up against the deadline, it's rarely innovative as there simply isn't time to explore all the options.


James I thought Ferrari is going to deliver a major engine update to Canada and the new chassis would be introduced in Austria.

Could you confirm this?

Carlos Marques

This would be the same as IBM hiring Steve Jobs because of his creative ideas, and then ask him to wear a tie every day. Or McDonalds hiring chef Ramsey because he may be able to help them improve the quality of their burgers and fries...

Some things just don't go together. Newey and Ferrari is one of them. It will end in tears...


I know alonso has been busy at HQ today talking to his chief engineers about progress and quote " we will not give up" . Alonso knows Ferrari are going to change for the better and is not going to change teams as he has more patience than others . If he does not win another championship with Ferrari after waiting then that's his choice ... I have a gut feeling Kimi will go to mclaren in 2015 as there are no bad feelings and possibly jules will be the second pilot of Ferrari .


Ross Brawn visited Maranello in early May. Him and his friends even had a go at the Fiorano circuit in the new LaFerrari. Ross is a part of the Ferrari family. He mentioned in a 2012 interview that he has fond memories of his time at the Scuderia. So he may someday make a comeback and be the new team principal - something Ferrari should have done back in 2008.

On the other hand, knowing how close Ross was to Schumi, and given Schumacher's comatose condition, Ross has probably realized there are better things in life than hectic schedule, F1 politics and immense pressure to prove himself everyday. So he will most likely stay retired.

Newey has already mentioned he may try his hands on designing a boat for the Americas cup after he is done with F1.



The insulation should come from LdM. But, being Italian LdM is simply being, well Italian. Coming from an Italian family, I know full well how a disagreement over the best way to pick a tomato from the vine can turn into a full on meltdown at a family gathering. The designers, engineers, mechanics all need to be left alone to do what they were contracted to do. Ferrari has the resources, engineers, drivers that can get the job done. Their failure is a result of good management.

kenneth chapman

a very interesting take on the ferrari situation. there are one or two points that maybe added to the summary.

i read, where domenicali was asked what was the first thing that he did after resigning, and he said that he made three phone calls. one to alonso, one to kimi, and one to vettel? when asked why the latter he simply said to ask vettel.

now this reference to vettel may be absolute nonsense as no other sources seem to have picked up on it. however if it is true then something is on the boil.

the other point is something that i read and i can't exactly recall the source but LDM did say, in his praise for alonso, that alonso was involved in 'other' ferrari future developments. lately i have wondered why ferrari are not seriously back into sports car racing in the LMP1 areas.

could it be that ferrari are planning an entry and they would use alonso to spearhead that enterprise? look at how porsche have moved on mark webber. this may be a way of easing alonso out and bringing vettel in.

interesting times ahead no doubt.


Opps, I meant "bad management"


James, very insightful article, as was the previous one on race strategy.

I would agree with the reader who says Newey is not what Ferrari needs. They do have Allison and a bunch of highly qualified people already. Seems to me the problem starts at the head. Namely, di Montezemolo. I'd be scared to work for that guy, in any capacity. Seems always ready to throw anybody under the bus.


Sometimes the best thing a real leader can do is get out of the way and let his team get on with it.


What Marco Mattiacci can't bring back to Ferrari that Todt had was the unfair advantage Ferrai had by the way of unlimited testing while the other teams stuck to a gentlemans agreement on testing.

Ferrari has never and will never match Mercedes.


Luca 1 year or less remaining? Before he decides that the time is finally right to go full time into politics. (or has it decided for him)

Unfortunately previous attempts by Ferrari at radical designs have not been successful. The problem then is that they are so far away, that they cannot be put back to "normal" without without major chassis redesigns.

It is very telling that the ban on testing has

caused Ferrari to fall behind other teams. This has neutralised some of their gigantic budget. It says a lot about their design methods.

Whatever the promises, and whoever makes them, there will never be a time when engineers are not under time pressure to achieve the impossible, within ridiculous deadlines, it is a fantasy. Ask any design engineer in the automotive industry, it has never happened and never will!


Ross Brawn , Adrian Newey, Vettal and Alonso. That would be a power house team.

Right up to the point it blew up.


I can't imagine anyone would want to work under Montezemolo, either directly or indirectly. That would be about as much fun as working for Montgomery Burns - they're probably brothers.

First and foremost, it can't be about the money - he must have enough of that already! Looking at RB, they just seem like a fun young company to work for compared to the Marque that comes across as if it were a stuffy bank. Can anyone imagine Ferrari bringing a swimming pool to the Monaco Grand Prix that the whole team ends up in when one of their drivers win the race?


From the little we've seen so far of MM is impressive, and he has Allison.

So Ferrari do not make to make further changes, just gell everything together for 2015


James I have a question. In your opinion, has Pat Fry done anything at all to move Ferrari forward? At all? Cos if anything I think they look worse.


I don't want to see Newey in Ferrari, it doesn't make sense, it is like having luke Skywalker signed to the dark side.

Give Allison time and he will do miracles, dodn't forget he was the one Newey wanted desperately in red bull.


Sadly for Alonso, he may not get WDC with Ferrari in foreseeable future, this year is certainly written off for all the teams but Merc, in the next year perhaps The Merc again will be the team to beat (I don't think Mclaren Honda will top the table in its 1st year).. in the next couple of years it looks like it's Merc vs RBR competition.


If Alonso could concentrate on working instead of throwing tantrums he might as well win a title with Ferrari.


If they get Newey, they will also get Vettel.

Who will be out? Alonso! Good luck for Alonso to shift Schumacher to retirement. Bad luck for Alonso not to work with Newey.


It was Alonso's choice not to work with Newey. He had an offer to work with him.

Marc Saunders

I believe Newey could go to Ferrari. It could be a big challenge to someone who loves challenges. But I don´t believe it could solve Ferrari´s problems. I thing that such a genius as Adrian needs an adequate environment to develop his skills. I also believe Ferrari could build such an environment but it will take so much time that when it is achieved, it will be too late for him. Adrian is not so young anymore.


@ Marc, I agree. Ferrari has to improve its leadership. Stefano was nice but a total disaster. Letting people like Chris Dyer and Aldo Costa go was a big mistake. He was punishing people for making mistakes, rather than backing them to do better and that is why Ferrari developed a culture of fear, which is why they became to conservative. Ross Brawn is what the team needs, a strong leader and not Adrian Newey


I believe the f1 drivers today could be more skilled to some degree which might make them more skillfully than the senna/Prost era on the other hand if senna was to come again on this era I think he would still be Better than Alonso And Vettel. Senna jut had a supernatural talent like I've never seeing in any other driver even though today in modern time


Ayrton Senna and Jim Clark would have been the best in any era. Pat Symonds said that Senna had the ability to drive as fast as he did with 90% of his brain, and the 10% was processing and storing information, whereas nearly everyone else was driving on the limit with 100% of their brains. I'm sure Senna would easily adapt to these cars. And Clark won in every type of car that he stepped in, so that shows you what kind of talent he had.


It was not Clark who was the fastest driver of his era said Brabham. Fastest was Moss followed by Rindt said Sir Jack.


Jim Clark's numbers speak for themselves, as do the many races in which he put on simply impossible performances. They, along with his unbelievable rate to adapt to new cars, as his results in the Indy 500 with basically no experience in those cars show.

Moss got beat by Fangio for a World Championship. Rindt just simply wasn't as good. Brabham got beat three years in a row by Dan Gurney- horribly underrated driver in F1 history, and I would argue the second best of that era- in the car he owned.


Senna was not skilled enough to win a title for Ferrari. And he knew it. That's why he never signed with them.

Senna needed the fastest car in the field to win a title. And even in the fastest car he was outscored by a fast team mate like Prost.


That is not true. If you see in the begging of his career he was already winning races without a fast car I believe he began with lotus and was already winning against faster cars . Needless to say the faster car didn't define him as the best skill the ability to drive the car is what makes a champion . For example today in modern times we can also see that the best driver not the faster car wins . Vettel doesn't drives a red bull which is not as fast as Ferrari and mclaren and vettel still wins


If Ferrari kicked Alonso out of the door, all the problems would just cease to exist and the self-healing process would start immediately.


Difficult. Remember it was Alonso who brought big sponsorship money, not Riakkonen.


I think it was Santander who brought Alonso as part of the deal. No Fernando, no deal, no money.




Firstly, I think Ferrari needs to have some patience with Allison. The guy is a brilliant designer and engineer who was able to put together real brainpower and strong cars consistently despite being on a team in financial trouble. They know how good he is, and I just can't see them moving him aside or giving him less responsibility. And bringing in Adrian Newey on top of him could be difficult, as they are top engineers with their own philosophies that may not be compatible.

Ferrari needs to have a little bit of patience. They already have an engineer who can transform a team in Allison. He hasn't even been given a chance to put out a car with his fingerprints at Ferrari yet, as he came on in the middle of last year when the 2014 car was already in the testing phases. He has worked with both of these drivers and understands their feedback and what they are looking for- and also understands that they know what they are talking about. Just look at the recovery Kimi has made in his performance relative to Alonso. He outqualified him in Spain and was ahead of him most of the race, and he was faster in the race in Monaco. That is a sign that these guys under Allison can fix a car when a driver is telling them what's wrong, and with the wind tunnel back up to speed, there is no reason why Allison can't deliver.

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