F1 Winter Break
Mercedes designer Aldo Costa on why his old team Ferrari is struggling
Aldo Costa
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Aug 2014   |  9:51 am GMT  |  218 comments

Aldo Costa was designer of some of the Ferraris raced by Michael Schumacher, replaced Ross Brawn as Technical Director at Ferrari and held the post until May 2011, when he was sacked. Brawn then hired him for Mercedes and he is the man behind the current design, which is dominating both the drivers and constructors’ championships.

In a blog post, leading Italian F1 journalist Leo Turrini has spoken to Costa and got some interesting revelations from the 53 year old, about Mercedes team orders and on why he thinks Ferrari is now in the doldrums.

Costa is one of twelve Italian engineers working at Mercedes, many of whom he recruited himself. He describes this as, “Professionally a happy time.”

This contrasts with the summer of 2011 when he was let go by Ferrari. On the subject of whose current predicament he says,

“I’m not happy about it. I worked for a company that is a myth. It doesn’t please me to see how it is reduced, in Formula One terms, even though they fired me and in a way that I don’t consider very elegant.

“Let me say that there are a lot of people working in Maranello, for whom I feel affection and it pains me that they are in such a complicated situation. It is not good, I left many friends there, should I be happy to see them in such trouble?”

As for pinpointing the reasons why Ferrari is struggling now, with no wins and just two podiums in the first half of the 2014 season, Costa says,

Luca Montezemolo

“Strategic mistakes were made – I’m talking here about errors of vision – very serious ones. And of course they haven’t always taken the best decisions regarding people.

“I’ll give you an example. In 2008 we in the racing department put in a request to construct a new wind tunnel. We considered it essential to remain competitive. We were told that this was not the case and that there was no need.

“In Ferrari all the decisions, on strategy and people, have always been taken by the president, Montezenolo. To be fair, he took them when Ferrari was winning everything and he also took them when Ferrari stopped winning.”

The tunnel at Maranello was converted from 50% scale to 60% scale, but it suffered from problems with calibration and Ferrari lost a lot of time as a result. They were forced to use Toyota’s tunnel in Cologne while the issues were resolved.

Ferrari is currently constructing a huge new complex in Maranello to house its race team, known as Gestione Sportiva.

Costa says that he doesn’t expect Ferrari to rise up again soon from its difficulties and expects the challenge next season to come from Red Bull, rather than from Maranello.

Fernando Alonso and Aldo Costa

Speaking of Fernando Alonso, with whom he worked at Ferrari in the Spaniard’s first two seasons there, Costa says,

“I consider Fernando a true great when he is in the car, driving. Out of the car, I was never able to understand him; to me he is an indecipherable character, an enigma.

“However he will not be coming to us at Mercedes, I do not see why Hamilton should want to leave a team like ours.”

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

And speaking of Lewis Hamilton, Costa addresses the subject of the controversial team orders in Hungary, whereby Mercedes asked Hamilton to let Rosberg past, as he was on a different strategy at the time. Costa makes it clear that the senior management doesn’t care which of the two drivers wins the world title.

“The radio message, heard from the outside, I admit, it sounded bad,” he said. “But it was logical: Nico soon had to return to the pits to change tyres, he was faster, there was reason to ask Lewis to let him through. But there were no ulterior motives and even malice, trust me.

“I can assure you that Mercedes will not make any preference, between Hamilton and Rosberg. It is not in our interests. In fact, the team has a very strict directive: as the two drivers are extremely competitive and are willing to battle each other at every race, we have an obligation to provide both of the a completely equal car in performance terms.”

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ferrari's problems are wetware not hardware.


I thought that they were filled to the rafters with wetware... certainly not an issue of the quality and quantity of wetware...

I'm guessing that Chef Monte is looking at his early naughties recipe book, taking out the old pots and pans, and using great new ingredient substitutions in his mid-teen remake of the Ferrari 2000 cake.

Thing is, it's about the ingredients (people) as well as the recipe (how they work together), and I'm surmising that the mistake being made is in trying to use an old recipe using high-quality substitute ingredients is just resulting in the whole thing going flat.

Magic only happens with the right people running the right relationships through the right processes. It's really hard to dial that in just right. Start by throwing away the early naughties recipe book...


Agreed, worsened by the fact that they are caught in a yesteryear world of "we are F1," "don't use FRIC so we can be faster than you," "daggers are wonderfully motivational gifts for our employee's" and other such clangers that show how far out of touch they are with ordinary people.


Are you saying that Joe Public has heard of any F1 team other than Ferrari? So, they have heard of Sauber, Force India, Caterham, and Williams, and would queue up to get an autograph from one of their drivers if they turned up to open their local Asda.

I think not....I suspect they only know of Mercedes as a maker of boxy grey cars for sales reps, and Lotus as a sports car maker we've not seen much from for years. Does either really have a team in F1?

Ferrari is the only reason F1 exists as it does today, and whether they win or lose, it's the only F1 team that the vast majority of car buyers will be interested in hearing about.


Aldo Costa summation of Ferrari's woes are concise & to the point.

The wind tunnel fiasco was only the tip of the Doomed Prancing Horses Iceberg.

Mismanagement & too many Captains influencing the planning of their racing cars & too little input from the engineers having to develop a car without use of a wind funnel.

No wonder there was a mass exodus out of Ferrari HQ.

Regarding Alonso who is an asset to Ferrari Aldo shows that outside a car he is a etheral aloof character...which came out in full effect at McLaren when a Young Lewis was out performing him on every level.

Re Mercedes Lewis ain't going nowhere in the foreseeable future other than remaining at Meecedes.

Well said Aldo nice to hear a guy say it as he sees it. Rather than tip toe around a subject.


The President should resign.


@ Box Box Box

Good post mate, I agree with you.

You have done a balanced summary about Alonso and fair enough


This shows nothing about McLaren Alonso and Hamilton - it's not 2007 outside if you haven't noticed


outside where? time is not like the weather.


I consider Alonso currently as a liability to Ferrari who should sack him. Look at his results, 5th season, 0 championships. The whole team has been built around him and still the results are close to zero. I would put full effort and support for Allison+Räikkönen combination and keep Alonso as far from engineers as possible.

H.Guderian (ALO fan)


Come on!!! The Iceman is clearly melting.


@ Krischar.

Look I consider Alonso one of the best no doubt, don't get me wrong. But he is not superman like a lot of journalists and people on here think. These current regs and tyres suit his style, in the way they totally don't suit Kimi's at all.

On the grosjean Kimi topic, Kimi was miles faster in the 1st part of 2013 season when they had soft tyres that he could turn in sharply without understeer, then they changed the tyres and suddenly Grosjean is on the pace because he too like Alonso drives with understeer.

Massa was nowhere near Schumacher in 2006, people that say this must not have actually watched the races. Schumacher used to qualify with WAY MORE kilos of fuel onboard and 95% of the time still comfortably beat Massa. The only 1 time Massa beat Schumacher on merit was Turkey, fair enough. Brazil didn't count cos Schumacher broke down in qualifying.


If you watched F1 before 2000 and 2000 F1 itself you'll know that Schumacher was the only driver who could win in a non Newey car against Newey cars. A lot of ex drivers say this. Even rubbish Villeneuve won in a Newey car. The fact he took the 1998-1999 titles so close in a much inferior package illustrates this. He even would have won the 1999 title if he hadn't broken his leg at Silverstone. When Ferrari brought him back early in Malayisa to help Irvine against Hakkinen, all the media said he wasn't fit. So he beats Halkinen to pole by 1 second and has to spend most of the race slowing down to hold up Neweys Mclarens in order to help Irvine win. I'm sorry but as good as Alonso is, he's not the same calibre as Schumacher in his pomp.


Totally agree - i have been saying this for years and when Ferrari start improving the design under Allison watch how close it gets between Raikkonen and Alonso and how often they will be fighting for podiums- then what are people going to be saying about what hes been doin for 5 years ?????


@ Jaakko

"I consider Alonso currently as a liability to Ferrari " - well mate you are in wonderland it seems. Hilarious at best

Allison+Raikkonen combination for what? Grosjean to outpace kimi. We all know kimi does not deserve his sole title that belongs to either of the Mclaren pilots back in 2007. Kimi's WDC was a quirk one. Thanks to massa and his heroics at brazil back in 2007

Kimi does not even know how to beat massa who himself is a average pilot. Kimi got chastened by massa and yet people here rate the man in high regards? Funny world maybe

Alonso cannot be blamed for any of the failures Endured by Ferrari. Credit to Aldo Costa as he clearly pointed out the technical Incompetence of Ferrari. Moreover the need for new wind tunnel has been averted by LDM. Costa is impressed with differences which he already finds between Mercedes and Ferrari in terms of the facilities used by the team


Alonso the chief engineer...


I can't even fathom how someone could think like this? Have you looked at the drivers points/standings this year? And please dont do the usual "oh Ferrari screw Kimi"


I sent your resume to LdM but he returned it.


outside a car he is a etheral aloof character…which came out in full effect at McLaren when a Young Lewis was out performing him on every level.....

You really must be joking !

what races were you watching?


All of them 🙂

Including the hight lights & his interviews regarding his annoyance at having a rookie showing no fear at attacking every corner & throwing his toys out the pram when McLaren would not designate him as number one driver. Which propted him to park his car in tthe pit box so Lewis couldn't get in to have fresh tyres. But I'm sure you watched that too...oh!! then he shuffled off the Renault licking his wounds.

But hey I still reckon hes a top driver.


"too many Captains influencing the planning of their racing cars"

I thought he said the opposite - it was all being driven by di Montezemelo.


Children children...!

Both Lewis and Fernando are frigging good - very different from each other - but better than everyone else on the grid. Both are flawed geniuses. Most great sportsmen (including Senna) are. Any true motor racing fan would stop arguing about this rubbish and just sit back to enjoy watching a great era for the sport.


That's exactly what I took from it, too. Micromanagement by the boss. Although Mattiacci has hinted that Ferrari is one big cluster-- of a bureaucracy.

Being an engineer myself, I rather like the blunt to the point statements from Aldo. I respect him for it.

H.Guderian (ALO Fan)

"... a Young Lewis was out performing him on every level"




@ Nickh

Why Alonso have to devlop the cars? Is he a Engineer? NO. What is his profile? He needs to drive the cars which ever has been designed by Ferrari or produced by the team.

Alonso have always out-performed his team-mates and the cars at Ferrari. Whereas his fast team-mates or quick pilots have failed to live upto to hype which has been created around them. In this case Massa / Kimi.

Pat symonds have done wonders at williams this season and credit to the lad

Bottomline is Alonso deliver the results no matter what ever car he drove or drives for,

whereas his team-mates are not even good enough to drive the car around the problems


@ H Guderian (ALO Fan)

“… a Young Lewis was out performing him on every level” - yes still the quip and drivels goes on here with some people.

How are you mate?


@ Pkara

"So I think your statement is abit O.T.T." - No mate

I am massive Alonso fan which you could easily see from my comments yet i rate lewis very highly. LEwis is very good he has the pace probably a little faster than anyone and he provides plenty of excitement to the people with racing. What i do not like to hear or see again and again is 2007. As both pilots have moved on from the altercation. Mclaren have to take the blame for poor management of their pilots. Time and time again both lewis and Alonso have confessed they do not have problem with racing each other. Mclaren have tried to play the underhand tactics in lewis favour back in 2007. Which Alonso did not like and this created a bust up in the team

Your are spot on with your assessment about the top-tier pilots in the grid. I will say it's only 2 Alonso and lewis. Again the order between the two differs from person to person. I just do not rate vettel as you have stated the reason for it in your post.

I did not exactly mean you Pkara when it comes to the [mod] stories about Alonso here. Yet i find huge number of fans who tries to despise Alonso here for no reason and some still cite 2007 as All time example.


@ Nick H

Do not kid yourself mate

How many times after the 2007 debacle hamilton have confessed Alonso is the best in the grid and he likes to race with Alonso as he provides lewis the sternest test.

Moreover yes Alonso have started the 2007 season a little tetchy, however as the season evovled ALonso out-scored Lewis in the second half of the season and that he did with no help from the Mclaren team. While lewis received the full entourage of Mclaren team. This is quite a factor in the WDC and the cradle provides pilots the extra comfort which Alonso did not receive from Mclaren. Have you forget the words "we are racing Fernando and not kimi"

You people here can keep tilling the 2007 as long as you can and want just to demean the legacy of Alonso, yet when it comes to performance and the will to suceed there is no one better available in the Grid than Alonso.

Lewis have started to feel the karma at Mercedes for what he did in Mclaren 2007 esque, just wait and watch the game have just started in Hungary and i bet Rosberg will receive more cradle from the team Mercedes than lewis in the second-half of the season.

Look just do not hit-out against Alonso, if you can negate your insular views and see What Alonso have done with Ferrari is remarkable. Even in this interview Costa clearly confessed Ferrari cars were poor. Costa Also touched upon the change over point between 2008-2009 where Ferrari have lost their way due to technical incompentence and the inability to master new regulations which were introduced in 2009. Costa did blame LDM here and not Alonso for the Ferrari Failures

i Have not seen enough of senna so i cannot reserve my judgements there, as far as schumacher i am easily convinced Alonso will wipe the floor with him. If both pilots drive for the same machinery. Even massa out-paced schumi since 2006 at odd races and scored some victories against the more illustrious team-mate. Schumi is no match for Alonso despite the stats which he have in his favour.

Finally Alonso have no weaknesses at all. I do not buy into the bull or drivels that he cannot handle a competitive team-mate. Put simply lewis and Alonso in a caterham. STill Alonso will triumph easily over lewis. I respect lewis a lot as he provides pace and excitement for the people. Yet the 2007 jibe's do not scare me. as you totally forget the politics in the team which ROn dennis created.

Even JB fared far better against lewis than people expected him to do? Does this mean JB is better than lewis?


Yes he was I don't know whether you saw that the whole season. But majority of the papers & media incuding F1 journalists.

It must be difficult for you to believe this but its a fact.


YES a thousand times YES.. Make that a Rookie not just young!


have anger look at the first race of the 2007 season and you will notice that he dropped from 4th to 5th and came back to overtook alonso before the first corner. their very first race together on for mclaren to reverse positions at the pitstops. if the stupid team orders weren't played, hamilton would've won the championship in 2007. politics stinks. let the skill roll.


Alonso can't develop a car, not at Ferrari anyway. Pat Symonds maybe is the only engineer who knows how Alonso likes to drive a car (understeer biased which is why he is performing 'miracles' in this years understeering Ferrari). Have you ever driven a performance car on a track? The fastest racing cars have pointy front ends, that is fact (ALL of schumachers winning cars). That is fastest route round a circuit. Maybe this is why he has zero championships in 5 years


Funnel = Tunnel though they probably used a funnel in the design of this year's FI4T 😀



First of all, pure speed does not necessarily make one the best driver. Otherwise Hamilton, who is faster than Alonso, would have more than 1 WDC. Hamilton has NEVER outpointed Alonso (tied in 2007) in all the years he has been in F1 and has had better cars most of those years.

Secondly, Schuey had a huge advantage over all the drivers with the Bridgestone tires or he wouldn't have won 7 WDCs or anywhere close to it. I'm not saying he wasn't a great driver, but he had advantages Alonso doesn't. And in case you have forgotten, Alonso dethroned Schuey beating him twice for the WDC.

As far as personality goes, who gives a flip - it isn't a popularity contest. I'm not quite sure what Aldo means when he says he couldn't understand Alonso. I haven't heard such comments before - sounds like Aldo has sour grapes. Maybe because they fired him instead of Alonso.


@ Krischar.

'The greatest driver in F1'

No, he has nothing on Senna and Schumacher. Both were quicker.

'Alonso is the undisputed King'

Apart from the other drivers that dispute this by repeatedly beating him to the championship.

One of Alonso's biggest weaknesses is that he can't drive a 'pointy car', illustrated in 2007 when rookie Lewis was more comfortable in that pointy Mclaren than 2 time world champion Alonso.


@ Krischar

What [mod] are you saying? Maldonado is the greatest driver on the grid, open your [mod] eyes man!!!


FI4T looks too like "Fiat " for comfort.



Some us fans actually appreciate the character of a driver outside the car. In 2013 at the Monaco GP I remember Alonso immediately going over to Perez post-race and shaking his hand...I thought it was a brilliant gesture of magnanimity and sportsmanship.

Later, in a postrace interview, Alonso has this to say: "He has the car parked in the Rascasse, that is the only point that you can say," said Alonso. "He was lucky this year in two or three incidents. In Bahrain [there had been] nearly contact with Jenson, with me I was off the track avoiding contact. Here at the chicane I avoided contact again, but Kimi was not lucky because he didn't avoid the contact. But only McLaren has to be happy with him."

I remember seeing an interview with Perez on Sky at a later race and Perez was surprised and perplexed by Alonso's comments given the reception by Alonso postrace.

No doubt Alonso is a brilliant driver. Unfortunately he's also the sort that will smile to your face while stabbing you in the back.


Ps I think Alonso in one of the photos is doing a brilliant impersonation of Captain Scarlet.



I think you got the wrong end of the stick not once have I stated thst I hate Alonso. I think he is I the top three F1 racing drivers of today .

Alonso Hamilton Vettel (though with Vettel it was due to a stella car)

Its the first time I've heard a poster thinking anyone hates Alonso.

From your posting I think most people give Lewis much more of an unwarranted hard time.

So I think your statement is abit O.T.T.


@ Pkara

We should judge Fernando on the basis of what he does in the cock-pit rather than what he does outside.

People here continue to post the hatred stories about Alonso and despise the greatest driver in the F1 at every chance citing about his character and the controversies. However what people forget is when all the 22 cars lin up on the grid. Alonso is the undisputed King and he delivers time and time again with average and difficult cars. Others pilots cannot even dream to get closer to the wizard.

Costa could have touched upon more on the results which Fernando have delivered for the team despite the issues at Ferrari.


Crazy me. Mercedes have finally gotten themselves up to the pinnacle of the sport, but I have this funny feeling they have no idea how to stay there...



Brawn is gone - it won't take long for them to crumble.

David in Sydney

It will really be up to Renault. Red Bull is simply being held back by Renault.


Red Bull is beating lots of Mercedes powered cars. I wouldn't put all the blame on Renault like Red Bull is doing.


Agreed. If Renault can make up the deficit I think the Red Bulls will fly. Not that I wish to see that.


I'm beginning to feel the same way. If the Renault PU is back in the game next year, their deficiencies with on-the-fly strategies could show them up. Plus if Rosberg takes the title this year, I think it would demotivate Hamilton, and then your other driver is one that usually comes off second best in close-racing situations.

Of course RBR would have their own issues then, if Ricciardo was still besting Seb in a title-challenging car.


Me too! I think that by the end of next season they will already be 2nd or even 3rd best team. The Three Stooges (Wolff; Lauda & Löwe)= recipe for disaster.


You're kidding, right?

H.Guderian (ALO Fan)

Sorry, but.......

Are you a Vettel fan???


...esp with the likes of Toto, who is more of a businessman than a racer, the helm.


Which is why Toto is the commercial director and Paddy Lowe is the Technical/Race director


but they have been at the top all season. how are they doing it without knowing how to do it? i feel sorry for the opposition, imagine their dominance when they finally find out how to remain at the top.


+1 .. .everyone keeps bashing Ferrari yet it is us that has the most WDC , the most WCC .. always there and there about ... mark my words .. we will be back to the top step soon !!

Forza Ferrari


Ferrari have been relying on history for to long; Forget about being Ferrari, and concentrate on building a reliable, consistent, fast car.

Let the engineers take risks and try things out, if they had done, they'd have a split turbo design similar to Mercedes, as it was someone in Management presumabyl decided it wasn' how Ferrari do things.

The Car understeers, which makes it slow, Alonso likes that, Kimi doesn't, so while Alonso appears to be faster than Kimi, it's because of a bad car, not good driving.

Turning up a circuit week after week and having only one car working on a Friday morning, is bad, compoundingft the problem by making bad stategic decisions in Qualifying and in the Race just makes it wors.

Until they fix all of those things, they won't be winning races and they won't get near a championship.

And finally, if rumours are true about Alonso wanting £28m / year for 3 years to stay, they should let him go - why would you commit to spending £84m NOT to win a Championship ?


RE Doobs: Yes, but Italian engineering and attempts at world domination - remember a declaration of war June 1940? - are rubbish. Whether its racing cars, road cars, tanks, planes - you name it, its crap. Italians are good at starting something, not so good at finishing something..............1943 and all that. Make that 2014 and all that................

In the last 70 years Italy has had fascism, communism (via the Russians early 50s), socialism, conservatism, liberalism, neoliberalism, neoconservatism, neosocialism..........kind of sums up the Italians really - and Ferrari come to think of it - lots of ideas, not very good at putting them into reality...................

As for the UK car industry, yes, Jag and Land Rover are owned by the (old British empire land) of India, but the Indians have the good sense to let the Inglese do the research, engineering and construction of the cars, the Indians just provide the brochure.....

Incidentally, Jags are made in the same factory where the Spitfire was made - the same Spitfire that smashed Italy for a few years.....................

Ferrari are a prancing horse Italian stallion - but the UK/Commonwealth kit cars are a snarling British Bulldog that likes to bite the backside and legs off a horse............as analogies go, it's a good one!


Gaz boy,

At least the Italians have a car industry ... 😉


With success comes greater expectation. Ask Vettel.

H.Guderian (ALO Fan)


*WE* just need to get rid of Fry and hire a solid number two driver (Massa???)


Ferrari's style of management is insufficient to compete. You connot 'rule' over a company like MDM does and expect to excel. Employees don't thrive when they're in fear, have no power to make decisions. This has been obvious for years in the corporate world (theory X v theory Y management). Plus add in superstition, MDMs supercharged ego, emotions and Ferarri becomes a political circus where MDM loves you like his own, you pander to him or you fear him. Meanwhile 80% of the team is mentally shackled. Meanwhile the remainder of the sharp end of the field spends all that energy on creativity on going fast.

The problem is in the Ivory Tower at the prancing horse. Heads in the plural form don't need to roll as the latest team manager was quated. Italy unite and just bring the guillotine to Marinello; you just need one head.


Sounds like misplaced Italian optimism.............oh well, Ferrari and Italy can dream about beating the Inglese...............but they said that in 1943, 2005, 2009 and now 2014.........


They wouldn't be the first, but I have a feeling they'll do okay for a bit.


Interesting stuff James, though an unfortunate photo of LdM making him look a little Rutger Hayer like.

It could of course be McLaren who rise again next year, the Honda engine may turn out to be unbeatable, though of the packaging is just as important for heat dissipation. The new wheel size will help some and hinder others, the brake cooling is all out the window. Will it all come together?

How long will Alonso's patience last? He is driving the wheels of the Ferrari, he must be fed up. Kimi too, is probably bored


LMD as Rutger Haur 😀

Can't wait for him to do the speech from Blade Runner on the roof of a gothic building ( after plucking Harrison Ford from falling of the edge of the building) about " watching Moonbeams & sunrises on different worlds that'll all be lost....then slowly releasing a white dove as the lights go out 😀

& Ross Brawn walking into shot shouting to Harrison Ford "Then again who wants to live forever!!" 😀

Priceless 😀


Oened = Owned 😉


To Random & Right turn Clyde ( another movie line)

A) Never own a trolley 😀 have oened in my time a few classic cars 🙂

B) Blade Runner is a classic Sy Fy film based on a superb award winning book cosidered a modern classic. Which has been used in Upper School National & International examinations

( such as O Level & A level IntGCE IntGCSE examinations in the mid 1980s - 1990s) by University of Cambridge Examinations (UCLES).

C) Read the book & watch the film ( no trolleys in the film but lots of rain acid rain )

D) LdM is looking like Rutger Hauer in the above Picture



I take it, you're not a fan of Blade Runner.


Was he ever on it? 😉


Pkara has finally fallen off his trolley 🙂


Well, if nothing else he's got the useless howling at the moon down pat 😉


I mean LdM


The obvious is now being stated openly: LDM is the problem. The self delusion of an arrogant leader who thinks he can ignore the input from his subordinates who actually know more than he does will kill an organisation every time. For Ferrari the Long term answer to their slump begins with LDM stepping down.


Yeah, it's obvious when it comes from a sacked former employee... but it's a good story eh?

What was Costa doing from 2007-2011. Five years underperforming by his own standards, or was he happy just taking the paycheque? I'd have sacked him too.

He doesn't mention, but it seems Ferrari got that decision right at least.

David in Sydney

The best leader is the leader who hires people who can replace him and who knows when to leave.

As wonderful it must be to be the head of Ferrari, he's had his day. Another Bernie.


Yes, but Ferrari are not just a Formula 1 team, they are extremely good at making class leading technologically advanced road cars and are making record profits despite of the global recession. I don't see LDM stepping down anytime soon.


I find it stupid that if Ferrari is not winning they say the sport is broken but if they win all is well... I'm afraid times have changed and other teams have overtaken Ferrari and their nostalgic vision of F1 in terms of technology and personnel, aka, Mercedes and Red Bull

H.Guderian (ALO fan)

His replacement is already there.

His days are numbered.


He needs to step away from the race team and concentrate on the commercial business then.


Agreed, but they themselves say they are like two separate organisations separating the racing and road car functions of the company entirely. LDM could sign out of the racing team entirely and Ferrari would be stronger as a company for it.


precisely. as an outside observer and non ferrari fan - it appears that behind the constant banging on about 'this is ferrari' and the 'heritage' - lies an arrogance - (probably most stubbornly held by LdM) - which can be ones downfall...the worst part is that one can almost sense the pressure building at maranello due to the failure. There is no pressure valve of humility. They need a strong, but fair and decent leader - just like Brawn - as opposed to a preening egotist.


It is the same arrogance that is currently dooming and holding Ducati back in MotoGP. Italians are passionate, for sure, but when they think they're right and everyone else is wrong, woe is the poor soul(s) that have to ride/drive for them. Examples include 9 times world champion Valentino Rossi made to look like a chump, word champ Nicky Hayden, as well. Promising young stars get lured to the firey red cars/bikes and careers are ruined. Let's hope young Daniel doesn't get swayed...


And of course they haven’t always

taken the best decisions regarding people


Oh yes, I think one of the mistakes Luca made was replacing the dream team with lots of Italian personnel and as history shows, Italians haven't been too successful with the team.

Nice interview by Costa and from his words he seems like an old school non PC/PR person for there's no sugar coating of words.

Hopefully Luca will take Costa's words on board and change his ways and thereby leave racing issues to the engineers otherwise you will have a situation wereby the team is thrown under the bus.

To be fair, Luca brought in the dream team but as always you can't get every decision right.

Anyway it's good to see Costa enjoying success after being fired for this is a boss' worst nightmare especially if the employee goes off to work for the competition.

Regards Mercedes, thanks to the likes of Lauda, Wolff, we have a utopia team made up of real racers that do not believe in team orders.

For some reason, I think if Brawn was still with the team, it would have been team orders galore as Brawn's philosophy was that of bringing the cars home i.e. You can race till the last pit stops and only then would the fight get called off.


If Costa was that good they wouldn't have let him go. His car designs were too conservative and if Ferrari have lost their way, the rot started on Costa's watch. He's lucky the Merc PU is so good or they'd be having another lacklustre season. Only RB issues with Renault are slowing them down. As for (no) team orders, it's a luxury Merc can afford having such a dominant car. If they were fighting RB etc it would be a different game.

David in Sydney

How instrumental was Schumi in pulling the dream team together?


@ David in Sydney

Oh, Schumi was very instrumental in making the dream team happen.

Remember it was Schumi who dragged both Brawn and Byrne from Benetton when he made the switch to Ferrari.


And remember who employed Costa following his tarnished ending at the prancing horse....


Go ferret - the team is without doubt weaker for the loss of Ross Brawn regardless of the politics behind it.

Before commenting in such a way you should take a unbiased look at his history.

Without doubt the most successful engineer/strategist and lets not forget, single year team owner in the history of F1.

He was not a fan of orders. He was simply able to command enough respect to get drivers to do what was best for the team on a given day. On that day it was better for the team and those that pay the bills to get the cars home.

The fact they always complied says volumes for his ability and Merc would not be there today and will almost certainly not remain where they because of his loss.


@ Drgraham lewis

No question, Brawn will be massively missed by the team more so when it comes to the interpreting of loop holes.


>>I think one of the mistakes Luca made was replacing the dream team with lots of Italian personnel and as history shows, Italians haven’t been too successful with the team.<<

Nothing to do with the nationality, IE the large group of Italians currently successful at Mercedes are largely ones unsuccessful at Ferrari, it is down to leadership. The best leadership takes advice from all comers and can distil it down to the best of the best advice. LdM let Brawn and Todt get on with it and mostly rubber stamped what they said. Todt and Brawn were strong enough personalities to push back and get what the want if it differed.... Post that era staff seemed to have not pushed back and won the day in influencing LdM's decisions when they were not optimal.

Obviously a key at Merc is they have hired a lot of top talent\chiefs and then got out of the way to let them do the job while at the same time stopping them from treading on one another's toes. That is a fine balancing act.

McLaren were successful because Ron D knew he was not as technically savvy as his staff so he set VERY high standards and encouraged everyone to achieve them, they can match and maybe beat Merc, if he can do the same again without snuffing out good ideas in the process. Leadership style and getting the best from the team under it is key to success, but it has to coincide with a lot of other elements too (money, resources, talent etc). Renault got a lot from limited resources in recent years. That takes real engineering talent and leadership that let them get on with it. The arrival of Honda and its culture could be a source of success or failure...... Honda focused on what it does best should be a good thing. We will see if the management of McLaren and Honda can unlock the talent both groups have and allow it to excel.


@ Adam

Yes, it will be interesting to see how Mclaren perform with Honda considering Ron Dennis isn't totally in charge of the racing team as he was in the past.


Oh yes, I think one of the mistakes Luca made was replacing the dream team with lots of Italian personnel and as history shows, Italians haven’t been too successful with the team.


How ironic, Costa, an Italian didnt succeeded at Ferrari but is a success at Merc.

kenneth chapman

which probably disproves your theory about italians?


Costa not succeed at Ferrari, in what way?

Kimi's 2007 world championship winning car was designed by him . Ferrari cars designed by Aldo also the won the constructors title in 2007 and 2008. Whilst you can say that Aldo hasn't been as prolific in producing title winning cars as say Adrian Newey or Rory Byrne he is hardly a failure in my view when it comes to his time at Ferrari.


You are probably right about Brawn, although I suspect the current management team would do the same if the constructors championship was a bit tighter.


Had Ferrari not sacked him, today's Mercedes AMG W05 would be in red and taking the Italian marque to title glory.

Ferrari really ought to get rid of their fail-and-sack attitude. It's hugely discouraging.


Ferrrari tolerated Costa, Domenicali and Massa for more years than they should have, so not sure you're making sense mate.


Ferrari Domenicali and Massa for more years than they should have, yes that I agree, but not Costa. Otherwise, explain the car that Mercedes have this year which was designed by Costa. So I'm not sure if you're making sense there about Costa mate.


No, read the article. What he is saying is that LDM gets in the way, so he would have been prevented from doing his best work had he been at Ferrari. If they had Adrian Newey it would not help them. Now you can see why Stefano Domenicali resigned, there is no way to win when LDM thinks he knows better than everyone else. Personally I don't even like Ferrari, the money they accept from FOM is the action of a political party, not a race team, so I hope LDM stays for as long as possible! It's just incredible to see how obvious the problem is and how helpless they are to solve it.


Yes, I did read the article. However, what was NOT stated was about Stefano.

Costa worked with Stefano before, as SD have been Ferrari for approximately two decades, while also having worked with/under Todt, Bryne and Brawn, so Costa's skills and experience are definitely there and knows the stuff he learnt from the three. You can tell that by his car design this year which has a very similar philosophy to the Bryne designed F14T. Although LdM might be the problem in himself, there is another variable which is SD who could approve / disapprove things that go on inside the F1 team. As the new Ferrari F1 team boss lately stated, he found several wrongs with the team, one of them was over-emphasis on reliability, and the lack of coordination between engine and chassis. These are supposed to be the management of the Team Principle, which was SD, not Costa or LdM. Yes, LdM can have his way if he wish to, LdM can influence things as he is the head of the entire Ferrari, but SD still has to do his job in finding out what should/should not be done and provide the best advice to LdM on what path the team ought to take.


Do you think it's THAT straightforward?


Feel welcome to put forward your opinion and comments 🙂


I think Ferrari keep employees for much longer than other teams. It is wrong and unfair to say Ferrari has a "fail-and-sack attitude". This description is far more relevant to McLaren.


If true I would imagine geography has a big role in this. There are 8 teams all based in the UK within about 50 miles of each other. Moving from one team to the other often just means a different commute to work. Moving to or from Ferrari is going to mean moving to a completely different country, and then there is the language barrier.

Kristiane Cyrus

I can't speak for all Ferrari employees, but of the more high profile ones, Coster was sacked as a result of Abu Dhabi strategy mistake, and the engine chief was recently fired for the lack of engine power in comparison to Mercedes.


No it wouldn't. Costa has proven that given total responsibility for the design and development of a race car he automatically defaults to a very conservative nature, too afraid of failure to push boundaries and lead the way on design, as evidenced by the rather simple aero of the 2010 and 11 Ferrari's compared to Red Bull, it's why he was fired from Ferrari. Ross made the very intelligent move of placing him as chief designer but as Bob Bell's subordinate, removing some of that pressure and giving him freedom to just get on with doing his best, as he did as Rory Byrne's protoge.


@ Kristaine : I thought Costa designed cars. Was he Alonso's race engineer in Abu dhabi-10??

Kristiane Cyrus

Coster didn't pay the price for his conservative designs, he paid the price of not covering Alonso for Vettel in Abu Dhabi.

As for conservative designs, I would lay the blame more on Stefano than the designer, as you can clearly see with this year's Merc, also a design of Costa's, it is the class of the field. Yes, it has huge engine power, but at the same time it's a match against a Red Bull in terms of down force produced and the chassis strength.


Senior management doesn’t care which of the two drivers wins the world title.


I don't know but am suspecting deep down the management will be hoping for a Lewis win.

For sure a Rosberg win will be too much of a PR nightmare especially because Lewis has had the lion share of reliability issues.


Rosberg's WDC - PR nightmare? Really? Where? Probably only in UK and only for a week or so.


@ johny bravo



In the immortal words of Manuel....


kenneth chapman

@ Drgrahamlewis......'que'?


Mercedes still don't get the team orders concept.

Quotes from Zetsche

“At Mercedes there are no team orders,”

he then goes on to say “It is true however that Rosberg and Hamilton are not to impede each other with different strategies — for example two stops versus three stops,”

That is a team order. If one driver is ahead, and is required to let his tammate through on a different strategy, then he is not racing him. Giving up the position may result in him losing the race to the other driver at the end. He has the right to hold him up. This is particularly onerous given that they have only one strategist for both drivers, so that guy can have a significant influence upon the WDC.

Please just let Lewis and Nico race! The WCC is all over bar the shouting. Please fix Lewis' reliability problems, keep out of the WDC, and let us enjoy a fair fight.


money should be a issue: i think Nico gets a fifth of Lewis' earnings, and that's something you don't want to show to your shareholders: "yeah, we've spent $100 in lewis to get Nico the WDC at a fifth of the cost". It's similar to Ferrari in 99. Eddie Irvine could've won the WDC, but how can you explain that to the FIAT family?


@KRB here's the link of the salarys http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09216


@Matias, you said one-fifth. It was never that low. It might've been half, or just under half. Actually, I believe it was 20m vs 11m (GBP).

11m GBP put Nico in the top six of all drivers on the grid ... with his new contract, he's likely in the top 5 now. Funny thing is that there is a particular poster here who considers Rosberg a "journeyman" driver. Journeymen don't get paid in the top 25% of whichever profession they're in. Another definition of "journeyman" in sports is a sports figure who plays for many teams, but is never kept for long at any of them. Again, this definition doesn't apply to Rosberg, who's only been with two teams in his F1 career (Williams, then Mercedes), and was with both for at least 4 seasons.

By definition, journeyman drivers on the current grid would include:

Nico Hulkenberg - he's good, but how good? Not paid highly, and keeps switching teams

Sergio Perez - onto his 3rd team; couldn't cut it at McLaren

Adrian Sutil - Same team, but he had an enforced "holiday" in there, and then was let go after his return year.

You get the point ...


@nickh: yes, but the last couple of races, Schumacher+Ferrari could've helped Irvine for the title, and hakkinen become WDC

@KRB with his last extention, but until now, it was a huge difference,

@f1heroes Senna made a mistake, deal with it...


Easy. Schumi couldn't finish the job because he broke a leg in an accident caused by a brake failure on a dangerous track. His team mate nearly won the title, though. Ferrari's fault. S@@t happens. Could have been worse, though. Perhaps something broke on a Williams on another dangerous track causing terrible consequences to a Brazilian driver. His team mate nearly won the WDC that year. Spot the analogy?


Nico does not earn a fifth of what Lewis makes. It's more like 80-85% after his recent contract.

As for Irvine in 1999, I think that could be easily explained in that Schumi broke his leg midway through the season.


Well Schumacher had broken his leg and didn't race for months so that's totally different circumstances


@ Matías

I guess that makes sense.


Odd thing to claim, that Rosberg was faster than Hamilton, when the timing shows at the time of the team orders he certainly wasn't. Statements like that feed the conspiracy.

But I am a believer in the cock-up theory of history, not the conspiracy.

And Montezemelo is certainly proving that the authoritarian approach is as prone to the cock-up driven by hubris as anyone else.


Rosberg was faster at the time he was approaching, catching Lewis at 1s/lap. But that was all down to the tires and being on the 3-stop strategy (i.e. don't have to nurse the tires as much). Then he came on the back of Lewis, and couldn't get by, b/c of the nature of the track. Nico never got on Lewis' back down the straight, or down to turn 2, which he needed to do to press the point. Looks like he set the car up for maximum sector 2 speed there, while Lewis had his set up for maximum drive off the last corner.

Of course, if Mercedes had allowed themselves not to be caged in by strategy decided on lap 32, they could've had both cars on 3-stoppers, in which case they would've realized a twin benefit of the drivers not intersecting on track, and a likely 1-2 (worst case 2-3), with Lewis winning from pit lane!

Part of me believes that Merc didn't want Hamilton to finish ahead of Nico, for fear of the psychological damage it would have on Nico. So their thinking was "get Lewis as high up as possible, but behind Nico". That's what it seems like. That's the only way I can explain the use of the prime tire, other than inexplicable incompetence.


“I consider Fernando a true great when he is in the car, driving. Out of the car, I was never able to understand him; to me he is an indecipherable character, an enigma. Interesting comment there my interpretation of that would be he is a fantastic racer in the car but lacks the development skills to bring the Ferrari forward hence stalemate, Maybe that's why they bought kimi in although i wouldn't say he was the strongest in this department either, Looks like a classic case of too many chiefs not enough Indians at maranello i also suspect the same applies to McLaren old school ethics used for decision making compared too the red bull philosophy very different.


Good one, Wayne.

I am also intrigued by the quote about Alonso, especially since I have been suspecting such a scenario, for some time, and this is relevant, directly supporting opinion.

The Kimi decision was directly influenced by someone with direct and very relevant opinion, the new (at that time) designer, James Allison, on the basis of ability to develop a car; so I disagree with your statement, "... they bought kimi in although i wouldn’t say he was the strongest in this department either, ..."

Alonso is a proven great race car driver, and he has earned a place of recognition, however, the development woes of a team dedicated to supporting a principle driver is quite strong evidence against Alonso's development capability; even the press is so fond of commenting on Alonso's results, "... hauling a 120% out of that car...", blah, blah, blah. Why does he have to drag 120% out of it, how could it be that he didn't get much his way in all aspects of the team, yet, the results...

Call it a mismatch of personal approach and operational infrastructure and culture; it didn't work; Costa knows this well, because he may have caught a spear, because of it.


Alonso brought Allison to Ferrari, won together in 05 & 06


No, you miss the point. The problem is with the big chief.


"Out of the car, I was never able to understand him; to me he is an indecipherable character, an enigma."

Both of you are missing the point of this statement. Translation: Outside of the car, I don't understand him or who he is as a person.


"the senior management doesn’t care which of the two drivers wins the world title."
yep it was exactly as i guessed at the time. [mod]
no one asks a driver to get out of the way when he has just driven from the pit lane to 3rd,
all i could think of was, they haven't a clue as to what that driver is feeling right now,
seriously its not about the drivers its all Mercedes, truly dedicated to the firm...
time to step out of that box and learn about human nature,
your drivers are replaceable but it is these guys that can turn a breakdowns into a salvageable placing,
that is what wins championships for the team when the going gets tough...


The style department, Lucre DiM - UPGRADE the STYLE DEPARTMENT . . .

I don’t care how the prancing whats-it performs . . .

Just so long as it looks good.


All the heads have rolled but one.

Monty boy, it's time!


He wields the axe. So he's going nowhere unless HE wants to.

I think Luca has been loyal; he has lead and served Ferrari for decades. He has made some moronic decisions of late though. Re-hiring Raikkonen being the biggest. Enzo would never have taken Kimi back, ever. KR is the least value for money driver in F1 history. Fernando Alonso, on the other hand earns every last Euro he is paid and then does some overtime for free!


@ Iceman

"Sorry, but Alonso is in team for five years" - You are way off the mark here

Kimi is no stranger to this Ferrari team, so you cannot you use the line kimi needs to learn or get used to the team as a Excuse. Beyond this the complete overhaul in the regulations mean every pilot in the grid needs to Adapt and adjust to the new formulae introduced for 2014. We all know kimi is not good enough and never considered as versatile in his whole career. So there is no room for excuses again here in favour of kimi

Schumacher? Who is he. The one who lost out to Alonso and could not beat the young kid despite the dominant machinery which he had back in 05 & 06. Alonso ended the Schumi reign and made him feel scary enough about his potential. Despite this even Nico rosberg managed to easily out-pace and out-drive schumacher. MOreover i cannot stand the WIT in your post. Schumacher bascially had very good team around him at Ferrari between 2000-2005. He has done nothing to improve the Ferrari cars. If you want to credit the success which Ferrari had that should go to Ross Brawn and Not schumacher. Despite all this there were no pretenders for Schumi and Ferrari both in terms of teams and pilots. So i consider schumacher's 5 titles as heirlooms presented to him by Ferrari rather than he won the same.

Put simply schumi and Alonso in the same car. Alonso will wipe the floor with schumacher. As simple As That


Sorry, but Alonso is in team for five years, and his best position is second in championship. His development skills were never good, he is not team leader, he is not like Schumacher, to develop from the beginning. His attitude is - i am the best give all to me, i want to be another Michael Schumacher - sorry Fernando, you're just you - little man and never-to-be triple champion...


well... to the extent of a driver's critical role in the development of the car, maybe Alonso hasn't done so well.


So, if i understand well your comment, LDM and Alonso are innocent, but Kimi's return made the Ferrari worse. As Vettel fan, i hope that LDM and Alonso stay for another 10 years and take it where it belongs, to F3. As for Kimi, i am sure once he finds his ways, he show what is he made of, before he retires as Ferrari's last champion ever.


Fiat, not LDM, wields the proverbial axe.

Regarding Kimi, like it or not, RAI has fans, some of those fans buy tickets to GP's and some of those fans tune in to watch advert laden broadcasts.

If you really think RAI is the worst of LDM's decisions, you've missed the point of Costa's interview with Turrini.

H.Guderian (ALO Fan)

Huuummm.... sort of.

They thought Alonso would leave (his manager was talking with RBR).

The only "top" driver available was Kimi.


The re-hiring of Kimi was actually Domenicali's idea and it wasn't so easy for him to convince LDM to agree.


When you rant you usually stay away from data. Else, you may look silly for your own good.

Value for money is infinity for Kimi last year - from data.


All this analyzing and Ferrari bashing is getting boring.....the only team that had brought the game to RedBull is Ferrari. In the years before that they dominated the circus.

It is no wonder things are going a bit slower...with a little bit of luck Alonso would have had 2 titles the last years.

It is true what they say...Ferrari is the only topteam fore becoming 2nd or 3rd is a shame, they have to win otherwise 'the ship is going down with those emotional Italians'.

I guess Williams is a Italian also then? And what about those mclaren donkeys? Since 1998 not a WCC haha...maybe you should write a blog about that. Dreaming of Honda next year....while this year they have the strongest engine....I guess Ron and the rest of the bunch are secretly Italians also?


You have to admire them for building the engine and the chassis....

But you need to understand the incredibly biased way they are funded before making such pronouncements.


I think you'll find it was Alonso that took the fight to Red Bull those years.


I'm just wondering what is more profitable for Mercedes/sponsors, a Brit or a German in a German car winning the championship?

A Brit in a British car has proven a huge commercial success...


Considering how many spectators there were at SIlverstone and Hockenhiem I would say a Brit would be better commercially for Merc.


The Merc team is British. Just like the Queen is German.


i found costa's statement about team orders interesting. if mercedes did intend to favour rosberg, where is the logic in that order for hamilton to let rosberg passed? does this mean from now on they will not ask a driver to move over for the other? if so it means hamilton has educated all of them about the stupidity of a driver helping his teammate to beat him. intelligence of the highest order from hamilton or stupidity of the lowest order from the whole mercedes management.


You do forget that team orders favoured Hamilton last year, though.


I am a truth fanatic and i remember Ross brawn telling rosberg to hold position because both cars were critical and had to be turned down. hamilton was asked to slow down and rosberg was also asked to slow down. rosbrawn informed rosberg that hamilton could go much faster and it wasn't worth them racing each other. how did that favour hamilton?

H.Guderian (ALO Fan)



the legacy of Ross Brawn just keeps getting bigger...


Yes. If Ferrari have ever need to rehire someone, it's Ross.


is brawn interested though?


Interesting comments re Alonso....whilst driver feedback is vital on Fridays and Saturdays to perfect the set up do they really have much influence in the actual design of the car? I remember hearing that both Daiman Hill and Jenson were well known as being good test drivers for their respective marques but with all of today's computing power etc how much input do drivers really have?


I think with such limited testing these days, the input of the driver is less in terms of development. In Schumi's time with unlimited testing he used to put 1000s of kilomteres in around Fiorano over the course of a season.

It puts an emphasis on the designers to design a neutral car than can be predictably set up at the race track. It favours drivers who are able to quickly dial their car into he optimum set up.



Aldo also indicated Tombazis is cause for the struggles, i read the same interview in a different blog named axisofoversteer. here is part of the statement.

"Tombazis? listen, when they sent me away they said it was me who was stifling the creativity to the Greek designer. since, he's freed his imagination, the results re there for all to see..."

Anyway, looks like he thinks reason for their struggles is wind tunnel , hope they will be competitive again next year having re-opened wind-tunnel after repairs.


Nice shot of Costa and Andrea Stella

Valentino - Schumacher # 1

Simple - Michael Schumacher , a true born natural leader , went to Ferrari taking with him some of his Benetton friends , brought in that German discipline , with his work ethic and never ending sacrifices , brought Ferrari back to the top ...Ferrari dominated F1 like no other team had ever done , and still today , no other team will ever do !

To those who say it was Rory Byrne behind the success of Schumacher , I tell you Rory Byrbe was at Benetton designing their cars since 1984 ( I believe ) ... So it Schumacher to make his cars win , and still , 94 and 95 weren't the absolute best cars on the grid ..

Ferrari should remove their prancing horse logo and put Schumacher's German helmet in the center of their emblem ...


how about mercedes?


Why Ferrari didn't resign Schumi for 2007/08 is beyond me. He probably would have walked both Championships considering what Kimi/Felipe have done in those years, none of them having Schumi's discipline.


@ Valentino - Schumacher #1

Spot on.

Also before Schumi's time at Ferrari, unlimited testing was legal but that didn't help the team much only till Schumi brought in his input did we see a change.


I have always said this that Alonso does not help Ferrari's cause at all.

And the insistence of him being called the greatest driver of this generation, would continue to be the achilles heel for Ferrari.

As long as he's there they would at most be second best!


I totally disagree with your comment. Alonso is definitely the best complete driver on the track but not his persona outside the track. I shall restrain from saying more.


Interesting interview. From someone we don't hear too frequently.

Very precise pointing to Ferrari's problems - LdM. Though Domenicali also seemed to be a bottleneck. But anyway, Costa is right, LdM wins and fails as Steve Jobs did. Almost from his decisions.


If he knows this, Alonso knows this too....so there is a chance of not seeing Alonso driving Ferrari next year. Maybe only if Marco had a special deal and a special promise for him.


If Renault improves the engine then I would expect Red Bull to be the main competition because of their aero. Ferrari and McLaren don't seem to have the best aero at the moment.



Evereyone will agree with Costa about the multiple wind tunnel fiascos. Maybe when Todt and Brawn were at Ferrari they held Luca in check, or he gave them free reign over the F1 program. Interesting that Mercedes improved under Brawn, just like Ferrari and Brawn GP. The jury's still out on Costa and Merc. How much of Mercedes' success this year can be attributed to Ross Brawn? Let's see how they do next year, two years on from Ross Red Bull has unlimited resources, but will no longer have Newey designing the car. Looks like competition will come from Williams, and I don't count out McLaren, especially if Bottas signs to replace Button. Why would Lewis want to leave Mercedes? Let's see, if they falter at the beginning of 2015, if British teams like Williams and McLaren are at or near the front, if he doesn't win the drivers championship this year, if someone offers him more money, if Toto and Niki can't figure out how to run a team and keep both drivers happy, if his car keeps blowing up or crashing in quali.


The only other thing he says about Alonso in this interview is that he doesn't really believe that Alonso was out to get him after the Spanish GP of 2011.

Alo started 4th and finished 5th one lap down.

His blog of 21 July about Raikkonen said the team regard him as "a victim and not as guilty" and are keen to keep him for 2015.

He also said that Tombazis who designed the current "tomb" will also design the next ....


Lou diMonti might win the Barilla Meatball beauty contest but Ferrari is facing 20 years of stagnation. Even if Lou made good decisions today (and that is a big IF) in the first place, it would take at least 3-4 years for Ferrari to be competitive.

Alonso, get out of there and go with Uncle Ron!!


It is good to see in print a painful truth that generally goes unwritten: Montezemolo, who helped rescue Ferrari from the wilderness in the 1970s and again in the 1990s, is responsible in recent years for both very good and very damaging decisions. His taking several steps away from day to day management might benefit the team.


Enigmatic... Indecipherable...

Like Senna.

I am always amazed at how people want to say they are able to" understand" or "decipher" other people; especially on a work-realationship or simply follow a sport....

Same goes with Kimi.

Of course you cant understand him or decipher him. You're not his froend or family. I'm sure Kimi's and Alonso's friends and family understand them just fine.


That's it.

In Costa's words, “I consider Fernando a true great when he is in the car, driving. Out of the car, I was never able to understand him; to me he is an indecipherable character, an enigma.."

IMO, Costa alludes to Alonso as a person off to the races, not his skills to develop a car, quite the opposite.

I don't quite understand how some here take out so many "engineering and development" meanings from so unrelated little.

But, yes. Any occasion is good to despise Alonso, come or do not come to the point.

Richard cummins

A few chosen words which mean nothing. It was a daft team call made worse by the team trying to justify their actions later on.

I feel that in the absence of Ross these things are inevitable. However I believe that in the long term it has done the ream a favour. Only a fool makes the same mistake twice.

Bring it on Lewis this is now the time to hammer down your speed advantage.


Read the article twice Maybe it's me but I did'nt get anything from it.

Ferrari, Alonso, Kimi no real insight imo.

Alonso outdrives car....prrrrrft

Maybe the Ferrari is better than Ferrari will admit, maybe the set-up is suited to Alonso. Is the suggestion that the team is totally focused on Alonso or its apart if their agreement, hence the language used.

Kimi the after thought struggling because the enigma dominates development.

Not sure what he's saying. Fact he is no longer apart of the Ferrari family suggest this is just hot air anyway.

Funny on Sky's F1 show the other night they had John Watson 'talking' Ted Kravitz was trying to draw an opinion out of him ref the team order thing at Merc - it's been a while since I've heard such a meely mouthed response from someone who you would expect to say something interesting having been in that position, hope they don't invite him back - useless.

Where was I?.....oh yes, ref the team orders, again nothing. but considering he would have nothing whatsoever to do with the call I understand his non answer.

I was always told as a child not to wish my life away bit dang!!


Ps - James any chance of getting some insight ref the Renault engines /PU's performance especially in the RB...

Several podiums ahead of other Merc teams - 2 wins in a season dominated by a car with a 2 sec advantage requires more than just aero and chassis.

Will Horner acknowledge this and publicly apologise to Renault ref his outburst earlier on this season?

If I was Renault I would demand it.


Poor Ferrari. Montezemolo screws things up at the office and Alonso on the track.


Are you saying Montezemolo screws up Alonso on the track, or that Alonso himself screws up on the track?

If the latter then I'd suggest that right now Alonso is the only reason that Ferrari are seeing any results of note at all, but if the former then yeah, I'd go along with that 🙂


LOL, very good response.


Turrini's post again has something bad mentioned about Alonso - anybody's surprised? Am I the only one who's missing in Costa's statement how good Raikkonen is both inside and outside the car - this should always complete Turrini's blog posts


Interesting comments about Ferrari, and the wind tunnel debacle is a case in point. The problem I think is that the sport has moved on from where Ferrari had an edge, but no more they are well behind both aerodynamically and on the new power unit. I think it is the case that those taking strategic decisions are not qualified to do so anymore in todays F1.


It sounds pretty accurate to me.

I really wonder just how much the failure to upgrade their Wind Tunnel cost them. It should be noted that the time when Costa claimed that the request happened- 2008- was exactly the last time that Ferrari had a championship car (and indeed, the year of their last Constructor's Championship). Obviously, this isn't the sole factor in the team not being more competitive the last few years, but it does point to a possible story behind their decline.

During the time of Schumacher, Ferrari really blazed new trails in terms of team performance, organization, and success in F1 behind Todt, Brawn, and Schumi. But by 2005, McLaren and Renault had caught up, and Red Bull brought in Adrian Newey in 2006. It seems to me that the Ferrari management got complacent, which was a bad thing after the trio left. The guys on the ground knew they needed upgrades sensing what was going on with their competition (a lot of whom had hired some of their guys), but the management didn't want to pay for them.

With that said, I don't think this is a hole that Ferrari can't climb out of. When Newey leaves, they'll have the smartest engineer in the paddock in James Allison. I expect that the impact will really be felt in 2015, when he finally can put his fingerprints on the design of a car. I have ever reason to believe Fernando will be around until at least 2016, as there is nowhere better to go, and there will be plenty of talented drivers coming available when he gets too long in the tooth. Ferrari will dump all the cash that they have to to win again.


This is not down to one person. Ferrari experienced a fantastic run of being on top, and lets not forget it took them a good 3-4 years to get the right team and approach. They were then behind one driver, one mission, and a number of chiefs who were at the top of their games and bought in for that specific reason. As in business all good things must come to an end, and it did with all of the key players moving on.

However if you look at the run of fortune before that, it was a little haphazard and twenty years without real success. They had been trading off their name rather than results, and unless they take the same dedicated approach as last time, I fear history shows us it won't come naturally.


[However if you look at the run of fortune before that, it was a little haphazard and twenty years without real success. They had been TRADING off their name rather than results]

Exactly and totally agree with you, well branded and marketed so Alonso will not win his third world title in a Ferrari. Advertising is the most powerful media but does not mean the product is full proof.


I think there is clearly a lot of resentment towards Ferrari in those comments and I wouldn't be surprised if the Alonso comment wasn't pointing towards Alonso's seemingly blind faith in Ferrari, basically a shot at Ferrari aimed at upsetting their only one true asset. Any one who thinks Alonso doesn't improve a car must have short memories!


Starting to think Alonso will never get that third world title. Maybe he will realise that and quit next year...?


@ Aelfwald

Alonso have no need to quit. He is best talent the F1 world have ever seen for me

3X WDC will be a good stat for him, yet even (if he does not get his third title - I hope i am wrong) he is the best


@ Dutch Johnny

I have no need to post a WIT here, what i meant is, Alonso is the best talent F1 world have ever seen at least in my opinion.

Different people have various preferances, and most of the people here are too bigoted to accept the reality as it hurts them hard enough so they cite about 2007 still and post some charade examples to demean the legacy of Alonso.

There is no contest here really if we pit Alonso v/s rest of the pilots in the grid, like we have recently witnessed even in the hungarian GP.


The best talent the f1 world has ever seen? You got to be joking...


even without third title Alonso could make good millions of dollars/euros.

hence he will not quit next year.


No. He's too young. And he's a committed racer.


Could it just be Luca de Monty is the major fault virus behind Ferrari. Too much ego and self personification?

I'd love to see Ross Brawn back is Formula One, he will be the best successor to Bernie or other related areas. C'mon Ross we need you, I just hope he gets bored with fishing.


James, off topic, I understand they are bringing the historic F1 cars from 1965 to 1985 for the support races in Singapore. Do you have more info on which are the cars and who will be driving them? I'm hoping at least 24 to 28 cars, that'll be awesome.


Not at this stage, but it is exciting. I've been suggesting it to them for a couple of years. Glad they are doing it.


And it'll be really interesting to see the speed differential, how the traction behaves and the sound too.


I hope Fernando reads this and seriously considers making a move to McLaren!


Nice article James and really supports everything Ive known about Ferrari since the MS years.

- Ferrari were only great when unlimited budgets, unlimited testing , Jean todt, ROss Brawn, Rory Byrne, were key to the success

-Ldm - failed to keep up with the times with the wind tunnel development and key personnel after Brawn left in 2007. Coincidentally their last victory

- Ferrari then made the most stupid of mistakes ever made by thinking they had another MS in Alonso- who obviously came with a truck load of Santander cash.

They ousted a driver many paddock people knew was the fastest driver of his generation bar none. & always presented professional and quality feedback. Mismanagement,misdirection, lack of technical direction in 2008/9 were blamed on Ferraris last world champion- instead of the management & technical shortfalls

-Alonso for 5 years soon has been given MS status when he lacks the technical and driver feedback to really guide engineers to the right path. Instead he drives a poor car better than everyone masking his and the cars abhorrent deficiencies -this time Ferrari belatedly blame the management and technical people instead of making it a team problem!- because by this stage

They have new facilities they hired good people. But who is guiding these people on the racing side- yep --Fernando Alonso!

- Alison and Raikkonen are now just several months into impacting on the new car design and hopefully they will learn more in the coming 9 races to make 2015 a strong recovery year.

Ferraris single biggest failure in the last 8 years has been its Critical Decision making led by Ldm- as Costa and many informed people have said. Until late 2013 he was still living in the past and Ferrari very erroneously let Alonso guide / drive the team-- totally wrong guy for the job! in a totally different era of F1- he should "shut up & drive" which is the best they can hope for for another year or so.

Ive said these things a few times and now we are starting to see some real evidence from people within the sport,Ferrari. I really, really hope Allison makes some real progress with the 2015 car & PU because more than anyone Raikkonen deserves an opportunity to again highlight the knee jerk reactions from people who have already forgotten his extraordinary talents at driving Lotus from the bottom mid field to the lead pack only months ago & thoroughly deserves reward for the ridiculous leadership failures of 2009. More than anything I want to see Ldm retire from Ferrari so that at least a new person can take the reigns. Who knows maybe that man can be Mattiaci in a few years time!


The only fair thing to do on team orders is pit both drivers at the same time irrelevant of position.


The amount of post which here Blame Alonso for the failures endured by Ferrari is colossal and hilarious.

All the savants in the paddock and F1 world have documented the problems prevail at Ferrari due to feckless team bosses and Technical crew. Excuses have been thrown at wind tunnel issues for ages by stefano and the team. Yet despite the huge budgets Ferrari are not good enough to rebuild. Ever since 2009 this has become the theme of Ferrari.

Personally i feel very Aggrieved and sorry for Fernando Alonso. Alonso have joined the team at wrong time and his decision making was poor. Had Alonso joined Ferrari back in 2007 instead of Mclaren he could have easily added 2 more WDC to his name. Alonso have all the talents in the world to make even a shoddy wheels work in his favour. what people forget is Ferrari were in the title hunt until the last race back in 2010 and 2012 solely due to Fernando's exertion and heroics.


i don't think that is Alonso's fault for poor ferrari, but it is his fault for not overtaking Petrov in 2010 to win his FIRST LEGAL championship without mass dampers.


@ Nenad

Tell vettel to win 4 WDC'S again without the EBD and customized engine mapping.

Tell Jenson Button to his WDC legally without double diffuser.

Inform Ferrari to focus on the lead car and pilot on the track, not just mirror the gambit plot based on the car which ran in P6 or P7.

You people can post as much as you like to deride and Decry Alonso's legacy, yet there can be only one best in the sport and It's none other than the Wizard Fernando Alonso. Not just the past decade this applies to the entire history in the Formula 1 world.


why no credit for decent engine and chasis, not to mention RBR fragility


How people would like to thrash Ferrari and glorify Alonso!!!!

Ferrari were in the title race until the last race also due to the compliant number 2 driver and rear gunner like Massa.

Need I remind you abt team orders at German GP 2010, breaking the seal on the gear box on Massa's car to demote him on the grid etc etc.

Ferrari was basically running both the cars for Alonso. It was the team effort that took the WDC title race till the last race of 2010 & 2012 seasons


AND this only what we fans see.. Can you imagine the stuff Alonso gets away with behind closed doors-- biggest grub inF1


Not to mention luck.. How many times did vettels car break down in 2010 from the lead? and how many time did hamiltons car fail in 2012? Some say he didnt have much luck in 2010 and 2012, nonsens luck was the only reason he was still in it in the end.


@ Rohind

"Ferrari was basically running both the cars for Alonso. It was the team effort that took the WDC title race till the last race of 2010 & 2012 seasons" - You are way off the mark and bigoted here.

Ok, so you say Alonso kept the ferrari in the title hunt only due to massa on both instances in 2010 & 2012? If this is your assertion then you are really delusional here

Yes massa, moved over in german 2010 GP, is that the only reason why Fernando fought for the WDC? NO. Fernando was superb through out the season in 2010 and 2012. His consistency and pace allowed him to score vital points / podiums at every race in the season and when half chances came his way he converted those into consummate victories. This enabled Alonso to to keep himself and Ferrari in the title hunt until the last race of the season both in 2010 and 2012.

Ferrari were poor with gambit blot back in 2010. Do i need to explain you about Abu dhabi 2010 and In 2012 Lotus pilots took Alonso out of the race twice. Belgium and japan.

Massa's incompetence means he was not able to score any points / podiums consistently. He hardly sacrificed one squirk victory and a potential P5 place to Alonso which really matters only little or does not matter at all. Massa was not good enough hence he have to may way for Alonso to go for the fight.

Ferrari did nothing they managed to lose the WDC due to feckless team despite the brilliance of Alonso which gave them to chances to win some silverware. You may not like ALonso as the vast number of fans do here. Yet you cannot deny the fact he is the best and genius.


Fair and sensible comments.


Agree that pointing at Alonso is very narrow minded and you must not be watching the racing and/or blind to even look his direction for answers as to why they are under performing. Personally I always wondered why the sacked Costa, considering the years of success he was involved with. Seemed like a dumb move from my couch....:)

Richard cummins

Oh come on face the facts. LH was faster than NR otherwise he he would have finished in front of him?? LH had the race in front of him and Merc made a mistake and read the situation wrong. Simple. That is why Toto is ok with Lewis not going with team orders. If he was not the facts would surface and he would look wrong.(again).

This bloke has some front. He was dismissed by Ferrari and landed on his feet going to Merc. Be gracious.

My concern is the lack of feeling coming from Lowe and the engineering dept regarding the Mercs inability to finish a race. This SHOULD be humiliating and embarrassing but they seem keen to blame others??!! Come on LH do the biz!,


Why is this report missing the most important comment Costa made?

"Tombazis? Ah, senti, quando mi mandarono via dissero che ero io a tarpare la creatività del progettista greco. Dopo deve aver liberato la sua fantasia, con i risultati che sono sotto gli occhi di tutti, no?..."

'f1_fan' already posted the translation

“Tombazis? listen, when they sent me away they said it was me who was stifling the creativity to the Greek designer. since, he’s freed his imagination, the results are there for all to see…”

In 2008 Costa was "promoted" from Head of Design to Technical Director and Tombazis became the responsible for the design of Ferrari cars for the 2009 season onwards, but that was failure of the Ferrari management in understanding that the main responsible for the good design of the 2007 and 2008 cars was Costa not Tombazis, and that designing is what Costa does best not managing engineers. Things got really funny when the Ferrari management accused Costa of stifling Tombazis' creativity and being responsible for his failure as a designer. Now Costa is having his vengeance at those clowns.


I disagree that this was the most important comment


In spite of some obvious sour grapes, having been fired by Ferrari, Costa nevertheless refers to Alonso as a 'true great' on the track. Obviously then, those who are attempting to place the blame for Ferrari's performance on Alonso either have more incite into his capability than Costa, or they are showing their irrational bias against him.

In terms of setting up his car for the race, none of his team-mates have been his equal (or their race performance would have been consistently superior). Indeed, his record would suggest that he is not prepared to sacrifice race pace with varying tires/ fuel loads in order to get a car that is superior for one blistering lap on soft tires with low fuel loads. Did Massa occasionally out-qualify Alonso? Yes, but his race pace was rarely as fast.

In the end result, qualifying results are only a very small part of the story. IF both drivers on a team had cars that were exactly equal and were set up precisely the same way, they would mean something - which driver is faster for a single lap on a given day. Of course, even that is often compromised by traffic and varying track conditions.

Surely a far better indicator of the best driver is the one who tends to perform better over the course of a season/seasons in race results. This speaks to ones' ability at the start in frenetic conditions, one's self-control and consistency (remaining within the limits of yourself and the car)), the ability to set up a car for maximum race performance, the ability to race in traffic and to adjust to varying track conditions, the ability to adjust to different tracks, etc ,etc. When considering all of those factors, especially in a car that is uncompetitive and difficult to drive, Alonso has few, if any peers.



Costa sounds like a very clear headed, logical and observant man.

Merc is lucky to have him in their corner.

+1 on his assessment of Alonso


F1 is a mess... rubbish drivers can easily become WDCs, because the cars drive on rails... they don't need man handling.

In the past a great driver could match a rubbish driver in a superior car... now it is very difficult. The driver aids, also hide the poor driver's lack of talent.

Drivers should be the center focus of F1... I only tune in for the driver battles - the cars and manufacturers are a far off secondary thought...

Car dominance and anti-racing regulations are a total turn off.


On the comments to Alonso / Hamilton in 2007 - I think it is pretty clear McLaren were vying for their protege to win and clearly favoured him on every level, but Alonso could have outdriven that issue, the real problem he faced was that he had spent previous years on Michelin, but that 2007 McLaren was on Bridgestones which Lewis had been driving for a long time in the wings at McLaren. Switching to Bridgestone was a big problem for all drivers if you look at results compared to teammates who didn't switch. Alonso then went on to outscore Lewis in the second half of the season despite having bust up with McLaren by then.


Come back Aldo, Ferrari needs you!


James. now there's Marmorini talking about Ferrari, perhaps with a bit of anger http://blog.quotidiano.net/turrini/2014/08/15/ferrari-tutta-la-verita-di-marmorini/

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