Allison out at Ferrari, Binotto in

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As we mentioned last week, the rumors were ripe that James Allison could be leaving Ferrari and now it seems those rumors have become reality. Ferrari said:

Ferrari N.V. (“Ferrari”) (NYSE/MTA: RACE) announces that after three years of working together, Scuderia Ferrari and James Allison jointly decided to part ways.

Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal of Scuderia Ferrari, commented as follows:

“The Team would like to thank James for his commitment and sacrifice during the time spent together, and wishes him success and serenity for his future endeavors.”

James Allison stated:

“During the years I spent at Ferrari, at two different stages and covering different roles, I could get to know and appreciate the value of the team and of the people, women and men, which are part of it. I want to thank them all for the great professional and human experience we shared. I wish everybody a happy future with lots of success.”

Mattia Binotto will take on the role of Chief Technical Officer at Scuderia Ferrari.

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ShocksAndAwe
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ShocksAndAwe

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems idiotic to let your CTO go in the year prior to a major rules change.

Obviously I have no insider knowledge about the reasons why, but this revolving door at Ferrari is ridiculous.

I wish Binotto well, but he’s a career Ferrari man and I question whether he has the breadth of experience to really do well in his new post. Keep in mind he was only the deputy director of engine and electronics until Ferrari fired Luca Marmorini in 2014. That’s a big jump to CTO in 2 years…

Joshua Z.H. Wu
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Joshua Z.H. Wu

Could be because of the death of Allison’s wife? Can’t be easy to cope with whilst continuing to perform at the level F1 demands. :/

longshot
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longshot

Ferrari didn’t “let him go”, which is a euphemism for firing him, Allison decided to leave as he needed to be closer to his family following the death of his wife. It looks like they timed it so that his departure would coincide with Ferrari stopping development on their 2016 car.

ShocksAndAwe
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ShocksAndAwe

You’re right. I’m an insensitive slug.

longshot
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longshot

That’s not what I was saying. I just don’t think Ferrari had any choice in the matter – for whatever reason, Allison wanted to leave & they could hardly handcuff him to a desk.

ShocksAndAwe
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ShocksAndAwe

Of course. I didn’t mean to imply that you thought I was an insensitive slug. Than was purely a self-appraisal.

I think you are absolutely right.

I’m not sure their choice of replacement is all that solid, but perhaps in this case, beggars can’t be choosers.

longshot
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longshot

By the way, I’ve read elsewhere that Allison & Marchionne didn’t work well together – Allison’s blunt honesty & refusal to be pushed around didn’t sit well with Marchionne’s penchant for highly-demanding micro-management.

In fact, I can’t see Ferrari winning anytime soon, not until Sergio takes more of a back seat role.

I expect Binotto is just a placeholder (hopefully its not a career-ending placeholder role as it was for Mattiacci). Apparently Ross Brawn flew to Hockenheim this week, so either the fishing’s really good there or Ferrari might be luring him back to F1…