Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali is admitting that he gave long and hard consideration to quitting after the season-ended — and Fernando Alonso title-wrecking — grand prix at Abu Dhabi.
“After Abu Dhabi I personally raised the issue,” he told La Repubblica. “I wondered if it was right or not that I stayed.
“I think pondering that [whether it was right or wrong to stay] was something I had to do, the responsible thing. I am not attached to the chair. But I came to the conclusion that resigning would be a mistake.”
Autosport comes through with the translation into the King’s English.
More from Stefano:
“I know the team and I think I’m the right person to capitalise on all that we have sown in recent months. From the methodological point of view, in Maranello we have changed almost everything and I am sure we will soon see the results of hard work.
“The mistake was, in terms of magnitude, huge – and it produced devastating effects. But in a normal race it would have been a normal error.
“So you must not jettison everything, even the good things, because of that mistake. We will change things and officially announce things in the coming hours – and we will make sure that those who make delicate decisions are able to have all the tools they need not to be wrong again.”
He added: “I will personally try to help the team from a psychological point of view as well, because the hardest penalty in a shoot-out is the one coming after you missed one.”
A couple of other tidbits: Stefano says he didn’t sleep for two days as he wrangling with the issue. (No word on whether Red Bull helped him stay awake literally as well as metaphorically.) And he also says that had the race not had all the title implications, the strategy mistake wouldn’t have gotten so much attention.
On that point he’s right. But I don’t think that changes anything. Honestly, this past season I could have done the strategy for HRT. But no one would have pulled me into the Ferrari paddock out in the desert. That’s when you want the most experienced person making the calls. All I get out of Stefano suggesting that is that maybe Ferrari needs someone who can run the races when it’s really important. Bring someone in with an “A game,” in other words.
In other words, I don’t think Domenicali does himself any favors with that line of reasoning.
But he has raised the question: Do you think he should have quit following the race? Does anything he say alter your thinking? Would you trust the team in 2011 if you were Fernando Alonso?