While we’re all taking about Ferrari’s win in Malaysia—well, Ferrari fans are talking about it anyway—I found AUTOSPORT’s article with James Allison very interesting and here’s why…
This year would be the first car completely under Allison’s purview. I assumed, and I am not alone, that this car would have his heavy hand in its creation and was fully prepared to give him credit for the gains clearly made so far this season.
Come to find out, either he is the world’s most magnanimous guy or he had very little to do with the actual design itself. James said:
“I haven’t designed a single piece on this car, there’s a lot of very talented people who do that,”
“If I’ve had any feat, it’s trying to say which bits are worth putting lots of effort into.
“[I’m here] to make sure pressure has been taken off people to deliver things for next week but to work with a slightly long timescale in mind – which frees up your hand to do a good job.
“It’s hard to do anything in a two to three month timescale. You need to build a programme over months and years rather than weeks.”
Now color me reactionary but I am amazed at that tidbit of well-vetted news from our friends at AUTOSPORT. Credit to Messrs. Barretto and Beer for the story.
It’s an intriguing issue for me but James did weave magic while at Lotus so I naturally felt he was the next Rory Byrne at Ferrari. In reflection, maybe the pixie dust James wields is really being able to manage the team and divine which elements get the most resources while allowing the actual designers to do their jobs and not sticking his toe in everyone’s business.
If this is truly the case, and I have no reason to believe it isn’t, then hats off to Ferrari’s design team and engine department for making such sweeping and much-needed changes. With all of the bloodletting at Ferrari in 2014, you’d have thought the place would be shell-shocked but James says that he’s playing the long game here and I think that could be potentially lethal for the competition with a driver like Sebastian Vettel in tow.
“Any changes like that are not done lightly and not easy to do,” he said.
“But they are done looking to the long term to make sure we have a team of people in place that we know can build for the future and just make us stronger month by month.”
James says it is the year-on-year performance increase they are focused on and rebuilding an empire of domination. That’s good news for Ferrari fans but let’s be honest, Mercedes is currently enjoying that kind of domination and McLaren are dead set on recreating it themselves so Ferrari will have stiff competition—dethroning one juggernaut and preventing another from ever emerging.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT