Ferrari borrowing Mendoza; 2017 gains caused woes says Wolff

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I posted a link yesterday about a new story in which Ferrari CEO, Sergio Marhcionne, said that the issues they are having culminated in the spark plug issue in Japan. It is, in his mind, serious need for a overhaul in their quality structure.

To those ends, it seems the Italian carmaker has drafted in Maria Mendoza from Fiat to help with the quality control issues and the team’s technical director, Mattia Bionotto, said:

“What we are considering is something, already planned, to improve our quality department.

“Our quality department will be and somehow is already reinforced and those are the changes that our chairman was meaning.”

That may all be very correct and one would assume it is given the last two races. However, always ready for an open mic and ink-dripping pen, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has an opinion on what Ferrari’s issues are:

“It is about having the fastest car, and the best driver, and the most solid performance.

“We’ve been there: we’ve had difficult moments for each of the drivers in the past in terms of reliability.

“When you are pushing the boundaries you will eventually reach its limits.

“Ferrari’s development from 2016 to 2017 was exceptional, and probably this is a development phase.

“I can nevertheless relate to how it feels of having three races where you have lost a lot of points and it doesn’t feel nice.”

Now, Toto wasn’t actually there during the Brawn/Haug era with all the struggles they had with Nico and Michael at the wheel but he did come in very soon after when the team had ironed a lot out and started moving upward. He was, however, with Williams as they struggled with development and pace so he’s a guy who has seen both sides of the coin for sure.

I tend to agree that the development gains Ferrari made have pushed the team very hard and perhaps the oil-burning limitation has had an impact too? Who knows? The reality is that when you are pressing that hard, sometimes things get missed. Unfortunately, Formula 1 is a sport where things cannot get missed and perhaps Maria will sort that out.

Hat Tip: Autosport and Autosport

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Meine Postma

What would be best for Ferrari is to be less managed; i.e. let them do their real work instead of constantly being busy explaining to somebody what it is you are doing.

Then again, maybe I’m just projecting :-)


So when struggling with reliability and quality control issues you turn to…Fiat?

Okay then, now if you can excuse me I need to talk to Pastor for advice on driving.

Sergio Dilorenzo

I’ve said before and I will say it again. First take a deep breath and get some young guns in the pilot seat, put a 5 year plan around them as once did with Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello (2000 – 2005). Then tweak the whole ball of wax little bit at a time. This allows for less tension in having to quicken things to which makes for more errors and less consistency. Running around trying to band aid every time something goes wrong never gets to the meat and potato’s of it all. And yes I’m very aware that… Read more »


Much truth in this; Ferrari really need to pick their leader and let them lead. I never did understand why Mercedes decided to ditch Ross Brawn and bring in the Wolffinator, but it was an inspired choice. He’s the undisputed leader, but not in a dictatorial way; there’s never any angry outbursts, nor any media petulance – Mercedes (and Red Bull, Renault and most of the other teams, to be fair) are available to the media pretty much all the time and there’s a level of transparency that’s believable. Ferrari just don’t have this. There’s something akin to an atmosphere… Read more »

Sergio Dilorenzo

Very well said P1NGU – It seems something expected from a German company to be ran with an iron fist, as many still falsely imagine them do to the bad taste still left in the mouth of those who remember the war days, yet they are strictly very professional in every way possible and it shows in there domination – when in visiting Stutgard a couple years ago remember the kindness. Mercedes seem to all of a suden came back where they left off in winning the 50’s, too which they unfortunately pulled out after that catastrophic 1955 Lemans crash.… Read more »

the Late Idi Armin

Enzo died in 1988 as Micheal was getting started in F3.