It’s a different approach…I can certainly say that about this. Ferrari were usually optimistic and when they weren’t performing, they were talking about performing and when they weren’t winning, they were talking about winning. Luca id Montezemolo was a different kind of leader and whether or not you agree with the differing styles between Luca and Sergio Marchionne, time will tell which leader gets the most from Ferrari’s efforts.
The amount of pressure on the Italian Formula 1 team at the beginning of the season was immense with mandates for a win and the flowing narrative that a Ferrari that doesn’t win isn’t a Ferrari. That narrative hasn’t changed much this season as Marchionne said this weekend:
“It’s no use putting sweeteners on stuff, the car isn’t there and I don’t think we developed it.
“We started well in Australia and I think that we failed in developing the car during the season, due to a variety of reasons.
“Three wins in 2015 meant we were perhaps a little too optimistic about 2016.
“The others improved a lot during the season and we stayed still.”
One side of Sergio we do get to see in this exchange with the press is his confidence behind the team. That’s a nice departure from the brooding commentary we’ve heard before:
“I feel quite comfortable this team are capable of turning the fate of the Scuderia around,” he said.
“Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of the season left.
“In terms of the changes we’ve made to the car, I feel a lot more comfortable than I did in the past.”
At least the chief feels the team is a comprehensive unit capable of now moving in the direction it should and it does lend itself to questioning just who had the issues in the James Allison relationship. For Marchionne, he’s quick to suggest that James was one man who didn’t have a complete purview of the car and certainly not the power unit so he is not keen to suggest that one person will save the team:
“We keep on focusing on a single individual as being the answer to all these problems,” he said.
“James was a great technician and I think he had the variety of skills that certainly were relevant for parts of the car.
“He was not a power unit guy and never had been but Mattia is and I think he’s done a tremendous job in terms of bringing the power unit from where it was at the end of ’14 to where we are today.
“We have huge talent inside the structure and other than particular plug-ins of people, I would not be looking for the great hero to come in and turn this thing around.”
There’s that old notion that it takes an Englishman to go down to Maranello and get Ferrari winning and much of that is born on the Ross Brawn era but Ferrari have won without the leadership of seasoned F1 veteran from England. They won with the heavy hand of the master Italian car maker himself, Enzo Ferrari. The question is, can Sergio be the new Enzo? Can he lead this team to the success it wants by working with the Italian resources it has internally?
He’s not bashful about cutting heads, we know that, and even when your name is Italian sounding like Mattiacci or Di Montezemolo or Domenicali. I’m glad he has hope and confidence in Ferrari because it would be a shame to not put the right pieces together to win with Sebastian Vettel who came to Ferrari to reverse its fortunes much like Michael Schumahcer did.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT