Ferrari’s management puzzle pieces in place?

There has been a lot of speculation about Ferrari of late. IS this Sebastian Vettel’s last season in Formula 1? Vettel says it’s not and the media can do their thing and he’ll do his thing. Can the team get on top of the current crop of Italian rubber made by Pirelli? Will they make a B-spec car in 2019? Has Mattia Binotto been placed in a role he will find tough to handle?

To be fair, I’ve read quite a few stories since the announcement of Binotto’s arrival as team boss. Most of those articles suggested that his combined role as team boss and technical guru was a question mark and those experienced F1 journalists who mentioned it were probably spot on.

Today there was an article over at Autosport discussing an interview with Binotto in Gazzetta dello Sport. It seems that there have been a few changes in the Ferrari structure and perhaps some of that is to free up Binotto to focus on being a team boss first. Binotto said that Ferrari no longer has the “famous classical horizontal structure”.

“We have identified four or five figures that have become my points of reference in the various areas,” he said.

“I am useful for filtering information and thinking about the future.

“2021 is around the corner with new regulations, cars that could be radically different and the budget cap that will force us to review certain production processes.”

The article lists the current structure as:

Team principal: Mattia Binotto
Sporting director and head of track activities: Laurent Mekies
Head of track engineering: Matteo Togninalli
Head of strategy: Inaki Rueda
Head of engine operations: Luigi Fraboni
Sebastian Vettel’s race engineer: Riccardo Adami
Sebastian Vettel’s performance engineer: Steven Petrik
Charles Leclerc’s race engineer: Xavier Marcos Padros
Charles Leclerc’s performance engineer: Bryan Bozzi
Head of track operations: Claudio Albertini
Chief mechanic: Christian Corradini
Sebastian Vettel #1 mechanic: Filippo Milani
Charles Leclerc #1 mechanic: Alessandro Fusaro

On first blush, as I said last year with Arrivabene’s sacking, that the team is still in a serious seismic shift from the departure of Luca di Monetezemolo to Sergio Marchionne (and his untimely death) to the new CEO structure, Arrivabene and now Binotto. That’s a lot of change over 2 or 3 years to manage. It breeds a lot of politics and difficult things to manage.

It also dovetails with the changes made at McLaren as Zak Brown said last week that the signing of Andreas Seidl meant there was a clear person in charge and this deviates away from that much-vaunted matrix structure that everyone was going on about a couple years ago. Ferrari may be doing the same here.

Will it make a difference? Time will tell but in the case of McLaren, I think they have the right guy to build that team around in Seidl. Is Binotto the right guy? He seems like an unassuming person from the outside but perhaps he’s a real killer within the team. Maybe not. Fact is, they have to do something and that something won’t be a B-spec car in 2019 according to the article so next year it is then?

Hat Tip: s

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