How might Ferrari get its groove back? By hiring an old McLaren hand, perhaps

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Today’s big Formula 1 rumor/news is that Ferrari — I’m tempted to write “the reeling Ferrari” — is going to hire former McLaren chief engineer Pat Fry.

Autosport has the news, which first hit Italian media this weekend. I’m tossing it out to F1B because Ferrari apparently is refusing to comment, also known as the way to say, “Yep, it’s true.”

Here’s Autosport’s bit:

Former McLaren chief engineer Pat Fry is set to join Ferrari’s technical strength according to reports in the Italian media.

The 46-year-old, who quit McLaren in May after working for the team for 18 years, has signed for the Italian squad according to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. It remains unclear when he will take up his position or what his role will be.

We’ve all tried to figure out just what is missing at Ferrari for the past two years. One of the most popular answers is that the Italian leadership now in place just doesn’t quite cut it. We know that the last great Ferrari stretch was created on the backs of Germans, French and English leaders. I’m in no position to try to say whether there’s anything to this line of thinking, but if pushed to the wall I wonder if it is a bit too daunting to be an Italian in charge of the great Italian brand. Perhaps this is an instance when foreign leadership — who perhaps can make decisions based more on cold, hard facts than on a sense of “doing what Enzo Ferrari would have wanted” — is needed.

The irony there, of course, is that Enzo Ferrari always did the cold, hard thing if he thought it was best for his team.

Whatever it might mean, it is a team switch by a key Formula 1 person. Thoughts and reactions, all?

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