F errari is reinventing itself. Six months ago, the Scuderia looked very different. With Luca di Montezemolo on the president's chair, Marco Mattiacci as race director, Fernando Alonso as driver, Nikolas Tomabazis as chief designer, Pat Fry as technical coordinator, Luca Marmorini as engine manager and Hiroide Hamashima as tire specialist. None of the gentlemen is on board anymore. Only technical director James Allison and his aerodynamics boss Dirk de Beer survived.
Top Capo is now Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne. Fernando Alonso will be replaced by Sebastian Vettel. Mattiacci left his post after just 220 days in office for former Philip Morris manager Maurizio Arrivabene. Less than a month after being appointed the new head of sports, Arrivabene presented the new structures in the technical office. Simone Resta is the new chief designer under the leadership of Allison. The Italian is home grown and has been on board the Scuderia since 1998. Ex-Mercedes engineer Bob Bell, who last traded in Italy, is not mentioned.
James Allison has a key role at Ferrari
The positions in the engine department have now been officially assigned. Mattia Binotto takes over from Marmorini. Lorenzo Sassi is the new chief designer for the drive unit. Finally, Esteban Gutierrez was hired as a new test and reserve driver. The Mexican was helped by an easily digestible dowry from his home country. Ferrari can use it. The attack on the world title will cost more money than ever before.
Ferrari celebrates the restructuring as a leaner of the company structure. Is that really it? The competencies were also clearly distributed beforehand. With Marchionne the tradition continues that the president has a direct line to the racing team. The Fiat boss recently attended the strategy group meeting in Geneva in person. Arrivabene must first swim free. This will need time. His predecessor didn't make it in eight months. Because he was thrown into the deep end. Ferrari racing director is not just any job. It's the most delicate position in the whole scene.
With James Allison, the team has retained a certain consistency. The 46-year-old Englishman is considered a brilliant organizer. Its job is to put the right people in the right place. Allison will be measured against next year's Ferrari. It is the first car to be built entirely under his management. The F14T this season washalfway through when Allison and his henchman de Beer began their work at Ferrari. Whether Tombazis and Fry were the scapegoats for the failure is an open question. The new chief designer Resta was also part of the design team. He was his project manager.
Ferrari is following the Mercedes example
Ferrari is following the Mercedes example and is networked the engine and chassis departments together more efficiently. Mercedes was so superior this season not only because they had the best drive unit. The V6 turbo and its electric motors were also better integrated in the car than in the competition.
Is the deforestation in the team good news for Sebastian Vettel? On the one hand, yes. Ferrari has recognized that you need a fresh start. However, not every restructuring is automatically crowned with success. In recent GP history, only Renault, Red Bull, Mercedes and Williams have done this. In all cases, the turnaround was accompanied by experienced managers or heads of technology. At Renault Bob Bell, at Red Bull Adrian Newey, at Mercedes Ross Brawn and at Williams Pat Symonds. So the main burden of the task will be on James Allison. He is the man with experience in the team.