As we mentioned back on April 13th, Sergio Marchionne is at the helm of Ferrari as CEO. Not sure how he juggles his roles at Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari but apparently he does. A reader sent me a link to a story Joe Saward posted on his blog in which he says there are rumors that current Ferrari F1 boss Maurizio Arrivabene could be sacked and replaced by none other than James Allison.
Now, I have no word from anyone on this but admittedly Joe is a F1 reporter and much closer to such rumors and whispers than I am for sure. Regardless, you can read his commentary here but I thought it an interesting piece that could spur some conversation about Ferrari’s current plight.
The team wasn’t winning with Fernando Alonso so they got Sebastian Vettel and he gave them three wins in 2015 in a car that was not really on pace with the Mercedes—no one was for that matter.
Fast forward to 2016 and the team have not won one race in which they most likely had expected to by now. Marchionne’s presence in the garage in China didn’t help matters either when he was very candid about not winning. As a Ferrari fan, I certainly appreciate his words but I also have followed the team for years and the sport and while Sergio may simply say in 2015 that a Ferrari not winning is unacceptable and again in 2016, the sport isn’t that easy.
The regulations have the team’s hands tied on just what they can do to increase performance throughout the season and where they can develop. The tension in the garage and on the face of Arrivabene is tangible and understandably so. Regardless, simply starting to beat Mercedes is a heck of a lot easier said than done within the regulatory framework of the current F1 rules.
This is also a point I’ve pondered as to why Ferrari were in the Mercedes camp about not changing the 2017 regulations and Marchionne’s ties and wooing of Mercedes road car division has me wondering if there isn’t a bigger picture here for Fiat and more specifically Chrysler here. Maybe not, just wondering. If they aren’t winning with these regulations and can’t change much, the Ferrari of old under Luca di Montezemolo would have been very much in the Red Bull and McLaren camp to change things up.
James Allison is a good guy and I am a fan of his. His recent tragedy with the loss of his wife seems to be a situation that would be really hard for him to take the helm immediately. However, it does start to remind you of the era in which the team hired another Englishman named Ross Brawn. Perhaps that old magic of a German driver and an English team boss could present titles again?
Maybe Sergio has been reading Helmut Marko’s, “how to manage and demote team members” best-selling novel.
Hat Tip: Joe Saward