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Is it time for Ferrari to replace it's management?


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#1 Gilles4Ever

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:27

With the apparent failure of the F2012 is it time to ring in the changes at Ferrari

Is it time to clean out right at the top with LdM and Domenicali?
Does Ferrari miss Todt and the dream team that much?
Get rid of Tombazis and get other designers?
Who to replace them with?

Or is this just a hiccup and teething troubles, we need to ride out the storm?

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#2 Group B

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:30

Bottom line ought to be designers, but is this not a little early?

#3 Slowinfastout

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:36

It is early.. I think realistically nothing can happen until F1 comes back to Europe, at that point it will be clearer whether to make changes or to keep the current mix of people.

They need to figure out soon what they want because of the big shakeup coming with the 2014 rules.

#4 TheBunk

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:40

Rory Byrne always said: I ordered a lot of expensive tools, now I have them and it would be impossible to do a bad job with it"

So, Imo, Id fire everybody, raze the factory. Have Montezemolo shell out 700 million for a new factory, with state-of-the-art equipment, then hire a good team boss and offer Newey 60 million a year. Let him say no to that kind of money.



#5 Slowinfastout

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:42

Quit the childish nonsense...

#6 TheBunk

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:46

Well, I am thinking for weeks now that if Ferrari wants to make a lasting impact, they should do something like they did 15 years ago: invest heavily in new equipment, wind tunnels. Effectively a new factory. Then they invested 100 million dollar+ on new stuff. What would that be in todays money?

#7 Tombstone

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:46

On balance they've had roughly the same success rate as McLaren since '07 - fewer race wins but more championships.

I don't see the need for McLaren to have a management cull.

So no, there's nothing special about Ferrari that requires such a move.

It's all part of the natural cycle witnessed through the majority of F1's history.

Unless you think they should win by divine right.

Edited by Tombstone, 07 March 2012 - 11:48.


#8 YellowHelmet

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:47

No, why should the management be changed, if it si heading in the right direction looking at it in long-term means.

#9 Risil

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:54

Well, I am thinking for weeks now that if Ferrari wants to make a lasting impact, they should do something like they did 15 years ago: invest heavily in new equipment, wind tunnels. Effectively a new factory. Then they invested 100 million dollar+ on new stuff. What would that be in todays money?


It would be more cost-effective to lobby for rules that put less of a priority on aerodynamics. Perhaps Ferrari are suffering here for not being based in the south of England.


#10 TheBunk

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:58

On balance they've had roughly the same success rate as McLaren since '07 - fewer race wins but more championships.

I don't see the need for McLaren to have a management cull.

So no, there's nothing special about Ferrari that requires such a move.

It's all part of the natural cycle witnessed through the majority of F1's history.

Unless you think they should win by divine right.


Mclaren have been doing pretty well since they moved in their new HQ paragon or whatever its called these days, sans Newey and all.

Ferrari should be able to do something similar, but have failed despite numerous changes in the organisation.

1. Either they get a new teamboss, with proven track record, 2. or let the current team stay and give them a new factory.

This is what made the difference in 1998, this is why Ferrari produced such succesful cars from then on that even the number 2 drivers were getting good results.

And although i think Fry is a good engineer, he is not a techboss a la Brawn.



#11 walkindude

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:01

Would have a better idea at the end of this season honestly.

#12 OSX

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:02

Ferrari has gone exactly to the direction that it was universally expected after the management/team went all-Italian and that is down.

Now the only way up for the team is to replace Domenicali who after his promotion hasn't been capable of doing nothing else than making up scapegoats (Raikkonen, Costa) to prolong his career.

#13 2ms

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:03

I've been saying it since 2008 -- Domenicali is a disaster and the longer he continues to be in there the more Ferrari makes idiotic decisions that take them backwards. The solution to getting back to where they were in 2007 is very simple.

#14 Slackbladder

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:10

If they're off the pace in the first few races, then as proved in the past, it's very difficult to play catch up.

#15 Creepy

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:11

I prefeer to wait for what they got really for 2012 after a couple of races before thinking the F2012 is a failure (I know OP said it is just aparently so though).

Ferrari has gone exactly to the direction that it was universally expected after the management/team went all-Italian and that is down.


That's xenophobia and you know it as it implies Italians can't do anything right.

I don't think the problem is that policy of going all-Italian (is Pat Fry italian now?). The problem is IMO Montezemolo, and only him IMO. He's just... a politician.



Anyway, It is interesting. Despite Ferrari's problems, in 2010 they were title contenders and in 2011 they even won a race. In 2009 they had a decent second half. I think then many teams would love this version of "struggling" for their teams at anytime... And makes me to believe that Ferrari can pullout a nice car and go back to be title contenders again.

Edited by Creepy, 07 March 2012 - 12:13.


#16 Slowinfastout

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:13

Not a fan of Domenicali myself but I don't think he makes many big decisions without Monty.. I think Domenicali is the ideal fall guy though, if Ferrari needs a big move without shaking the foundations he's the obvious target IMO..

There's no point having a new TechD every six months, Domenicali on the other hand had all the chances and plenty of false steps along the way.

#17 Ferrari2183

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:19

On balance they've had roughly the same success rate as McLaren since '07 - fewer race wins but more championships.

I don't see the need for McLaren to have a management cull.

So no, there's nothing special about Ferrari that requires such a move.

It's all part of the natural cycle witnessed through the majority of F1's history.

Unless you think they should win by divine right.

What I've said but laughed off.

#18 Slowinfastout

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:26

A natural cycle is something Ferrari have no control over, that's for sure..

I think that's a very very polite way to describe the yearly changes of form of a F1 team, I don't think the likes of Ron Dennis or LDM are seeing it that way at all.

#19 Stormsky68

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:35

F1 is cyclic. In modern times Mclaren, Ferrari, Williams, RB and Renault have all at some point been the dominant team. RB will eventually go fizz and pop and be replaced by someone else. Ferrari need to take a deep breath, and produce a well thought out bottom to top strategy to make sure it is their turn next. Change certain management by all means, but do it for a reason, not as a reaction.

Edited by Stormsky68, 07 March 2012 - 12:36.


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#20 YellowHelmet

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:37

F1 is cyclic. In modern times Mclaren, Ferrari, Williams, RB and Renault have all at some point been the dominant team. RB will eventually go fizz and pop and be replaced by someone else. Ferrari need to take a deep breath, and produce a well thought out bottom to top strategy to make sure it is their turn next. Change certain management by all means, but do it for a reason, not as a reaction.

very true. :up:
and right now Ferrari is working on it.

#21 Pharazon

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:38

Ferrari has always been an Engine racing team at most. The engine freeze has really hurt them.. far too much on aero now

#22 Kimiraikkonen

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:41

Since last year, Ferrari needs a refresh in his people. Included Domenicalli

#23 908T

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:45

Ferrari has gone exactly to the direction that it was universally expected after the management/team went all-Italian and that is down.

Now the only way up for the team is to replace Domenicali who after his promotion hasn't been capable of doing nothing else than making up scapegoats (Raikkonen, Costa) to prolong his career.


Something like that, yes.

Two needed steps:
1. Do as Ferrari usually does after a while - forget own idiotical design and copy the good ideas of RB, McLaren and others.
2. Kick out Domenicali at once and if possible, find somebody like Jean Todt. :smoking:



#24 Creepy

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:50

F1 is cyclic. In modern times Mclaren, Ferrari, Williams, RB and Renault have all at some point been the dominant team. RB will eventually go fizz and pop and be replaced by someone else. Ferrari need to take a deep breath, and produce a well thought out bottom to top strategy to make sure it is their turn next. Change certain management by all means, but do it for a reason, not as a reaction.


That's true. It is not that in 2005 with the dream team they were much different than Ferrari in 2011. And it is not that in 2006 Ferrari with the "dream team" again was much different than Ferrari in 2010. Cycles...

Also, it is not that McLaren has been in a much better shape since 2008 (last time McLaren could fight for the title).

Edited by Creepy, 07 March 2012 - 12:51.


#25 fieraku

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:52

I was hoping Alonso would be at the front this year,F1 races are always a firecracker with him up there.
Fire everyone!

#26 cheapracer

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:56

That's xenophobia and you know it as it implies Italians can't do anything right.


Based in historical fact.

They should employ a few New Zealanders*, never has F1 needed 'on the run' thinking as now with the lack of testing.

*The amount of New Zealanders per capita engineering in F1 and top level motor racing successfully is amazing.


#27 tommyhjortasen

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:56

Well, perhaps its time for Ferrari to go radical - this time on the management and staff side.

#28 Disgrace

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:57

Give the new design team a chance yet.

#29 Slowinfastout

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:58

F1 is cyclic. In modern times Mclaren, Ferrari, Williams, RB and Renault have all at some point been the dominant team. RB will eventually go fizz and pop and be replaced by someone else. Ferrari need to take a deep breath, and produce a well thought out bottom to top strategy to make sure it is their turn next. Change certain management by all means, but do it for a reason, not as a reaction.


I really don't get this... of course as a longtime F1 fan I've seen teams come and go, from the comfort of my sofa.. but we're arguing on the basis of the Ferrari management hiring guys to build them a championship-winning car each seasons.

My argument is that Fry and Tombazis may have built a lemon, but we don't know for sure yet... on the technical side of things it doesn't sound like they ran out of solutions, more like the new recipe doesn't taste very good yet, and nowadays there isn't much time to turn things around very quickly unless you know precisely what you need to do. I choose to give them the benefit of the doubt at least for a handful of races, afterall the car could have a lot of potential, we just don't know.

On the true management side, in my mind there are plenty of doubts though.. Does Monty have his head elsewhere with Italian politics, etc.. Is Domenicali the right guy to be Ferrari team principal? These guys have been in place for some time now and It's quite valid to question their roles at Ferrari. At least they should figure out the PR because the whole thing sounds like a disjointed roller-coaster, been like that for months now. At very least they should try to give an impression of cohesion...

Edited by Slowinfastout, 07 March 2012 - 13:07.


#30 onewingedangel

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 13:00

Heres the question though - who would you bring in as replacements?

Even if they tried to raid a team like Benneton in '95, I can't see anyone who would be worth the switch wanting to move.

#31 908T

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 13:08

Heres the question though - who would you bring in as replacements?

Even if they tried to raid a team like Benneton in '95, I can't see anyone who would be worth the switch wanting to move.


Might be a good idea to check who is leading the Citroen Rally team.
That team works OK and Todt came from the rally world.
Maybe a switch...Domenicali goes to Citroen and then Ferrari, Ford and Mini might start winning. :)

#32 davegp3

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 13:18

No Ferrari should not replace its management - I like the time when Ferrari is not winning, I still remember those terrible years 2000-2004 :)

#33 tommyhjortasen

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 13:25

No Ferrari should not replace its management - I like the time when Ferrari is not winning, I still remember those terrible years 2000-2004 :)



He he, right, I forgot those year, only remembering 2007 well.

#34 A Day In The Life

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 13:55

Ferrari has always been an Engine racing team at most. The engine freeze has really hurt them.. far too much on aero now


Makes sense to me.

#35 mlsnoopy

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 13:56

I think that Ferrari fans are spoiled by the sucess from 2000-2004. At that point Ferrari enyoyed several advatages, banning of the Ilmor engine, unlimited testing, Bridston tyres, driver aids. Now all the advatages that made them succesfull are gone and they have to play in the same playing field as the rest. So there is no surprise that they are back to where they were 20 years ago.

#36 Ferrari2183

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 14:06

I think that Ferrari fans are spoiled by the sucess from 2000-2004. At that point Ferrari enyoyed several advatages, banning of the Ilmor engine, unlimited testing, Bridston tyres, driver aids. Now all the advatages that made them succesfull are gone and they have to play in the same playing field as the rest. So there is no surprise that they are back to where they were 20 years ago.

Are you saying that the other teams didn't enjoy the privileges you just mentioned?

Is it not possible that the design team were simply better under those regulations...

#37 davegp3

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 14:12

Are you saying that the other teams didn't enjoy the privileges you just mentioned?

Is it not possible that the design team were simply better under those regulations...


I can't remember of any other team testing 1000s Kms in their own private track behing their factory....

#38 Seanspeed

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 14:13

I think you'd have to be a part of the team and in-the-know if you want to point fingers anywhere. I dont see how any of us could know where the problem lies, if there even is one. Its our first year in quite a while of doing something quite different. The approach may pay off in the long-run, who knows? Not us.

#39 KirilVarbanov

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 14:39

Mmm no, why the management? If their long term vision is OK and daily operations are good, I don't see why.
Certainly, wins and titles have to come in that order, too.

In Ferrari's case - just one talented designer, one title and topics like this will be forgotten.

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#40 Claudius

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 14:46

I can't remember of any other team testing 1000s Kms in their own private track behing their factory....


What stopped the other teams from building a track behind their factories so that they could do unlimited tests?


#41 Claudius

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 14:50

Well, perhaps its time for Ferrari to go radical - this time on the management and staff side.


:lol:
That's a funny quote but I don't think going radical on the managment would solve all the problems. Maybe having a new team boss could be sufficient...



#42 Ferrari2183

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 14:58

What stopped the other teams from building a track behind their factories so that they could do unlimited tests?

Ferrari vetoed it. They even vetoed the use of existing tracks... No other team were allowed to use driver aids as well and they even vetoed other top teams from choosing Bridgestone as their tyre supplier.

#43 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:11

I think it is (1) too early to make such decisions, and (2) pretty impossible for us to tell because we are not privy to internal discussions. For example, Fry's position is totally different depending on whether after his arrival he said something like "god, you guys are 3 years behind McL in simulation facilities; I will do my best right away, but to fight for the WCC we need to invest big time over the next 3 years", or "wow, with the facilities here I will build you a car for 2012 which mobs the floor with RBR". The same goes for the other designers. We just don't know.

With Domenicali it's IMHO similar. I believe Yellow Helmet was spot on with his recent description in what's now the F2012 thread: the Todt era dependent on old-style F1 with unlimited on-track work, then leaving right when the transition should have been made, Domenicali and the new guard then needing time to find its feet, and currently still in the middle of a transition which in every industry takes years.

I wrote weeks ago in the (now) F2012 thread that when the testing regime changed I was hugely impressed by how McLaren handled the transition, focusing the winter tests on building a data base (flowviz, test rigs) which enabled them to deliver spot-on upgrades throughout the year. RBR was maybe in a better position right away because they were a young team (in this guise) and lived in this new world from the start. Like Yellow Helmet wrote, Ferrari was maybe in the worst spot because their unique situation with their own test track probably made them unprepared for this (never had to rely on simulation to the extent of other teams), and slow in realizing the depth of change to come. Edit: add to that the engine freeze, probably less influence on FIA, and no tailor-made tyres.

I believe that the way out of this can only be to work with focus and diligently on finalizing this transition. I don't (yet) see Domenicali and the team failing in this. Yes, the past years have tested our patience, but I realize that such things take years even in the best of organizations - been there. When The Bunk believes that razing the factory and building a new one would be a solution (and a quicker one at that), I can only conclude that he has no first-hand experience in such endeavors, or that he is towering high not only over my abilities (not that hard I guess) but over the abilities of guys like LdM, Domenicali, Fry, Tombazis, etc. (unlikely, looking at their CVs)

Regarding LdM I would not see the point of replacing him. Like him or not, he is now a corner stone of the Scuderia, was in leading roles in the Lauda years as well as the Schumacher years, and anyway is not going anywhere unless it's his own choice. Generally, I do not subscribe to the Hewlett Packard style of CEO switching which in the past few years was en vogue only because diligent long-term work in many companies was replaced by trolling for short-term gains on the stock market; and which has failed anywhere it was performed. Put a capable person in that role who knows what is tasks are (setting general policy, putting the right leadership people in charge, and projecting the right image) and otherwise gets out of the way. I am not convinced that LdM is *not* that person.

EDIT: And as I'm now seeing that some guys again describe LdM as "just a politician", which is utterly off the mark IMHO, I will copy my recent post from the LdM thread:

While yeah, he is turning/has turned into a politician, I do think you are giving him too little credit: he has Ferrari and racing in his blood, too. He raced himself when young, he was the manager of the Scuderia during Lauda's WDC years (and according to Lauda in the book I plugged here a few days ago, My Years With Ferrari, he was a godsend). I have on video a TV documentation done for Austrian ORF for the 1997 GP at the A1 ring, featuring super rare material (really absolutely amazing), which shows him yelling at the race direction to abort the atrocious 1975 rain race at Österreichring for safety reasons, and if you see that you cannot doubt his dedication to racing, I promise. (I planned to upload this video to Youtube for a long time, and will finally get around to it in April, I hope - I will be sure to let the thread know). And of course he was responsible for the Todt/Brawn/Byrne/Schumacher years. So, even if you don't like him, give credit where credit is due.

Edited by KnucklesAgain, 07 March 2012 - 15:25.


#44 Slowinfastout

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:26

I think it is (1) too early to make such decisions, and (2) pretty impossible for us to tell because we are not privy to internal discussions. For example, Fry's position is totally different depending on whether after his arrival he said something like "god, you guys are 3 years behind McL in simulation facilities; I will do my best right away, but to fight for the WCC we need to invest big time over the next 3 years", or "wow, with the facilities here I will build you a car for 2012 which mobs the floor with RBR". The same goes for the other designers. We just don't know.

With Domenicali it's IMHO similar. I believe Yellow Helmet was spot on with his recent description in what's now the F2012 thread: the Todt era dependent on old-style F1 with unlimited on-track work, then leaving right when the transition should have been made, Domenicali and the new guard then needing time to find its feet, and currently still in the middle of a transition which in every industry takes years.

...


If there was any doubts about the capabilities of the Ferrari facilities or Pat Fry himself, then Ferrari in general wouldn't have been so aggressive with the PR during the off-season. Not only they chose to make a significant change of philosophy with the design dept, between years where the rules are more on an evolutionary path (compared to the Mosley era), but they also embarked on a very unusual campaign of exaggerated self-promotion during the off season.

This was amateur hour in the context they were in.. when you make big risky changes you downplay yourself and bag the glory when/if it materialize, if you fail then it becomes easier to manage as you don't have to explain why you completely lost the plot. This PR failure is all Domenicali's responsibility IMO, though it doesn't help that LDM often chimes in apparently unprepared and steps on his toes. Compare that duo to Dennis and Whitmarsh and it's night and day, PR-wise they constantly shoot themselves in the foot at Ferrari and it magnifies the more concrete problems they encounter.

BTW Tombazis mentioned at launch that Fry was a big part of this new radical thinking (don't remember the exact words), I wonder in hindsight if that wasn't some preemptive finger-pointing on his part.


#45 Claudius

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:35

Ferrari vetoed it. They even vetoed the use of existing tracks... No other team were allowed to use driver aids as well and they even vetoed other top teams from choosing Bridgestone as their tyre supplier.


Ok thanks, I didn't know Ferrari could veto other teams from building or using tracks. That's one big advantage they had before then.'



#46 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:41

If there was any doubts about the capabilities of the Ferrari facilities or Pat Fry himself, then Ferrari in general wouldn't have been so aggressive with the PR during the off-season. Not only they chose to make a significant change of philosophy with the design dept, between years where the rules are more on an evolutionary path (compared to the Mosley era), but they also embarked on a very unusual campaign of exaggerated self-promotion during the off season.

This was amateur hour in the context they were in.. when you make big risky changes you downplay yourself and bag the glory when/if it materialize, if you fail then it becomes easier to manage as you don't have to explain why you completely lost the plot. This PR failure is all Domenicali's responsibility IMO, though it doesn't help that LDM often chimes in apparently unprepared and steps on his toes. Compare that duo to Dennis and Whitmarsh and it's night and day, PR-wise they constantly shoot themselves in the foot at Ferrari and it magnifies the more concrete problems they encounter.

BTW Tombazis mentioned at launch that Fry was a big part of this new radical thinking (don't remember the exact words), I wonder in hindsight if that wasn't some preemptive finger-pointing on his part.


Agree that the PR was shooting themselves in the foot, they should have played it down until they were racing (or testing at least) and absolutely sure that they are indeed where they think they are. Mistakes were made, no doubt. OTOH shit happens and after such a grueling transition one may be prone to prematurely think that one has finally reached the other shore. I don't think Fry decides PR though, and in the video interviews he does not strike me as a guy who would pushed for the statements that were made. It's on Domenicali's head, but nevertheless, for me personally this is not grounds for dismissal, they may just need a few more months to be where the PR put them. The championships may be gone by then, but if the car fulfills the promises by May (to pick an arbitrary date i the first half of the season), would it be wise to fire the team responsible? I'm not saying it's fine if things stay the same for another 5 years, but this is the first car the new design team has built, and I'm arguing that they should have the chance to finish the season. If the car comes good, let them continue, else make changes at the appropriate time for 2013 (and the appropriate time IMHO rarely is between winter testing and the first race(s).

#47 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:46

Ok thanks, I didn't know Ferrari could veto other teams from building or using tracks. That's one big advantage they had before then.'


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#48 George Costanza

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:49

Ferrari needs the old team back: Ross, Schu, Todt, Byrne....

#49 Slowinfastout

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:50

If the car comes good, let them continue, else make changes at the appropriate time for 2013 (and the appropriate time IMHO rarely is between winter testing and the first race(s).


Agree 100%.

As I previously said I give the design team the benefit of the doubt.. Dome and LDM on the other hand, I wouldn't mind a change.

#50 The Ragged Edge

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:54

Talk about knee jerk. Ferrari and McLaren have won the same amount of championships since 2009. Race wins are small comforts for teams that aspire to win championships. Having to redesign side pods because not enough air is getting to the back of the car, is not a design problem led by incompetent aerodynamicists. Their software tools and wind-tunnels is spitting out the wrong information. Renault famously took 1 year to sort out the wind tunnel problems. If Ferrari does look for new staff to lead the team, what is expected of them? Instant results or their heads are on the chopping block? How long was Newey at Red Bull before they came good? I'd give Domenicalli and co one more year to get things right.