Marco Mattiacci, Ferrari

Alonso says Mattiacci needs to be given time

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

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Marco Mattiacci, FerrariFernando Alonso says Ferrari’s new team principal Marco Mattiacci, who has not previously managed a racing outfit, needs to be given time to adjust to his role.

“I think we need to give him time and try to see how he settles down,” said Alonso during today’s press conference in Shanghai.

“It’s too early to say if he will be very good or will be very bad. I think we need to make sure that he has all the facilities ready, all the technical stuff ready, all the team behind him, try to help to settle down as fast as possible.

“Try to put him in a condition to feel comfortable from day one. As I said we are really hoping that he will be a successful managing of the team, everyone is looking forward.”

Alonso added he has not yet spoken with the team’s new boss, whose appointment was announced following Stefano Deomicali’s resignation on Monday. “No I didn’t have the chance, I don’t know if he’s coming here – I guess so – so that would be a good time to welcome him.”

“I have really not much to say. I drive the car and he will be good enough to recognise what are the weak areas of the team, what are the strong areas of the team and hopefully improve them.

“As a driver we will try to drive as fast as we can, Kimi [Raikkonen] and me, and try to help in whatever thing that our help is required.”

Alonso said the team “need to be honest with our situation”.

“It’s not where we wanted to be and I think there is a lot of room to improve. We need to become better in all the areas on the car.

“It’s a long way to go, the championship is very long and we know that probably the first part of the championship we will not be as competitive as Mercedes or some other teams that now they are on top. But as I said we need to maximise what we have in-house now, try to score as many points as possible and hopefully become very competitive later on in the season.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Alonso says Mattiacci needs to be given time”

  1. “From that point for sure in this race it is not that we will improve one second because I don’t think that Stefano was doing the front wing or the rear wing or whatever by his hands.

    Well, I do not think the biggest problem you have is with either their rear or their front wing Fernando.

    Its rather that Ferrari’s engine development team did not think of all the cleverest things and your PU is below par, especially from the expectations raised by wanting F1 to be more about powertrain and less about aero as well as being the loudest voice to push for V6s instead of the 4-cylinder originally proposed. And sure enough the team boss stepping down does nothing to improve this, apart maybe from taking off the pressure for a while to buy the engineers time to improve it. In that sense, yes Stefano is taking one for the team.

    1. Steph (@stephanief1990)
      17th April 2014, 11:22

      Ferrari’s aero isn’t meant to be that great either. Not having an optimal engine isn’t the end of the world – look at how Red Bull are coming back. There needs to be a strong engine but efficient aero too and Ferrari haven’t got the best of any world never mind the best of both.

      Stefano is taking one for the team but this act has made me respect him even more than I already did. You get the sense that he genuinely loves Ferrari and just wants them to win – he’s been a bigger team player than Massa. There’s a lot of bs around Ferrari about how everyone knows it is a special team but often that’s not true. At the end of the day many people come and go and treat it just like another team but Stefano is a Ferrari loyalist through and through. However, I don’t think Stefano needed to go. I thought he was a good and strong boss. I don’t buy the rubbish that you have to be a ruthless dictator to win. Ferrari’s problems have not been about Stefano- it’s been a combination of things such as the engine department, not having a strong enough aero team (although the hirings they made last year should make a difference later in this season in theory), over promoting Aldo Costa and simply having to match Red Bull who spend the most, have a fantastic driver and the best designers. I think the way they thought back in 2010 and 2012 was quite inspiring if I’m honest and they’re failings have been partly due to the domination of Red Bull.
      If a boss had to go then I’d have picked Luca – he’s constantly criticising the team, walks out in the middle of races and is more interested in politics than what’s going on back at the factor. He’s not a productive or positive influence.

      1. I’m not here to play the superman and smash Stefano after he resigned, as a person he is very nice and a real gentleman who had courage to favor Ferrari’s interests on his own, he had already shown that after the 2010 Abu Dhabi disaster when he resigned and Luca refused his resignation but let’s revise some facts :
        Putting the right people in the right place is where the team boss expertise comes into play, Stefano is a direct responsible for hiring Marmorini from Toyota and letting Gilles Simon go to the FIA who worked closely by the current regulations !!!!! Another thing is that Ferrari has a master in making engines who is currently working on their road car division which won BTW the engine of the year for 3 consecutive years Jean-Jacques His !!! We don’t know what is going on behind the scenes in Maranello maybe their road car business is more important to F1 to let Jean-Jacques His working on the 2014 regs but at least if Stefano figured out that the current regulations will be against Ferrari’s interests he could have vetoed them anyway.
        As for Ferrari’s aero department which was a heavy heritage i do admit that Stefano has done a very good job in its reconstruction (building new wind tunnel,recruiting new staff, updating the simulator), i do have the feeling that someone inside the team wanted Stefano’s head at all costs, before the Bahrain GP Stefano was very confident in an interview about his future saying exactly in Italian “Who wants my job have to deserve it” but in the race weekend and coincidentally with Luca’s arrival Ferrari was sometimes in the race only faster than Caterham, Sauber and Marussia and after the race Fernando was testing with a broken chassis that failed after i think 12 laps. I commented on that incident and said that “someone need to be fired immediately” because i still don’t believe that it could happen in an F1 team with the current standards of engineering. I was thinking that Pat Fry since he is the engineering director was going to be fired but Stefano left instead.

        If a boss had to go then I’d have picked Luca

        Montezemolo has been Ferrari president for 23 years, when he was nominated in 1991, Ferrari was in continuous fall as a company, some of their road cars were crap, the F1 team didn’t won WDC since 1979 and WCC since 1983, Ferrari now is the most powerful brand on earth, the most successful team in F1 history, some Ferrari models now like the 458 Italia could even drive a Porsche fan crazy. His CV inside Ferrari of course is just astonishing

      2. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        17th April 2014, 23:08

        @stephanief1990 – Contrary to your point, have a look at Force India. Their aero is probably on the same level as Ferrari, or possibly even a little worse. But, since they have the best PU on the grid, they are sitting 2nd in the WCC right now and have a podium, and a few top 5 finishes.

  2. It’s alright. If there is anything that Ferrari has is time to settle down. Oh wait…

  3. This will be a long year for Ferrari …

  4. Ferrari made the same mistake hiring a non-racing guy in Stefano(business administration is what he studied) and now they hired another dude with no racing background…

    1. Stefano was part of the Ferrari racing organization for 16 years before taking the reigns as Team Principal. I don’t understand how you can consider him a non-racing guy. Team principal is mostly about managing people to get the best possible car/driver combination onto the grid.

      Matiacci, on the otherhand has no experience in the racing world, but that didn’t stop Flavio from being successful.

      So conflicted for a postive/negative long term result of this shakeup because I came into F1 in the early 2000s and learned to hate Schumi/Ferrari while loving JPM, Kimi, and Alonso as their only challengers. Now Kimi and Alonso drive for the team that I came to despise. It is hard to make and keep favorites in this sport.

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