Ferrari engine director Marmorini leaves team

2014 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Ferrari has announced changes to the organisation of its technical staff following the troubled start to its 2014 campaign.

Luca Marmorini, who has been the team’s director of engine and electronics since 2010, has left the company. Following changes to the power unit department Mattia Binotto has taken over as chief operating officer.

The team confirmed technical director James Allison will continue to oversee car development alongside chief designer for chassis Nikolas Tombazis and chief designer for power unit Lorenzo Sassi.

Marco Mattiacci took over as Ferrari’s team principal in April after Stefano Domenicali stepped down from the team.

2014 F1 season

Browse all 2014 F1 season articles

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

54 comments on “Ferrari engine director Marmorini leaves team”

  1. Wrong person sacked. It should be Luca, who needs a kick out of Ferrari.

    1. Sure! Turn a blind eye that only when Luca became head of Ferrari in 91 the team started to turn around, and only five years later they had the best driver in the world, along some great people like Ross Brawn and Jean Todt; and they ultimately led to fierce battles with dominant teams and some of the most dominant years in F1.

      1. Seriously? Why Luca?

      2. So why Ferrari don’t have some great people now? Times have changed, so you have to adapt in order to achieve some memorable things, but Luca haven’t understood that, he just sacks everybody blindly.

        I agree that Dominecali should’ve been replaced, but it had to be done way much earlier. And why Luca sacked Aldo Costa, but Mercedes, now the best team in F1, wanted his services? Luca just sacks everybody blindly.

      3. Let’s be honest, it was the combination of Schumacher/Brawn/Todt/Byrne that turned the team around. OK, Luca would have been the one to approve the hires, but I get the feeling Brawn was only appointed because Luca wanted Schumacher, and Schumacher wanted Brawn.

        I’m sure someone more knowledgeable will correct me on a few things :)

        1. Several years ago, I watched an interview with Schumi, where he said that as soon as he arrived at Ferrari Todt asked him: “Whom shall we hire?”. As he only knew the former Benetton-guys Brawn and Byrne, he named them, and then they were hired.

        2. and about that: how much of the current mercedes is due to Brawn? it’s clear the man know how to build a winning team (even if it takes 4 years in each case) but as soon as he goes, then the fall…

          1. That’s the thing for me. It takes time, and it takes very clever people to see if and how the things are going to improve or if they are going to improve with the existing people.
            Ferrari it seems can’t do this, they start sacking people because things are not good now at this very moment, without considering the current structure’s future potential or making small positive alterations.
            That, or they never gotten any proper structure of people together at all, but I very much doubt it.

            An owner of a high tech tech company once told me it takes at least some 5 years for new engineers to start producing the goods, without exception, with or without previous experience.

            They are also very “traditional” and tradition is the opposite of progress. Luca is part of that.

      4. And the legendary Rory Byrne

    2. Sennas sandshoe
      31st July 2014, 17:31


      You really can tell who the younger fans are and who aren’t.

      Luca Di Montezemelo SAVED Ferrari.

      Every single person ever involved in F1 would split their sides in laughter at what you just typed out.

      1. I know that, but it doesn’t mean that he is still good at it. Times have changed and Luca doesn’t seem to have adapted.

    3. It’s funny because Marmorini’s name is also Luca. :)

    4. Why should Luca be sacked? I mean he is head of the team but he doesn’t have anything to do with the cars. He is just the head and yes, he may have an overall view of the team and as his head he should be the focal point of the blame, but can you blame a guy who has nothing to do with the car? He may of seen this engine design that they have as a very good thing and a strong design given it’s apparent aerodynamic advantages.

  2. Is this going to be a turning point for Ferrari or just another episode of “Muttley! Do something!”?

    1. I’m sure the firing of yet another senior figure after using them as a scapegoat for another underperforming Ferrari is just the thing needed to lift employee morale and motivate them to build a great car for next year.

      I love Ferrari but the ship looks like it’s sinking. I’d say Alonso is desparately looking for a liferaft.

      1. A life-raft with the moniker ‘MP4-30’ maybe? I know he’s still under contract for two years after this one, but it may be worth a punt…

        1. Looking at McLaren, it seems they are in desperate need of a life raft themselves. Dont think Honda is going to change things much. They are currently powered by the best engine on the grid and are still not able to beat the lesser teams.

          They got a scapegoat in the the form of Martin Whitmarsh :) Wonder what he is doing!

          1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
            1st August 2014, 0:25

            Mmmm I agree. It kills me to see McLaren drifting in the midfield. What would the repercussions of Alonso breaking his contract? Cash settlement? @raceprouk

          2. here’s a pic of Martin lately:

      2. As we say at sea, “The floggings will continue until morale improves”

  3. Why am I not surprised?

    Ferrari are going nowhere if they keep sacking everyone. They need able replacements or high profile poaches to make sure that the position is filled.

  4. Why do they keep sacking and promoting people from within the team? Why not hire some fresh blood from Red Bull or Mercedes? No point in firing people if you don’t replace them with someone better.

    1. Because the people within are already familiar with the team, and so can get to work immediately. AT least, that’s probably their justification.

      1. Familiar with the team and out of ideas it would seem.

    2. @aimalkhan
      They already hired some new fresh blood from Lotus and that turned to be a good gamble especially Allison but unfortunately his input will be seen only on next year’s car.
      BTW all Mercedes senior engineers,team leaders…especially in the engine department had their contracts extended for five years, until 2019 when this current engine era will be at its end.

      1. Good point about continuity, Ross Brawn never promised instant championships, it usually took him 3 years (Honda lost patience after 2).

    3. I think the fact that their factory is located in Italy also has something to do with it. It might take more to get someone from the UK to move their entire family to Italy…

    4. There are intellectual property rights in the Concorde agreement that prevent engineers from jumping ship midstream with all the secret data and stuff in their back pocket. That’s why these guys disappear for a couple years before surfacing with another team.

  5. No surprises. Having a slow car is bad enough. But to have the problems start with the engine for which Ferrari is famous enough, is worse.

    Hope they address the issue over winter break and come strong for next season.

  6. How much difference can Binotto make? Surely nothing can change this year, and only a little next year as engine development will be restricted. It’s not as if Ferrari engines have been breaking down a lot, have they? So will it be 2016 before there is any apparent benefit?

    1. Right, the engine (ICE) is probably excellent except for its conventional turbocharger, and it may be possible to change that for next year.

  7. Rumors say James Allison has been working on next years some months already. His design philosophy is said to be quite different to Fry’s, so let’s see what happens. Im quite hopefull actually. I certainly believe Allison is one of the very very best designers.

    1. It’s not rumors, Allison himself confirmed it and he already showed the car which have a clear identity to both Fernando and Kimi.

      1. @tifoso1989 so finally after some 4-5 years lacking downforce, slow out of corners and not good in traction… mabye we will see a a new philosophy.
        However, after i read Alonso and Kimi’s reaction, Alonso was quiet unhappy and not so surprised about that, meanwhile Kimi was happy and was looking forward to that new car.

        Anyway as a Ferrari fan i would love to see the car close to the leading team. that way they would have the chance to win ( if Alonso doesn’t leave the team till than )

        1. @yllib
          Alonso was realistic, he said that he has been in F1 for 14 years and every project in July seems to be competitive, even in January all the projects are competitive but in Mars only 1 or 2 teams will be fighting for wins. In other word he will not judge the new car until it will be on track. As for Kimi James knows exactly what he wants from the car. Let’s just wait and see.

    2. Allison is a top designer, I wouldn’t be surprised if they decide to start all over again an bring a brand new concept for 2015

  8. Karthik Mohan
    31st July 2014, 18:49

    This is why you never trust anything Ferrari says!

    1. When MM was asked about Marmorini’s future he only responded that he likes discontinuity in all the area ? Can you find a Tweet or something in which Ferrari confirms Marmorini (of course after the launch of the disastrous F14T because Marmorini’s Job was safe before the 2014 turbo era)

      1. Karthik Mohan
        1st August 2014, 2:49

        Damn it! That was Pat Fry! Pat Fry’s exit rumours were denied! You know, cold medications might have only a tiny portion of alcohol, but it still inhibits one’s abilities to think!

        This is so embarrassing!

  9. Not good news for sure, but I think something should be changed. I mean, some staff too, for sure. They design the car and race it after all, no ? The last competitive Ferrari was seen in 2008. That’s 6 seasons ago !! After that, just some cars good enough to win max 5 races (see 2010) out of 19-20 races… and that only in the hands of ALO. Massa was nowhere all these years, he was sacked too, it was a very good move in my opinion, so it’s drivers too, not only engineers. We should also drop completely the crap about LdM being “the real weak link”, “the one who should be fired” etc etc. I think he did a very well job overall since he took over Ferrari’s destiny.

  10. This is what is called ‘Sore loser

  11. wonder what happened you Pat fry hope hes still with them , says james allison to take control of entire car project ? they did deny rumors of him getting fired.

    1. @f1007
      Fry got his contract extended by Domenicali at the start of the season(what a legacy BTW), maybe a heavy compensation in case he’s fired is the only reason that pushed Ferrari to deny the rumor. Apart from his role as a responsible for the chassis department Allison is in charge of the whole project now (à la Newey) and all the senior staff will report directly to him instead of Fry who become now the engineering director, he supervises now racing operations (strategy, pit stops …) and have other tasks but he certainly doesn’t have any influence on the design

      1. In my opinion, that’s a good move. I mean, it’s good they’re (Ferrari) are not betting over and over again on the same team that did not deliver for quite some years now. Sacking Domenicalli was a good move too, he’s been in charge since 2008… and the 2008 car was the best he sent on track. But… let’s be honest, that car was a continuation of the 2007 car, which was a Todt car.So, given the situation, the dumbest thing to do would have been not to change anything and just wait for a miracle. Highly unlikely to happen anymore with the “old team”.

        1. i don’t really agree with that, granted car had some traction issues, otherwise aero efficiency wise car is pretty competitive and was close to redbull. So i would argue chassis is good, engine is what they fell behind which is not his fault, according to rumors engine is 12 kg overweight and underpowered by at least 40+ hp, without those issues they would be close behind merc, for gods sake how can they miss exhaust insulation which can gain 20hp (again according to reports) ?, also he had to deal with faulty wind-tunnel for last 4 years, so all things considered i have to say he did well.

  12. I like Ferrari, but I also like Button and Vettel. What that means is I like things that, unfortunately, haven’t won anything lately!

    Here’s hoping that Ferrari can make a decent car and that Alonso, Kimi, or maybe even Bianchi and Vettel can drive it to a title.

  13. For Ferrari’s woes, the Sky piece reported that the problem with the car is that the engine design was radically compromised for a radical development of back-end aero. But the aero gains didn’t come close to making up for the weakness of the engine. Indeed, they tested the car at an illegal fuel consumption rate to check the aero and it was still a few tenths off. All of this speaks of a lack of proper overall design process control, and ultimately a lack of a person with a keen sense of how to integrate and optimize the ideas from aero, power unit, and chassis departments into an optimum whole. The best guy in history at this fly fishing somewhere now. Maybe Luca can lure him out of retirement. Maybe also Leena Gade is looking for a change of pace and a step up, bringing some Ordnung to Ferrari.

    1. 0.3 aero deficit isn’t that bad, with a good developement could be improved, so i’ts more down on the PU than the Aero…

  14. Just my theory: I think Ferrari has other problems than their staff, since when there is the strict ban of testing? 2008 or 2009? I think this is also the period since when the Ferrari cars are not as good compared to the rest as they were before the test ban, maybe they were to dependent on in season testing and fine tuning their car.

    As I said only a theory.

    1. I dont think its a theory…its more of a fact.

  15. There we go another change. Soon we will be hearing that they can only get a top notch car in 2016.

    Ferrari is a mess. They need to steady the ship. Luca needs to insulate himself from the F1 teams affairs and focus on running Ferrari as a whole, which has done very well to date. He needs to appoint a CEO of Scuderia Ferrari that will run the F1 team and all its commercial and operational affairs, taking a leaf out of Ron’s playbook. Im sure racing is in Luca’s blood, but he needs to get with the times.

    1. There we go another change. Soon we will be hearing that they can only get a top notch car in 2016.

      Very likely given the rules ! And you can’t blame Ferrari…

  16. that’s two people that have either left or have been fired. Stefano was fired for not delivering. Now this dude leaving. I dunno, I could be wrong but they might turn into another Lotus, getting people to pay for their seats so they have money

Comments are closed.