Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2022

F1 needs Ferrari to remain competitive after “big recovery” – Domenicali

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In the round-up: Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali believes the sport “needs Ferrari to be competitive” and hopes that the team will improve under new leadership.

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In brief

F1 “needs Ferrari to be competitive” – Domenicali

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto announced he will resign his position after the team’s championship challenge faded over the course of the season. Speaking to Sky, Domenicali – a former team principal of Ferrari – said he believes the sport needs the famous Italian manufacturer to be in the fight at the front.

“I really hope that Ferrari will find the right solution to stay on track, because they did a big recovery from where they were two years ago,” Domenicali said.

“We need Ferrari to be competitive and we need to have a good team, a strong team, strong drivers, to fight against the others. So that’s the wish that I’m hoping for.”

Albon never at 100% following surgery

Alex Albon says he never felt he returned to full fitness for the final six races of the 2022 season after he underwent emergency surgery during the Italian Grand Prix weekend.

Albon was admitted to hospital after the first day of practice in Monza after a sudden bout of appendicitis. He underwent surgery to have his appendix removed, missed the race but returned two weeks later for the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Williams driver says the off-season will be vital for him to “get to 100%” after his operation. “We didn’t have the time to train to really get back that fitness.

“But realistically speaking, Singapore was tough. Japan was 75% and then after Japan, I felt pretty good.”

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Comment of the day

With the sad death of Patrick Tambay, @tifoso1989 pays tribute to a two-time race winner for Ferrari.

Tambay comes always as a likeable nice character in the interviews. Though I didn’t know he was living with Parkinson’s till I heard him talking about it in the Beyond the Grid podcast. It was apparent that he was suffering but I thought he may have had breathing difficulties.

He said that he would have preferred to have gone like Ayrton, Ratzenberger, Ronnie, Gilles… rather than being sick and it takes lots of guts to say that. He was a friend with Gilles Villeneuve who he knew at McLaren and later became Jacques Villeneuve’s godfather. He has now plenty of time to race Gilles and the rest of his friends he missed. RIP

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Eric!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born today in 1917: Ken Downing, who made his F1 race debut in a Connaught in the 1952 British Grand Prix

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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22 comments on “F1 needs Ferrari to remain competitive after “big recovery” – Domenicali”

  1. Don’t hold your breath.

  2. Domenicali … said … the sport needs the famous Italian manufacturer to be in the fight at the front.

    For a long time Ferrari were given a special bonus (i.e. more money) that no other team was entitled to, and this sort of sentiment from Mr Domenicali is just what some who think the old days were wonderful will take as excuse to lobby for Ferrari to get another special bonus or budget cap exemption. The budget cap is there for a reason, and hopefully Ferrari aren’t getting some sort of exemption. If Ferrari are now struggling while receiving the same paycheck as everyone else then I am happy with that. No, F1 doesn’t need Ferrari to be in the fight at the front, F1 needs every team to go into a race with a chance of winning. That money Ferrari was receiving belonged to all the other teams. If Ferrari manage to beat all the others in a fair fight then that is great, and if they end up in the midfield then they have themselves to blame. The current rules aren’t perfect, but they are much better than they were. Hopefully we have moved past the era where Ferrari were receiving a special bonus.

    1. While it certainly isn’t fair or right for any team to have an advantage of any kind – Ferrari have been proving for decades that their issues aren’t related to money.
      And Ferrari aren’t the only team on the receiving end of such additional payments…

      As for the current rules being better…. Some are, some aren’t.
      Things rarely improve in F1 – they just change.

      1. Why isn’t it fair, ferrari is f1. Now with the cap getting a bonus is even more deserved.

        1. Without F1, Ferrari isn’t Ferrari.
          F1, on the other hand, will always be F1 regardless of who the competitors are.

        2. Because of the Cap, there’s even more reason “NOT to give Ferrari a Bonus”.
          What is it about ferrari that makes everyone think of them as Special (over and above any other supercar manufacturer) ?
          They simply aren’t !
          They are no better or worse than any other team on the grid and do not deserve any favouritism from the F1 governing body – if they threaten to resign from F1 if they remove the bonus (which I still believe is in place) I say let em resign, they would be the losers of face and respect, not the sport itself.

      2. And Ferrari aren’t the only team on the receiving end of such additional payments…

        Extra payments as in extra for coming in one of the top 3 constructors (from memory) or extra simply for being a specific team?

        I’m asking because the only team I know of that has had a payment simply because of the name of the team is Ferrari, and I’ve always thought that was wrong.

        1. Williams and McLaren also get some heritage bonus cash, due to competing in F1 for so long.

        2. Ferrari had that payment not because of the name, but because they were there from the start and never left.

    2. @drycrust

      The budget cap is there for a reason, and hopefully Ferrari aren’t getting some sort of exemption.

      The Long Standing Team bonus doesn’t apply only to Ferrari though they get the biggest piece of the cake which is understandable. However, teams can’t spend it on performance. The budget cap is valid for every team. Besides, the article in question dates back to the Ecclestone era where he used to bargain with every team alone with no transparency whatsoever with regard to the revenue structure.

      Not to mention what was going on under the table. Liberty to their credit implemented transparency with regard to the prize money structure and introduced the budget cap. While there are still improvements to be made, the sport is now run in a more business driven manner rather than Ecclestone Mafia boss style.

      As for Ferrari, many still argue their added value to the sport. Though regardless of the sporting debate, let’s look at it from a business point of view. Ferrari and I don’t know why are doing exceptionally very well compared even to their historic rivals Porsche. Since 2010 and with the exception of the Covid-19 period in 2020, they have been breaking their own records regarding sales and revenues year after year. Their stock price has been rocketing regardless of the market tendency that affected for example other luxury car companies.

      Ferrari in the last decade has also been recognized as the world’s most powerful brand. Consider Liberty media who are a listed company and have bought F1 to make a profit then excluding a player like Ferrari will certainly have a negative impact on their stock price and revenues given Ferrari financial status not to mention their history in the sport. So why take that risk ? Give them something in return and it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

      1. So why take that risk ? Give them something in return and it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

        Exactly, and it helps keep others on board as well. Mercedes and Honda want to beat Ferrari. Nobody in Stuttgart or Tokyo cares one bit about beating Haas, Williams or Sauber.

        1. That’s because they’ve never been really competitive, with the exception of williams: back in the 90s beating williams was prestigious.

    3. F1 needs every team to go into a race with a chance of winning.

      That has never been the case in all 70+ years of F1 history. F1’s basic shtick is that the fastest road circuit cars in the world go racing for 90 minutes or so. Everything else follows from that, the teams are made out to be special even though most haven’t won anything of note ever, and the drivers are what the WWE calls Superstars because saying it makes it so. That’s not meant to be negative; it’s a great show from which most other series could learn a lot.

      As an aside, Ferrari is rightfully given a bonus for both sticking around so long and committing to F1 for the long term. If F1 goes to Singapore, Bahrain or the USA and says they want to receive 60 million for putting on a race, the host will want some guarantee that the big names will be there throughout the duration of his contract so he doesn’t end up in year 5 without any of the teams the crowd wants to pay for.

  3. “But realistically speaking, Singapore was tough. Japan was 75% and then after Japan, I felt pretty good.”

    Albon that was not smart as you damage your body i thought he should drop Singapore. I hope the damage in long term isn’t too bad but experience tells us different I hope over 30 years he is still healthy enough.

  4. Honestly, I don’t know if F1 really needs a competitive Ferrari. What they need is a more capable team to join in the fight with the front runners. Surely, one more team giving Mercedes and Red bull a hard time is what will add value to the sport.

    Ferrari has been spoilt over the years, with their constant lobbying and special compensation, which enabled them to spend more than others in the era of unlimited testing. Now that there are budget caps in place, and other teams have political clout as well, then there’s no competitive advantage for Ferrari.

    They need to shed their ego and run their racing team like a proper team does – Mercedes or Red bull.

    1. Agree, a 3rd team at the front able to fight for wins, hopefully championship, would be good to have, because with only 2 competitive teams realistically you only have 2-max 3 drivers fighting for the title, unfortunately though the others haven’t even proved they can fight at the front; ferrari can, just not the whole season, so I have even less trust on the others being able to do that than ferrari.

  5. I would strongly discourage Ferrari (+Mercedes + Alpine) to leave the sport if I were Domenicali. But then again we have a difference of opinion on what the sports concept should be. He want a revenue source, through viewer numbers and sponsorships surrounding an event that needs to be a circus and have something to do with motorsport. I would like to see chassis builders fight it out on track. It should be considered a unfair competitive advantage if you build cars for a living, for consumers. An engine should be something you shop around for and really shouldnt make the difference.

  6. @todfod
    Other teams have overspent over the years. The likes of Lotus, Brabham, McLaren and Williams were light years ahead of Ferrari in terms of budget and technological infrastructures in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Ferrari joined the party in the mid-90s. Mercedes and RBR have been overspending forever till the budget cap was implemented. They were the teams that have spent the most during the V8 and hybrid eras respectively.

    RBR for example and given their works team status with Renault, they get the engines for free and the spend the rest of the budget on the chassis. In late 2010, rumours suggested that discrepancies were found in Red Bull’s books when the Dutch firm Capgemini was tasked with auditing several F1 teams 2010 activities in the context of the resource restriction agreement. RBR hit back and attempted to stop the Capgemini audit because it is an “invasion of privacy” and requires the release of “sensitive data”. They were also found to have breached the cap in 2021.

    As for Mercedes, the amount of investments they have made to prepare for the hybrid era was just stratospheric. The engine development alone cost them around a billion dollars not to mention the restructure of the entire F1 team after Wolff involvement and the intense recruitment campaign and the hiring of dozens of technical directors (Bob Bell, Aldo Costa, Paddy Lowe…).

    Mercedes used to have a chassis-dyno that was constructed by Honda in 2008 in the hybrid era that was running 24/7 with 3 shifts ! The chassis dyno enabled Mercedes to get the entire car (chassis, engine, gearbox, hydraulics, suspensions, brakes…) running with bodywork in similar track conditions (same airspeed and density). So Mercedes and before testing began, they have been running several weeks in the dyno and even if something breaks they have already a fix in place before hitting the track !

    Most of the teams don’t have similar tools and even RBR and Ferrari didn’t have at the time a tool as advanced and purpose built by an organization like Honda like the Mercedes chassis dyno. RBR and Mercedes are not a bunch of likeable guys doing their best with limited resources. They are big teams with the best engineers and technological infrastructure and backed by massive corporates with stratospheric revenues.

  7. True, but for the short-term, a competitive Mercedes in case Ferrari drops the ball again.

    Algarve, as I already anticipated from other info, seems a primary Shanghai replacement option for next season & I wouldn’t mind as the track is both decently flowing & racing-friendly.
    My #1 preference would be Mugello for driving pleasure, but unfortunately, financially unviable as a privately-owned circuit.

  8. Says the guy who brought the team up to this point.

  9. petebaldwin (@)
    5th December 2022, 13:16

    I don’t think Ferrari have made a recovery at all. They designed a good car for the new regulations but they then failed to develop it at a similar pace to Red Bull or Mercedes, they made countless errors in lots of different areas and ultimately, they just fell away from the front.

    Obviously they deserve credit for designing a really good car but that’s just one part of the team that is working well… There still seems to be a culture within Ferrari of trying to hide mistakes and not be the one to get the blame. Instead of just admitting they got something wrong and then learning from it, they say things like “well it’s easy to say that from the outside” after they decided to fit 3 wet tyres and an intermediate to the car in dry conditions….

    There’s a fundamental issue at Ferrari that can’t be fixed by throwing money or people at it. It’s won’t be an easy thing to fix and simply replacing Binotto and hoping everything magically works out isn’t the answer.

  10. Wow, such bias shown by FOM senior management

    Ferrari needs F1, F1 does not need Ferrari

Comments are closed.