Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - Formula 1 Test - Abu Dhabi - 25 November 2014 48 Photos Zoom

Schmidt's F1 Blog: Vettel needs to worry

At Ferrari, the staff carousel rotates at the speed of light. Three race directors in one season; added to that unrest in the technology office. Not much is gained with Maurizio Arrivabene as successor to Marco Mattiacci. If Ferrari cannot recruit Ross Brawn, Sebastian Vettel needs to worry says Michael Schmidt in his blog.

Ferrari only holds one record this year. No team burned out so many key figures as the traditional racing stable. Ferrari replaced its management quicker than the VfB Stuttgart its trainers. Marco Mattiacci followed Stefano Domenicali and then Maurizio Arrivabene. Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne for Luca di Montezemolo. This reminds us of Scuderia's worst times. And always then when the staff carousel turned in Maranello, the red cars were also behind. Sebastian Vettel needs to be worried.

Marco Mattiacci stumbles over Alonso

As the World Cup title quickly disappeared into the sunset, chaos crept into Maranello. Three team bosses, two presidents, the negatives responses from Adrian Newey, Andy Cowell and Ross Brawn, the sacking of engine boss, Luca Marmorini, the resignation of Fernando Alonso. The position of chief designer, Nicolas Tombazis, is also in danger. Can anyone see a strategy in this?

Nothing documents the helplessness better than the short tenure of racing organiser, Marco Mattiacci. Hired in April, fired in November. Despite conjectures to the contrary, the position of race organiser was not a stepping stone to the Ferrari presidency for the former Ferrari USA boss.

Presumably, quick burner Mattiacci floundered over the Alonso affair. The Spaniard wanted to leave, signed an annulment contract which was worthless, filed a lawsuit and is said to have received a financial settlement in the tens of millions from Ferrari.

Nothing is gained with Maurizio Arrivabene

Mattiacci was tainted in the high office because he had no background in motor sport. His successor has known Formula 1 since 1997, but only from the perspective of a sponsor. He has never managed a racing team. Now he has to straighten out this Ferrari madhouse. Arrivabene has been thrown into the deep end just like Mattiacci. Nothing is gained by doing this.

Ferrari needs a man with experience, someone who has the respect of the team and knows the business from all sides. And one who exerts pressure subtly instead of demanding that the staff work even harder. As if they haven't already done that.

A part of the recent Ferrari problem is that many employees are protecting themselves and their jobs for fear of consequences. No one dares to do anything wrong. This results in mediocrity.

Sergio Marchionne prevents Brawn comeback

Ross Brawn would have been THE man. And with a Ferrari background. Brawn received an offer but he declined. Because his conditions were not met. The architect of the World Cup title for Benetton, Ferrari, Brawn GP and Mercedes would not accept only one boss. Himself.

And he did not want top management meddling in his day-to-day operations. Marchionne wouldn't accept that. Which didn't put him in a good light. Just like his appearance at the strategy group on Tuesday (25 Nov. 2014) after Abu Dhabi in Geneva.

Why, please, would the president of Fiat want to invest time in Formula 1 if he had a man like Brawn were at the front? If the mastermind can't get Ferrari back up and running, then no one can. Marchionne should sell Fiat, not play in the Formula 1 sandbox.





22 February 2015
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