Ferrari threatens 2020 a historically bad Formula One season. Currently, Scuderia is only ranked five in the WM. This is how badly one season ended last year 1981. The main focus of the criticism is Mattia Binotto, who replaced Maurizio Arrivabene as team leader last season. Is he the right man to lead Ferrari out of the crisis?
It is obvious that he has not been before,”TV expert Nick Heidfeld answers in a conversation with’Image’to the question of whether Binotto is the right team leader in Maranello. The demands on Ferrari are, of course, enormous and difficult to achieve, but performance, image and especially handling with and between Leclerc and Vettel have been weak so far,”says Heidfeld.
“The more important and difficult question is who would be the right one now. Perhaps it would need an external top-man who openly, unreservedly and without any connections in the team reorganises and builds,”Heidfeld said. Because it is also clear that since the departure of Jean Todt after the season 2007, Ferrari has “swallowed up” many racing drivers.
The last title in the driver’s championship was the Scuderia in the year 2007. Then Stefano Domenicali, Marco Mattiacci, Arrivabene and Binotto tried in vain to get another driver’s license to Maranello. Former Formula One team leader Colin Kolles believes that the Scuderia should completely reorganize itself.
Binotto “influenced by numbers, not feelings”
“Binotto is a very good engineer. Only: An engineer is not a team leader, he explains at’Sport1′.” One of them has to explain to me how it works,”he shrugs his shoulders and says,”There are these combinations, but these are different characters. I know Binotto personally. He was in charge of Ferrari engines in my Formula One team.”
“He is a man who is characterized by numbers and not by feelings,”explains Kolles and adds:”I believe that people in general believe that a technical director must take care of the technology, and a team leader actually for his team leader tasks. That includes politics. The political positioning of his team, and taking care of the drivers, and the whole structure of the team.”
“There are many people, such as James Allison or Aldo Costa, who have gone from Ferrari to Mercedes,”Kolles recalls the past years and explains:”Strategic mistakes are being made.”[…] The problem is that the decision-makers at Ferrari decided a few years ago:’We want an Italian team. We want a team led by Italians.'”
“There is nothing to say against it. But it’s not working. The team has no structure. The team used to be the most politically placed team. Now not at all,”says Kolles, explaining:”The management level must be changed.”As an example, he cites the successful Schumacher years, when Ferrari won the driver’s license five times in a row.
Does bad management work on the drivers?
“There they had a Jean Todt as team leader, a Rory Byrne as chief designer, a Ross Brawn as technical director and Nigel Stepney as chief mechanic. A chief mechanic also plays an important role in the team. This is also a person of trust for the driver. It’s not in the form anymore. These are some no-names, Italians,”he criticizes.
That is also the reason why Sebastian Vettel is no longer comfortable with Ferrari. There’s no nest heat. But they show him, “You’re now three or four tenths slower than Leclerc.” And that’s the reality for them. But they don’t understand the psychological side,”says Kolles. At least things are changing with the structure.
Thus, a few weeks ago, among other things, a new Performance Department was established to allow Binotto to concentrate more on his tasks as team leader. For the double role as team and technical chief, he has been repeatedly criticized before. When I became team leader last year, we had to reorganise,”he explains.
“I was Technical Director, and I don’t think you can change that in a day,”he justifies his double role for many months. In the meantime, however, they have a restructured technical department, “which is very well organised and in which there are clear responsibilities”, says Binotto. But the results on the track have yet to show this.