Jan.17 (GMM) Ferrari needed a sweeping change after a “disastrous” start to the new turbo V6 era.
That is the view of Sergio Marchionne, the Fiat-Chrysler chief who last year ousted the Maranello marque’s long-time president and figurehead Luca di Montezemolo.
“Luca did a great job for 23 years,” Marchionne is quoted by Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, “but we (Ferrari) had a disastrous season last year and it was time for a change.”
Indeed, the team is heading into 2015 in a vastly different state, as Marchionne warns that it may be late in the 20-race season when performance starts to improve.
Nonetheless, new lead racer Sebastian Vettel and simulator driver Jean-Eric Vergne have now started work at Maranello, and more big changes may be just around the corner.
The well-connected Ferrari insider Leo Turrini claims that legendary Ferrari designer Rory Byrne – a mastermind of the Michael Schumacher era – could be set to work closely with technical boss James Allison in 2015.
“It is true that the brilliant South African never completely severed the umbilical cord,” he wrote in his Quotidiano blog, “but that he is so close to the side of Allison now is a good sign.”