Ferrari announce technical team shake-up
Ferrari have announced a technical restructure in a bid to arrest the poor form the team's 2020 car has shown in the opening three races of the season.
The Scuderia have gone from taking pole positions and wins last year to struggling to get out of Q2 in qualifying in this campaign, with the speed of their SF1000 car lagging some way behind pace-setters Mercedes.
After the opening three rounds of the season they find themselves down in fifth in the constructors' championship - a situation Team Principal Mattia Binotto described as "not good enough for a team by the name of Ferrari".
After Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix he admitted they were in "worse shape than we expected" and said the entire concept of the car needed to be revised.
And on Wednesday the team announced a reorganisation of the technical team as they attempt to reverse their slide down the competitive order.
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The team say they have instituted "a chain of command that is more focused and simplified and provides the heads of each department the necessary powers to achieve their objectives" and have also created a new "Performance Development" department, headed up by Enrico Cardile.
The other main areas are unchanged with Enrico Gualtieri in charge of the Power Unit, Laurent Mekies as Sporting Director and in charge of trackside activities, while Simone Resta will continue to lead the Chassis Engineering department.
Binotto, who is already under pressure despite taking over as Team Principal only last year, said the team had to make a "decisive change" as the Italian squad look to claw their way back to the front of the grid.
"As hinted at a few days ago, we are making changes to the technical side of the organisation so as to speed up the design and development on the car performance front," he said.
Binotto also mentioned designer Rory Byrne – one of the key architects of the Michael Schumacher era of Ferrari dominance – would once again be playing a key role in developing the car.
"A change of direction was needed to define clear lines of responsibility and working processes, while reaffirming the company’s faith in its technical talent pool. The department run by Enrico Cardile will be able to count on the experience of Rory Byrne and established engineers such as David Sanchez. It will be the cornerstone of the car’s development.
“We believe Ferrari personnel are of the highest level and we have nothing to envy about our main competitors in this respect, but we had to make a decisive change, raising the bar in terms of the responsibilities of the department heads.
“We have said it several times, but it’s worth repeating: we have started to lay the foundations of a process which should lead to a new and enduring winning cycle. It will take some time and we will suffer setbacks like the one we are experiencing right now in terms of results and performance.
"However, we must react to these shortcomings with strength and determination to get back to being at the very top of this sport as soon as possible. This is what we all want and what our fans all over the world expect of us."
With the current cars also now carrying over into 2021, as F1 looks to save money following the coronavirus pandemic, Ferrari need to extract as much speed as possible from the SF1000 - or face two seasons of pain before the big technical reset in 2022.
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Sebastian Vettel war in Flirtlaune. Vor dem zweiten Formel-1-Rennen in Österreich liebäugelte der viermalige Weltmeister mit den nur noch wenigen verbliebenen Cockpit-Optionen für eine Fortsetzung seiner Karriere.