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Formula 1

What major Ferrari F1 recruit means for Aston Martin

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
4 min read

A key pillar of Ferrari's Formula 1 technical team has resigned and signed a deal to join Aston Martin in 2025 - a signing that's highly significant for both teams.

Enrico Cardile was serving as Ferrari's technical director for the chassis and aerodynamic departments, working in collaboration with fellow technical director Enrico Gualtieri (power unit) and team boss Fred Vasseur as well as other figures like sporting director Diego Ioverno, who replaced Laurent Mekies when he became RB's new team principal.

Cardile has been with Ferrari for almost two decades and his role will be filled on an interim basis by Vasseur.

Rumours of an Aston Martin move have persisted for a while, and Aston's now confirmed that Cardile will become its new chief technical officer, effectively moving in above current technical director Dan Fallows, rather than as a direct replacement for him.

This is a big hire for a technical structure that already has plenty of big heavyweights within it, which will soon include another recruit - ex-Mercedes engine guru Andy Cowell.

How Cardile fits into that dynamic of that team remains to be seen. It could be that his appointment above Fallows will put pressure on the ex-Red Bull man to prove his worth, if the need for another senior technical figure means there are any doubts about his leadership and contribution.

Or it could actually free Fallows up more to build on the patches of success the team has shown over the last couple of years, such as its leap forward at the start of the 2023 season. Technical organisations are so vast and modern F1 cars so complex that a traditional single technical director can struggle to have oversight of everything and make the most effective contribution themselves.

Since that early-2023 purple patch, it's appeared to be a technical team that's brought upgrades that have made the car harder to drive and having sustained successful mid-season development has been tricky. It's also hit the same ceiling as Ferrari with how much you can push these regulations before you encounter bouncing problems.

You might wonder, then, why bring in the architect of some of those bouncing problems Ferrari has been experiencing? But one person alone isn't responsible for a car's problems (though nor are they solely responsible for the solutions either).

You only have to look at Audi signing James Key despite his tricky time at McLaren, or Williams's recent splurge of Alpine signings, to know that F1 teams don't lose faith in good rival technical brains so easily.

This is about Aston making sure it has a heavy-hitting technical structure to make the most of Lawrence Stroll's huge investment in the team and its brand-new facilities. Having a CTO above a technical director isn't particularly outlandish or overstuffing.

The anticipated Cardile signing is surely all about helping Aston prepare for 2026, following on from getting Cowell in place as the new group chief executive officer.

There's another ex-Mercedes figure Bob Bell in there too as executive director so you have a solid, experienced 'superteam' that Aston's been working hard to assemble before F1's next era - so that it hits each aspect of 2026 preparation, design, development, engine integration, and production as effectively as possible.

As well as the 2026 project, Cardile may also steer other working groups and, as CTO, many other facets of the project.

Considering the weight of the talent now in place, you could argue there's now little space for Adrian Newey at Aston. And you could even argue if Ferrari is the favoured destination for Newey - who is still yet to make up his mind on his next move after Red Bull - then perhaps Cardile is making way to have a standout senior role elsewhere rather than risk falling into Newey’s shadow.

This could be seen as a loss for Ferrari given Cardile's been such a pivotal figure in its revival, but that may well change if it does capture Newey and then reaps the reward of any gold dust he's able to bring for 2026.

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