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Formula 1

Struggling Ferrari creates ‘performance development’ division

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
2 min read

Ferrari has set up a new ‘performance development’ department that will be the “cornerstone” of its car development as it bids to address its poor Formula 1 form.

After three races of the 2020 season, Ferrari has scored just one podium and is fifth in the constructors’ championship after developing a car slower than its rivals and suffering a significant engine performance drop following various FIA technical directives to clamp down on potential wrongdoing.

These directives started in earnest late last year in the wake of Ferrari’s stunning post-summer break qualifying form and question about the engine’s legality.

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto had already suggested that organisational changes were imminent but said it would not involve sacking people.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Hungarian Grand Prix Practice Day Budapest, Hungary

That has been followed swiftly by a restructuring of its technical department, which it says creates a “more focus and simplified” chain of command.

The new ‘performance development’ department will be headed up by aerodynamics chief Enrico Cardile and include input from the likes of Rory Byrne and another leading aero man, David Sanchez.

Enrico Gualtieri remains in charge of its engine development, with Simone Resta – who returned to Ferrari last year after a brief spell with Sauber/Alfa Romeo – still leading chassis engineering.

“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,” said Binotto.

“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.”

It means Ferrari still remains without a designated technical director or chief technical officer, but does bolster the technical structure beneath Binotto.

Ferrari has been guilty of an obsession with short-term results in the past, a legacy of the external pressure it receives in Italy but also cut-throat management decisions.

With support from CEO Louis Camilleri, though, Binotto has regularly stressed a desire to continue with the personnel in Ferrari at the moment in order to build a long-term project.

“We believe Ferrari personnel are of the highest level and we have nothing to envy about our main competitors in this respect,” he said.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Italian Grand Prix Qualifying Day Monza, Italy

“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.”

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