Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali retains the full support of president Luca di Montezemolo despite the team’s recent championship struggles.
The team last won the constructors’ championship in 2008 and rivals Red Bull are on course for a fourth consecutive crown this year.
Fernando Alonso has narrowly missed out on the drivers’ championship twice in the last three years and has lost ground to points leader Sebastian Vettel in the last four races.
However Montezemolo said Domenicali’s position was “never” in doubt, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport: “he would be missed”.
“Over the past three years, we have lost two [drivers’] world titles at the last race and it was not his fault.”
“I’ve been around a long time, from the point eleven years on from [John] Surtees’ title. Then as president, with [Michael] Schumacher and the Todt-Brawn-Byrne triumvirate, we created a golden era and now the team is ready to start winning again.”
“The void since the Schumacher era was caused by delays on the simulation front and with the aerodynamics. However, in all but three years, Ferrari has always been in the title fight right to the last race.”
Montezemolo has high hopes for the new technical team Domenicali is assembling: “I am counting a lot on James Allison. With him came the head of aerodynamics from Lotus and other new faces.”
“Finally, we will have the creativity we were lacking. Allison knows the team and the men and he speaks Italian. Others wanted him, but he preferred us and his arrival will also bring a change in working methods in many areas. Pat Fry will concentrate on improving our on-track operations, our methodology and the simulator.”
Montezemolo also said Domenicali was the driving force behind another major hiring from Lotus: “He was the first to advocate the choice of Kimi [Raikkonen]. He has worked well, preparing for the future and now I expect to see results in the present.”
2013 F1 season
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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo