It has become something of a tradition that Ferrari president attends the first two days of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend (the European F1 season opener), has a high profile presence as he soaks in practices and qualifying, then berates his under performing team before departing without attending the race, as he did last year. Fernando Alonso went on to win that race.
Fast forward 12 months and the team’s performance relative to the pace setters (Mercedes) is worse than in 2o13, and this time around not even Alonso could do anything to alleviate the Maranello crisis which exploded last month with the firing of Team Principal Stefano Domenicali and immediate appointment of Marco Mattiacci to the sport’s hottest seat.
The inexperienced Italian, a month into his job – which has entailed “analysing and evaluating the team and its working methods” – did not take long to figure out that he has a mammoth task on his hands, “We are all aware of the situation in which we find ourselves and that we have to step up a gear immediately. At the same time, we are practical people who believe in hard work and we have set ourselves challenging goals.”
“I like to talk facts and we have two extremely motivated and combative drivers, as well as a cohesive working group, all of whom fully share and support the idea of delivering a new winning cycle,” declared Mattiaci.
In a press release after the Spanish GP weekend where Alonso and Kimi Raikonen finished sixth and seventh respectively, Ferrari said, “While Spain clearly showed up some of the weak points in the F14T, it is equally clear that the engineers in Maranello are working methodically and without panicking on both the short term and on establishing a development programme for future races.”
“Therefore the two days of testing at the Catalunya circuit will be useful for moving forward with the update plan, alongside the work going on behind the scenes in Maranello, hoping that this work on two fronts from the entire time will pay off in double quick time.”
Raikkonen is slated to complete two days in Barcelona at the wheel of the Ferrari F14T. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.