World champion Sebastian Vettel has revealed that he was ‘shocked’ to hear about Stefano Domenicali’s departure from Ferrari.
Although fierce rivals, the pair were also friends, regularly spotted chatting or shaking hands in the paddock, to the extent that Vettel was constantly linked with a potential switch from Red Bull in the future.
But on Monday, due to Ferrari’s poor results, Domenicali quit.
“I was shocked when I heard about it,” Vettel told Germany’s Sport Bild.
“It came as quite a surprise, because he’s been there for so long, but I don’t know any of the background,” he admitted.
Domenicali’s exit has split the Formula 1 paddock. Some think that the fabled Italian team, having not won a title since 2007, need precisely the “shake up” referred to by the 48-year-old in his official departure quote.
But former driver turned commentator Marc Surer told Germany’s Sky: “Domenicali is not the problem at Ferrari.”
Surer said that the main problem is Maranello’s new turbo V6.
He explained that Mercedes is clearly ahead, “Renault has made great progress and Ferrari has been left behind”.
Another ex-driver and commentator, Christian Danner, also hit out at Ferrari’s culture of pointing the finger in the wrong direction.
“Luca di Montezemolo tends to say that everything else is bad when Ferrari doesn’t win.
“So when Ferrari builds an engine that is not good enough and uses too much fuel, then it’s a Formula 1 problem, not a Ferrari problem,” he reportedly told n-tv.
Montezemolo has told Italian media that he will help the Formula 1-inexperienced Mattiacci get up to speed.
“I will spend more time in the paddock,” he promised. “Everyone must now do everything to return to success.” (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.