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Fiat group's CEO Sergio Marchionne wathces from the box the Italian F1 Grand Prix race in Monza September 14, 2008. ANSA/ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/POOL

Marchionne: Results are needed now

Fiat group's CEO Sergio Marchionne wathces from the box the Italian F1 Grand Prix race in Monza September 14, 2008. ANSA/ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/POOL

Despite the headline grabbing naive expectations ahead of the 2015 Formula 1 season, Ferrari big boss Sergio Marchionne continues to pile the pressure on the team from Maranello.

Speaking to Gazetta dello Sport ahead of the forthcoming Austrian Grand Prix weekend, Marchionne declared, “Results don’t happen overnight, and we need time to bring about tangible results that will like come in 2017. All this is about the future, but results are needed now.”

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Marchionne, architect of the new order at Ferrari since 2015, gave his reasons why he felt Ferrari were not seriously challenging Mercedes this year, “[Mercedes] secret is the stability of the car.”

“The Ferrari SF16-H is new compared to the 2015 edition. Although the design looked great, once it took to the track there were some results that didn’t match up to our expectations.”

“We are trying to move past that in order to understand what is needed in order to improve our performance. It’s a difficult car,” he explained, conveniently ignoring the fact that both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen have suffered due to some bizarre strategy calls from the Ferrari pit wall.

On the subject of bolstering the team’s expertise, Marchionne said, “We are doing that. We just signed Jock Clear. There are people that are helping out those areas that are struggling.”

Ferrari Formula One team leader Maurizio Arrivabene (L) and Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler automobil arrive in the paddock before the start of the Austrian F1 Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg, Austria, June 21, 2015.  REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Asked if Ferrari’s management structure was too archaic, Marchionne replied, “I don’t know if we are working with old methods. But the current structure is dated and don’t reflect the people we currently have. We have a great company that produces results. We can and must improve.”

Pressure from Marchionne has been a constant of Ferrari’s new era, prompting former F1 driver and team owner Gerhard Berger to comment, “He has made a typical rookie error in Formula 1. He is one of those successful business people who believe they can also set up a business plan for their company in F1.”

“But you quickly realise how unpredictable Formula 1 is, and how it works differently when you are making a roadmap,” added the Austrian.

Vettel has played down the stress of expectation within the Ferrari camp, “It’s great to see that [Marchionne] cares and that he is as disappointed and frustrated as we all are that we have not achieved the results that we should have.”

“I see it more positively than what the media calls pressure. I think it’s good that the president is behind us,” Vettel insisted.