Maurizio arrivabene, sergio marchionne

Marchionne: In 2016 we made a fool of ourselves

Maurizio arrivabene, sergio marchionne

Sergio Marchionne started the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship season with naive expectations of grandeur, but a year down the road in which time he witnessed his team endure a woeful season, the Ferrari president has proved to be a quick learner by acknowledging that he was foolish to think his team were a match for Mercedes.

Speaking during the team’s annual Christmas function for media, Marchionne said, “We did not have a successful season, and in 2016 we made a fool of ourselves saying that we had already reached the level of Mercedes.”

“After a strategic mistake in the first race in Australia we started to see the crash. The real problem is that we did not improve, but Red Bull was able to evolve, and they did an incredible job between the first race of the year and the first half of the championship. You can hold me accountable and criticise me for it,” he added.

Regarding 2017 Marchionne said, “The team is giving its all and has a great will to win. We have restructured and I prefer to look to the future in a different way. I don’t regret the choices made, they were well thought out, so there’s no need to change ideas.”

“There are still many things missing, but the team is the team and it was put in place over a period of years and we’re not about to change it now. Our working practice is already different to what it was back in August, which is when Mattia Binotto took over the reins. The organizational change was also partly made to bring some calm. Put in the work and the results will come,” explained the Ferrari boss.

With regards to talk that Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe was on the team’s radar, Marchionne said, “Paddy Lowe is a great professional, just like Ross Brawn, but I have to say that we have the right team here and we do not need them. Said the executive.”

At the function it was also revealed that the team’s 2017 car will be unveiled during a function at Maranello on 24 February 24, three days before the start of preseason testing in Barcelona.