Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Do heads need to roll at Ferrari?

There's no question that Ferrari screwed up on Sunday, they screwed up royally.  Alonso was brought into the pits the lap after Mark Webber because, presumably, a decision was made that Webber was the bigger threat championship-wise than Vettel.

Ultimately it was that decision, coupled with Alonso's poor start, that cost them the 2010 drivers world championship.  So does someone need to get the boot?  The Italian Minister, Roberto Calderolli thinks so, but he's from Italy's far right party so we'll ignore him, and anyway he was fairly decisively dealt with by Luca di Montezemolo.

Stefano Domenicali, boss of the race team has made his way up the ranks and deserved a chance to lead the team, but have they been quite the same since Jean Todt left?  No, they haven't, but then they lost Rory Byrne, Ross Brawn and Todt himself in quick succession - any team would suffer deeply from that, but I do think Ferrari are missing that certain something.

I sincerely doubt that Ross Brawn would have made what was essentially a knee-jerk call in bringing Alonso in to cover off Webber - for starters Ross would've factored in that he would have to pass Petrov and Rosberg, neither of whom are pushovers, once he came in for his stop and dropped down the field.

I don't think Domenicali is in danger of being sacked but Ferrari ought to look long and hard at recruiting a tactical mastermind in the mould of a Ross Brawn, or a Pat Symonds even.  Everyone is playing catch up to whichever car Adrian Newey designs and one area Ferrari can make up ground is tactically.  With Ferrari, Mclaren and Red Bull all in the title fight right to the end, none of them will likely have a significant advantage at the start of next season (though Renault or Mercedes could be a danger), so we could be in for another tight season - and every second gained through tactics will count enormously.


Anonymous said...

So this is what F1 has come to, tactics on the pit wall, drop the two tyre rule and allow those that want to to run the whole race on one set.

Or how about a Rallycross type JokerLap (they do it with an mandatory loop/corner that has to be taken some time in the race, F1 could do it by allowing a mandatory (once only but could be per set of tyres if they insist on keeping the two sets rule) cutting of a chicane (except on the opening lap!).

GreenJJ said...

Well I think tactics have always played a part in F1, or they have played a big part in the last 20 or so years in any case. I never really understood why they eliminated refuelling, that's taken away a whole variable which I quite liked. I personally think the tyre manufacturers should be made to produce tyres which drop off more, having drivers slipping and sliding all over the shop definitely adds to the excitement!

Didn't Bernie moot the idea of having a chicane-cut as a way of overtaking? I don't like it myself, its a bit too artificial - but maybe we're moving in that direction!

haitchjg said...

Well, ever since the manufacturers got seriously into the game tactics have become the order of the day...I guess its down to the resources you can afford to search out the advantage!

Never did like refuelling myself....tho I guess if I extend my thinking and leave it as an option to the teams, along with whether or not they change rubber....you could get some interesting variations in strategy cropping up.

The alternative is to reduce downforce, think falling-off-a-cliff type tyres would be a bit dangerous. Still we have KERS back next year (and its optional so maybe there will be ssome variety), and variable rear wings too tho I'm less keen on that one.

GreenJJ said...

I like the tactics, its all part of the sport. If you're brainy enough, you'll gain an advantage.

Will be interesting to see how KERS impacts things, it never had that big an impact last year, and I can't help thinking that having a break of a year in the development of it is not a helpful thing.

haitchjg said...

Yes but when tactics become more important than the driver you loose the essential character of F1 and get the endless stream of Corporate frontmen. We need drivers like Hamilton without his corporate hat, Kobayashi in a competitive car and Kubica in a more slippery chassis.

Anyway back to Ferrari!! Stefano's a good front man with a sense of humour, long may he survive. Better than that miserable S.o.b Todt who just blanked Martin on the Grid last race anyway.