New Ferrari boss Mattiacci not giving up on F1 titles yet
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, April 18th 2014, 11:00 GMT|
Ferrari's new team boss Marco Mattiacci says it is too early for the Italian squad to give up on this year's Formula 1 championship, despite the gap to the leading teams.
The Maranello squad is yet to finish on the podium this year, and Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were only eighth and ninth in the previous race in Bahrain.
Ferrari is currently fifth in the constructors' championship, a situation which led to Stefano Domenicali stepping down as team boss last week.
Although Ferrari is hoping that Mattiacci helps bring longer term benefits, he insists it is too early to concede that this year's title is now gone.
"I don't think we are going to give up," Mattiacci said. "Our goal is to close as much as we can the gap to the leader, and at the moment that is Mercedes.
"All of you know racing better than me, and there are many variables that can influence a lap, a race or a championship.
"But this is the fourth race. It is still very early to take decisions, and our objective is to close the gap as quickly as possible to Mercedes. But it is not an easy task."
WHATEVER IT TAKES
Mattiacci has promised to do whatever is needed to get the outfit back to the front of Formula 1, even if it means going on an aggressive recruitment drive.
After spending his first day at an event with the Maranello-based team in China, Mattiacci is well aware that he does not have the experience of F1 just yet to be able to make a firm decision on what changes need to be made.
But he has made it clear that nothing can be ruled out as a policy going forward once he has analysed the strengths and weaknesses of the team.
"I will discuss things with the chairman [Luca di Montezemolo], and clearly what is needed we will do," he said. "Even going to the market [to hire people].
"But with a clear idea that it is not just for the sake of shopping.
"It is only if we find someone that will bring extremely added value to a team that according to all of us is one of the highest level teams in F1. That is the philosophy. What is needed will be done."
LACK OF EXPERIENCE BRINGS BENEFITS
Mattiacci's lack of experience in the sport, allied to the fact that neither Alonso nor Raikkonen had spoken to him in the build-up to the Chinese GP, caused some surprise ahead of the weekend.
But the former CEO of Ferrari North America believes the fact he is new to F1 means he can bring a fresher approach to the team than someone more knowledgeable of the sport.
"I think sometimes you can bring a new perspective, looking at issues and opportunities, and the fact that I need to prove that at the level of Ferrari first, and at the level of Formula 1, means you are in front of an exceedingly motivated person," he told media.
He added: "I have some best practices, but this [F1] is a very specific culture that I am aware of.
"The time of reaction is completely different, and you need to do things that have to happen yesterday, not in two months' time like in corporate.
"So I come with a lot of humility to understand and to work very hard. This is what I can bring to the team, to the drivers.
"They have an extremely humble person who will listen and will fight 150 per cent to be a facilitator to utilise best the talent that is within Ferrari."