The year 2007 was the beginning of a new era for Ferrari after the senior personnel that had done so much to effect a turnaround in the late 1990s - team principal Jean Todt, technical director Ross Brawn, chief designer Rory Byrne and multiple champion Michael Schumacher - moved on.
All was not happy behind the scenes: Todt, disgruntled that Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo had unilaterally decided to hire Kimi Raikkonen and shove Schumacher into premature retirement, was stepping aside to consider his options elsewhere. Brawn, who held ambitions to be team principal but knew he would never reach that post at Ferrari, was taking a sabbatical. And Byrne was retiring to Thailand to set up a scuba diving school.
Brawn had prepared for his departure exquisitely, though, leaving experienced personnel schooled in his methodologies. Byrne's long-time deputy, Aldo Costa, took over as head of design while Nikolas Tombazis, recently returned after a stint at McLaren, slotted in as chief designer. John Iley, poached from Renault in 2004, remained as head of aerodynamics.