The seeds for Formula 1's 2015 season were sown a good two months before 2014 gave way to the new year, when Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne replaced long-time Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo with his good self as part of an overall management restructure..
It was at this point that, for Ferrari, F1 mutated from a marginally profitable global-marketing pedestal for the company's road cars to a full-on profit centre within Gruppo Fiat. It was also the point at which Marchionne started playing an active role in F1 by attending Strategy Group and F1 Commission meetings - convened by the Italo-Canadian's former subordinate, Jean Todt.
Observers maintain Marchionne lost no time in making his former superiority over the bafflingly laissez-faire Todt clear. In addition, they claim, he flaunted his status as the sole holder of a regulatory veto (which he triggered within a year) more often than all his predecessors combined.