Well, well well…
It happened, unfortunately. Stefano Dominecalli has resigned from being team boss of ‘Scuderia Ferrari’ and the announcement has dropped like a bomb in motorsport world’s agenda. What makes this announcement important is the ‘Scuderia Ferrari’ name. Somebody from any other car manufacturer might resign in future but probably that situation won’t give the same effect as Domenicalli’s step back, even from somebody from inside of ‘Ferrari’. You may already realize that I placed ‘Scuderia Ferrari’ and ‘Ferrari’ names in inverted commas because the names refer different things in real word and that difference caused to Domenicali’s end in Ferrari SpA. Confused? Resigns and hirings happen every day in business world end of the day, right?
Do you remember Dany BAHAR? He was joined to ‘Ferrari’ for taking on the role of Senior Vice President, Commercial, and Brand responsible for worldwide car sales and after sales in 2007. What a title and responsibility huh? He did well but after a couple months he resigned and got the way to Lotus. What happened afterward? Nothing much, we have read the announcement from media and somebody has taken over his position and the business moved on and yet more successfully. But when it comes to someone from ‘Scuderia Ferrari’ there is always been a different story.
The difference here is, Ferrari is the ‘Scuderia Ferrari’ firstly as Formula One team which is the reason of existence; then it is referred cars as just ‘Ferrari’. Without road car dept. ‘Scuderia Ferrari’ will like Williams Team; financially floating, so depended on to sponsorship money. As exact opposite situation, just a ‘Ferrari’ name will have a familiar statute, for instance, Lamborghini or Koenigsegg; just successful car maker in sales. Therefore when you consider about the connection between Ferrari’s road car dept. and Formula One team, any role in Scuderia Ferrari comes with huge responsibility. Because who leads to Formula One team’s success, he has indirectly but importantly effects on road car department. This role is a possibility of being a scapegoat or hero. Ok then, which one is he? Does the Luca ‘Godfather’ Montezemolo was searching somebody for holding the bag of failure? The answer is both yes and no.
The Scuderia have reached one constructor’s title in 2008, become second in 2010 and 2012 in drivers championship under the management of Dominecalli of course with huge contribution of Fernando’s. Aren’t bad statistics on the paper yet more he would continue his duty if Scuderia getting involved to competition for winning constantly but unfortunately it rarely happened in his term. When F14Ts’ routed out by Mercedes-powered cars on the straights of Bahrain last week; it was the last tangible drop for his falling back. Take a look on to the ‘Don Corleone’ glance by Montezemolo which it has taken exactly in ‘that moment’. Someone had to take the responsibility.
Mr. Dominecalli is Ferrari man for sure, starting from 1991; he was part of every success and failure in Scuderia Ferrari, he did a lot. When it comes to a bigger step for him; former Scuderia Ferrari boss Mr. Jean Todt has chosen him as his successor in November 2007. He was always earmarked in the Italian succession plan to take over from Jean Todt. That made him a strong boss and a popular character. The golden era has been ending and his duty was establishing a new one when he took over the mission from Todt. He knew it and he just followed Todt’s footprints;
-Transfer a natural born fast guy like Schumacher, check! (Yeap,you’re right, Alonso)
-Deal with new sponsors; new partners from Spain, China, and UAE; bank accounts secured, check!
-Don’t mess with FIA but don’t let them crush on Ferrari either, check!
-Establish a genius engineering team, mediocre.
The problem starts here; Ferrari has some names like Pat Fry -replaced with Aldo Costa who leads Mercedes AMG Team’s chassis department today, ironic? – James Allison, Nicolas Tombazis but still engineering issues have been the biggest problem in Dominecalli term, all drivers made calls to the team every single season: we need to improve! All needed to be was harmony and it never happened somehow. Success in F1 requires empowering the right people and not over-promoting. It is also about having vision. I’m sure that Dominecalli has a vision but has he chosen right people in the right time like Jean Todt? That’s debatable.
There is always been a big emotional pressure by media and local people on the key people of Ferrari’s to getting definite success, quite unique one. The key people have to keep that pressure away from the departments which are quite hard if you working for Ferrari. Aldo Costa is a nice example for that; he left Ferrari by 2011 than convinced by Ross Brawn to getting a role in Merc-Amg. Brawn may go from Merc but Aldo does what he does nicely without pressure as we can see from W05. That means sometimes whatever you do; it doesn’t work. Despite all the resources of Ferrari; definite success never came and they check has getting paid.
Marco Mattiaci: Is he the second Jean Todt?
Today Ferrari brings Marco Mattiacci to lead on Scuderia Ferrari. Based on his excellent indisputable career, Ferrari is trying to bring someone who is able to take more professional and ruthless decisions rather than emotional ones also who understands how Italian working attitude is. Therefore it’s not a coincidence that Mattiacci is Italian, cause Ferrari needs immediate results. Although nevertheless, Mattiaci was CEO of Ferrari in Asia-Pacific and Northern America but still he isn’t kinda Ferrari man like Dominecalli. He transferred from Jaguar in 1999. It’s like a similar situation of Jean Todt’s who was transferred from Peugeot in mid of 90’s.
When Todt arrived at Ferrari; he came up with his own corporate culture rather than accepting Ferrari’s and he created a harmony from that. Jean Todt has re-built Scuderia Ferrari which that team made history with golden letters. Just like Jean Todt; Mattiaci is quite unfamiliar with F1 operations and how does it run and still Mr. Mattiacci has to learn a lot in a short period of time; he should learn how F1 runs and it’s dynamics. A guy like him will get it done in some time but his first important job is keeping Fernando and Kimi in the team. One thing I’m sure that is a few bricks will be moved by Mattiaci in Ferrari’s structure cause Ferrari needs an extension of the engineering department, a specially in the engine department.
Ferrari has most of what is needed to win again in F1; history, image, resources and great facilities, famed engineers like James Allision or Pat Fry, best drivers lined-up by world champions…If he could harvest what Dominecalli seeded and push the engineering team to be more effective Ferrari will be competitive again in soon. I don’t know does he is the second Jean Todt but Mr.Montezemolo expects kind an attitude from Mattiaci. He sad something like ”Mattiaci is the most talented manager in next generation of Ferrari’s”. Wowww, the pressure already was done!
The ‘Forza’ may be with you Mattiaci!