Jul.21 (GMM/Inautonews.com) James Allison has hit back at rumours he might be the victim of Ferrari’s new slump.
Last week, as the Italian press analysed the apparent dip in Ferrari’s 2015 resurgence, eyes began to shift to technical boss Allison’s unextended contract.
It was claimed the Briton’s deal runs out in less than a year, with La Gazzetta dello Sport wondering if his performance is “already under scrutiny”.
But Allison insists: “First, I have a contract that binds me to this company for several years.
“Second, I came back to this team to repeat the experience of winning, because it is an unique feeling. I experienced it as a young engineer, and it was amazing to win five world championships.
“And the prospect of being able to relive those moments in the role that I occupy today is something that I really wanted to do, as a matter of the heart,” he said in the latest edition of Italy’s Autosprint magazine, published on Tuesday.
“I want to stay here until I finish my work and if Ferrari feels the same then I will be very happy,” Allison added.
Now 47, Allison was in his early 30s when he first worked at Maranello, but he subsequently blossomed into one of the sport’s most respected technical figures at Lotus.
Now in the top job in red, he admits the pressure is high.
“But I have always seen pressure as a good thing,” insisted Allison, “because it forces you to do your best, to keep improving.”
He says 2015 has been “positive” so far, explaining: “Obviously no one in this company will be happy until we win, but I can say that this group has grown so much from a starting point that was not the best.
“We have improved, but we still have much to do.”
So Allison is not surprised that the performance dip of the past few races has turned into the current speculation.
“We are a team with very good drivers, a significant budget, cutting-edge tools — we have no excuses. We have to fight for victory.
“And when it does not work it is a disappointment for everyone. Those who work for Ferrari know that if you don’t win it is very likely that there will be problems.
“At Maranello everyone knows that — that when you decide to work for Ferrari, you take the responsibility of having to build a winning car. And I think that will always be so,” he added.
Asked if it might have been easier if Sebastian Vettel’s early-season breakthrough win had come a little later, Allison answered: “perhaps in the management of expectations, yes.
“But you cannot refuse success when it comes.”
As for Ferrari’s apparent mid-season dip, he added: “In the first part of the season updates came much faster than the competition and we reduced the gap.
“Then we saw that the Mercedes teams took a huge leap forward in Montreal, and the gap widened again.
“But if I had to bet on what will happen in the second half of the season, I think we will return to reducing the gap to Mercedes and staying ahead of Williams,” said Allison.