Sep.15 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Ferrari’s management revolution will have no impact on the driver lineup, new president Sergio Marchionne insists.
With Stefano Domenicali, Luca Marmorini and now long-time president Luca di Montezemolo all falling victim to the fabled team’s poor performance in 2014, it has been suggested the turmoil at Ferrari might also affect the drivers.
Fernando Alonso has been linked with a big-money move to McLaren-Honda, and the period of upheaval – coinciding with the shock death of his sponsor Santander – may now be the final straw for the increasingly impatient Spaniard.
“(Marco) Mattiacci has to find a way to convince Fernando Alonso to stay,” said former F1 driver turned BBC pundit Allan McNish.
“Just imagine how they would look if he (Alonso) cannot be convinced that Ferrari will sort themselves out,” he added.
But Marchionne, who doubles as the chief of the Ferrari parent Fiat-Chrysler, insisted that is not going to happen.
“They (Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen) will continue with us,” he is quoted by Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo, “because they are two very strong drivers at the heart of our project — two world champions.
“We just have to give them a car to match their talent and they will be at the top again, no doubt,” Marchionne added.
According to Speed Week, he has pledged to “give to Ferrari whatever is needed” in the financial stakes, which may help to convince Alonso to resist the Honda lure and stay on board.
Indeed, Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson confirmed that despite the shakeups at Ferrari, the Finn is committed to the Maranello based team.
“Kimi’s contract is with the Ferrari racing team, not di Montezemolo,” he told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.