Feb.23 (GMM/Inautonews.com) So far, Sergio Marchionne’s revolution is going exactly to plan.
Last year, as Ferrari badly faltered at the start of the new turbo V6 era, the Fiat Chrysler chief was the big mover behind a huge shakeup at Maranello.
And so Italian-Canadian Marchionne made a visit to the Barcelona test at the weekend amid suggestions Ferrari has already turned the tables with a much more competitive car for 2015.
“What we are seeing,” he told Italian-language reports, “is the result of a team that now has clear objectives and the means to achieve them.
“It will take a bit of time, and even at the first race it will be difficult to determine what our car is really capable of,” Marchionne insisted.
“We may have to wait until we return here (to Barcelona) for the (Spanish) grand prix.”
Already, the media has hailed the arrival of Ferrari’s charismatic new boss Maurizio Arrivabene, who replaced the unpopular and mysterious Marco Mattiacci.
Arrivabene duly gave an open and entertaining audience to the press in Barcelona.
“Yes,” Marchionne confirmed, “we have to re-establish the relationship of trust and serenity because we had some years that were not the most fortunate.
“We have it all to do and we’re building up, with the necessary humility,” he said, “because we have nothing to be arrogant about.”
Very promising, however, is the apparent promise of the new SF15-T car, in the hands of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
“I think it is giving results in line with what the engineers expected,” said Marchionne, “but we need to wait for the races.”
However, he admitted that ‘iceman’ Raikkonen’s unusually smiling demeanour is a “huge step forward”.
“I think an important thing was to convince the F1 Commission that the tokens could be used for the engine during the course of the season, according to our interpretation of the rules,” he continued.
“It was a very important result.”
Even more important, however, was to end the calamity of 2014 and steer Ferrari onto a unified road to the future.
“The team is fine,” Marchionne said. “We understand where we are now, so the next thing is to understand where are our opponents.”