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Domenicali safe...but should he be?

Ferrari is in a title drought and a general slump in competitive form. Unable to win races and challenge Red Bull recently even at circuits where the Milton Keynes team is expected to struggle. Who is ultimately responsible?
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 17th, 2013 (F1plus/E. Black).- There have been many changes at Ferrari over its extensive history in Formula One, including several which did not make a dent in its 21 year title drought previously. Might the Italian team be stuck in an unfruitful lull again despite their best efforts, or are the obvious changes just not being made?

Ferrari President Luca Di Montezemolo tells Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport that Domenicali is safe.

"He was the first to advocate the choice of Kimi. He has worked well, preparing for the future and now I expect to see results in the present. But, over the past three years, we have lost two world titles at the last race and it was not his fault..."

There have been many people in and out of the sport that have suggested that perhaps it's time for Domenicali to step aside. Stefano has been with the team in many capacities for several years (see history below).

He has tasted hard losses and celebrated the Ferrari dominant era in the Todt/Brawn/Schumacher regime. Under his guidance however, Ferrari seem to have struggled to seal the deal in recent years.

After taking over as Team Principle in 2008, Ferrari captured the Constructor's championship under Domenicali. Massa just missed the championship by a whisker in torrential rain in the final round to Lewis Hamilton.

Again, Ferrari missed winning the championships in 2010 and 2012 with Fernando Alonso getting close enough to almost taste the champagne. The team may have failed by no direct fault of Stefano's at all (as LDM points out), however, one must concede that the fact remains that under his leadership, the drought continues.

In 2009, the team seemed to be in a state of collapse. The car was not competitive and star driver Kimi Raikkonen seemed to be disinterested or unmotivated. The finger had been pointed to the Wind Tunnel for either issues with calibration or correlation. Even after picking up and heading north of Maranello to Cologne to use Toyota's wind tunnel, problems still exist in the area of aerodynamics four years later.

One must wonder if heads would have rolled under previous Ferrari leadership or if the leaders themselves would have been looking for work by now...

Here are some questions to ponder:

  1. How far should loyalty take you in F1?
  2. What would you do if you were in Di Montezemolo's shoes?
  3. Have enough changes been made with the new hires (Alison, De Beer etc...) to address the problems?
  4. Will signing Kimi ultimately be a good thing for Ferrari or will having two #1 drivers work against the team?

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