Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has reshuffled the team’s technical structure in a bid to return to the top of Formula 1.
Binotto took over as principal from Maurizio Arrivabene at the start of this year, but his reign has gotten off to an unspectacular start.
The Scuderia are yet to taste victory in 2019, while rivals Mercedes have hoovered up every winners’ trophy to build a comfortable lead at the top of the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships.
For many years a horizontal management system has been in place at Ferrari to promote fresh input from junior staff, but Binotto has decided to shake things up by appointing key figures to specific areas of car performance so he can put greater focus into long term plans.
In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Binotto said: “Since January we have reorganised. There is no longer the famous classical horizontal structure.
“We have identified four or five figures that have become my points of reference in the various areas. I am useful for filtering information and thinking about the future.
“2021 is around the corner with new regulations, cars that could be radically different and the budget cap that will force us to review certain production processes.”
Binotto didn’t confirm the identity of these key figures, but Motorsport.com suggest that the structure is divided into Laurent Mekies overseeing matters at the circuits, Enrico Cardile on the chassis, David Sanchez for aerodynamics and Enrico Gualtieri on the engines.
The Italian was also keen to point out that Ferrari are in a similar position now to the one they faced just before Michael Schumacher’s dominance began.
“I prefer to make a comparison with the 1996/97 Ferrari,” he said. “A growing team, with solid foundations. We too are a young and hungry team. I see many similarities with then.
“For vision, desire to do, passion and talent I see that period again.”
As for the remainder of 2019, the team are confident that the tyres are costing them against Mercedes, but hope a series of upgrades will find the operating window of the Pirelli rubber.
“There will not be a Ferrari B, a completely modified car, but only a series of developments in the next races to improve the use of the tyres,” he said.
“We have ideas, and we need to hurry, but it will take a few weeks.”