Mar.22 (GMM) Ferrari is lacking the “characters” required for a big shakeup and a return to winning ways in Formula 1.
That is the view of Italian and former F1 team boss Flavio Briatore, who said he isn’t surprised that Ferrari has kicked off yet another disappointing championship campaign.
“It always happens,” he told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
“There are people at Maranello who talk all winter when what was needed is an in-depth analysis on why they haven’t won for more than 15 years.”
Ferrari did axe Mattia Binotto after the disappointing 2022 campaign, but Briatore insists that isn’t enough.
When asked who has the responsibility, the 72-year-old answered: “The Ferrari ownership. But I don’t see it very involved in this.
“It is not enough to make one change. They need characters of weight in the team and these days there are none. I remember how they started winning when they took 10, 12 people away from Benetton. They did well,” Briatore said.
He even thinks Ferrari completely mismanaged the way Formula 1 tweaked the floor rules mid last year and again for 2023 in order to combat ‘porpoising’.
“The rules changed and Ferrari was penalised,” said Briatore. “They needed to beat their fists on the table.
“It’s not right that a team that won everything for eight years gets the regulations changed for getting their project wrong,” he added, referring to Mercedes.
Briatore said he thinks Binotto lost his top job at Ferrari not because he underperformed, but because he took on “too many responsibilities” for himself.
“I know Fred (Vasseur) quite well,” the Italian said. “He’s a hard and serious worker.
“But he has just arrived and is coaching a team with the players he found there. Let’s give him time.”
As for Charles Leclerc, there are clearly signs now that he is losing patience with Ferrari’s continuing mediocrity – with rumours linking him with a team move.
“The driver is there, it’s just the car that is missing,” Briatore agrees. “Otherwise how would he manage to get so close to Red Bull in qualifying?”