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Ferrari boss: F1 Engine development loophole is already a victory, we hope others will follow

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Ferrari boss: F1 Engine development loophole is already a victory, we hope others will follow
Jan 13, 2015, 12:37 PM

Sergio Marchionne the new chairman of Ferrari, has said that the decision by the FIA to allow the development of engines in 2015 due to a loophole ...

Sergio Marchionne the new chairman of Ferrari, has said that the decision by the FIA to allow the development of engines in 2015 due to a loophole in the regulations is a "victory" and noted that he will attend a few races in 2015, but will leave Maurizio Arrivabene, the new team principal, to run the team.

He has called on the tifosi, the Ferrari fans, to let the team work and get on with the job of returning to winning ways.

He also confirmed that the intention is to float 10% of Ferrari on Wall Street in the first quarter of this year.

Ferrari

The new Ferrari F1 car will be launched online on January 30 and Marchionne said in Detroit, "I would like to say to the tifosi, 'let us work'. I will go to a few races this year, but we have a team boss and it will be for him to take care of the day to day running of the team.

"However, we are starting from behind; I'm focussed on finding a way to get back to the top as soon as possible and get Ferrari winning again.

"It will be a tough year, but the important thing is to keep our heads down.

"We already have had a good result, being able to modify the engines during the season, when it looked like everything had to remain frozen. I consider that a first victory. Now let's hope some others follow."

Ferrari

The message is pretty consistent; Marchionne is managing expectations in 2015, while at the same time making promises that the new regime will return the team to the winners' circle as soon as possible. Before Christmas he indicated that some decisions on the 2015 car had been unpicked and the chief designer replaced; that had put the project back, although at least now it would be on the right road, as he sees it.

So it will be interesting to see at what level the new car operates in the winter testing in Spain in February and early March. Everyone expects Mercedes to be out front and for Williams to pick up where it left off, but the relative position in the pecking order of Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren will be very interesting.

Ferrari has not had an innovative chassis for some time and they have suffered in recent years from updates not providing the performance boost expected, when brought to the track. This is something that they will hope to have fixed for 2015 so the car can develop positively as the year goes on, at the same time as a judicious use of the 32 tokens available to develop the engine may improve its performance too.

This is the first Ferrari chassis that technical director James Allison has overseen from the outset, having arrived late in 2013 at the team after a lengthy 'gardening leave' period from Lotus.

Ferrari was a long way from challenging for a victory last season, with only two podiums for Fernando Alonso and none for Kimi Raikkonen.

Sergio Marchionne

When he ousted Montezemolo, there were suggestions that Marchionne wanted to increase production of the road cars.

Ferrari currently sells just over 7,000 cars a year, production being capped at that level by the previous chairman Luca di Montezemolo. Marchionne says that it is "technically possible" to make 10,000 cars a year but added that he is mindful of Enzo Ferrari's mantra that one should aim to sell "one less car than the market demands".

However sales of Ferraris in China have not continued their previous growth, as the country's growth has slowed economically in the last year. Sales in the USA remain very strong and the UK is now the marque's second largest market.
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