Marchionne says Ferrari doesn't need Lowe

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne insists the Italian marque's F1 outfit is not interested in recruiting Mercedes tech chief Paddy Lowe.

Marchionne says Ferrari doesn't need Lowe
Press Conference: Sergio Marchionne, President Ferrari
Maurizio Arrivabene, Ferrari Team Principal on the pit gantry
Paddy Lowe, Mercedes AMG F1 Technical F1 Executive Director
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
James Allison, Ferrari Chassis Technical Director
Mattia Binotto, Ferrari Chief Technical Officer
Sergio Marchionne,, Ferrari President and CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari; Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H

For much of the 2016 season's run-in, paddock speculation had linked Lowe - whose contract extension talks with Mercedes were postponed until after the campaign's end - with a possible switch to Ferrari.

But while Lowe is now indeed expected to be leaving Mercedes, he is set to switch to Williams instead of Ferrari.

It is believed that Ferrari never made a bid for Lowe's services, and at the Christmas media event in Fiorano president Marchionne explained why the tech chief didn't feature in the Italian marque's plans.

"Paddy Lowe is a brilliant engineer," Marchionne said. "And he has plenty of friends in Formula 1.

"We have simply said that we were adequately covered, because with the technical experience that we have at Maranello, we have no need to take Paddy Lowe."

Ferrari F1 team's tech department went through a major overhaul in the middle of a difficult 2016 campaign, with the manufacturer letting go of James Allison and insisting it will now look to promote from within instead of luring over big-name tech chiefs.

"In the course of the season our car did not improve, while our rivals succeeded – just look at what Red Bull was able to do between the first and second half of the year," continued Marchionne.

"Our working methods changed last August, when we promoted [Mattia] Binotto – a decision taken also to give us calm and an awareness of spending money and resources on the right things.

"My objective is to create the conditions to invest in this team that has remained true all these years and give space to these people. I am sure that this policy will lead us towards important goals.

"If next year the results aren’t right, it will be my fault. There will be no problem of going to look for scapegoats."

2018 line-up "a work in progress"

Ferrari's current drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen are both signed on until the end of 2017, and Marchionne confirmed the Italian manufacturer is in the process of weighing up its options beyond that.

"It’s a work in progress," he said of Ferrari's 2018 line-up. "The contracts of both expire at the end of 2017. At the moment we have done nothing, but we are observing the availability of others to understand what we can do.

"Sebastian has had a difficult year, because the car did not meet his expectations. His performance hasn’t reflected his qualities as a driver, but I hope that in 2017 we will succeed in resolving all the issues.

"Kimi, on the other hand, has had his best season since he returned to Ferrari, so I am happy with what he has done. He’s had a great attitude, especially in a difficult moment like ours."

Additional reporting by Roberto Chinchero

shares
comments
Tech chief Symonds parts ways with Williams F1 team
Previous article

Tech chief Symonds parts ways with Williams F1 team

Next article

F1 season review: Top five moments of 2016

F1 season review: Top five moments of 2016
Load comments
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022