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What next at Ferrari?

NEWS STORY
27/07/2016

The news of James Allison's departure doesn't come as a surprise indeed, the paddock has been expecting it for some time.

With Mercedes continuing to dominate and Ferrari now losing ground to Red Bull, the Italian media - rather than looking at the complete picture - has been looking for a fall guy and in 2015, in particular, the Briton was under sustained attack.

Then, in March this year, just as the Italian team's season was getting underway, Allison's wife Rebecca died suddenly. Since then, with young sons to raise, and still reeling from the death of his wife, though commuting on a regular basis to Maranello, the Briton has not been attending races.

With Ferrari under increasing pressure from both the Italian media and company President, Sergio Marchionne, Allison's future with the Italian team was placed in even more doubt by the fact that his services would be welcome elsewhere. Indeed, the most likely scenario will see the Briton return to Enstone.

First entering F1 in 1991 with Benetton as a junior aerodynamicist he subsequently left for Larrousse before returning to Enstone in 1994.

Over the years he rose to the position of Head of Aerodynamics before leaving to join Ferrari in 2000.

In 2005, he moved back to Enstone, where Benetton had morphed into Renault, the Briton was appointed Technical Director, a role he held as the team became Lotus Renault GP and finally Lotus, leaving for Ferrari once again in 2014.

Mattia Binotto is a lifelong Ferrari man and following time with its test team went on to engineer for Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher.

In 2005 he was appointed Chief Engineer Race and Customer Engines, while in 2008 he was appointed Head of Engine Assembly & Track Activities.

Three years as Chief Track Engineer were followed by a year (2013) with Toro Rosso as Race Engine Manager before returning to Maranello first as Engine & Electronics Vice Director and then Head of Power Unit Department.

With Binotto's promotion the team will now be looking for a new head for its power unit department.

One cannot help but feel that Allison's departure could be the first of several high-profile 'moves', all of which is going to further unsettle the team and send out negative signals, particularly to Sebastian Vettel.

With Maurizio Arrivabene denying as recently as last weekend that Allison would be leaving, could this be why the team made the unusually early, and widely unexpected, decision to retain Kimi Raikkonen?

When Michael Schumacher joined Ferrari in 1996 it took several, long years to pull what was to become an all-conquering behemoth into shape. However, the key people were already in place. This time around, as Vettel attempts to rebuild the team, as his hero did, the structure appears to be falling apart with no Todt or Brawn-like figure to take control.

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1. Posted by airman1, 08/08/2016 5:59

"Who could recover from such a tragedy? Who could have his head and his heart in a job, that absolutely requires it? No one. James should have, immediately upon his wife's passing, left, at least took a years leave. That he didn't is a credit to his dedication to the team he spent fine years with in the past, so there should be no hard feelings here. That being said, since '16 car was developed under his command, him being predominantly an aerodynamics man, and being obvious that this is the area where '16 Ferrari is struggling the most, it is not too far to wonder whether this also, contributed to his premature demise. Time will tell. What for Scuderia? I am afraid not much out there, IMHO, the time of great Team Principals, Head Guys, Big Kahunas, in the F1 has passed, or is passing already, and it will become, and is already, increasingly hard to find someone who's technically up to speed with the latest tech, while being a successful team manager at the same time, understanding the strategies involved and requirements of the tires and hybrid engine complexities. If this engine/tire formula were to last for another decade, we might see the rise of such Engineer/Manager people, with enough experience in both, but since it will end in about 3 years, I am afraid we will not. We will have stopgap people, until new,more stable era ushers Team Principals the likes of Ross Brown, Jean Todt, Ron Dennis, and other great ones. So, pucker up Ferrari, the times are hard, and good people are scarce, be magnanimous to James and remain friends with him and do what you can to help him and his children recover from this tragedy which should befall no man. "

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2. Posted by Yeyox02, 27/07/2016 19:05

"The rumor was true and Arrivabene is a liar."

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3. Posted by Darvi, 27/07/2016 11:29

"Dreadful year for James which is a shame, he appears to be a talented guy. I'm sure he'll find a new challenge soon, goodness knows, Williams, Renault and McLaren are all in need of his talents. Good luck James!"

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