Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) management is at fault for champion Sebastian Vettel’s recent Formula 1 performance and needs “fresh blood” in order to return to winning ways, according to the Bernie Ecclestone.
Mr. Vettel won three races during his 1st F1 season with The Scuderia in Y 2015, but a planned title push failed to materialize last year, as Ferrari produced a car that worked tires inconsistently, lacked downforce, and was often unreliable.
There were suggestions of tension between Mr. Vettel and the Ferrari hierarchy, with team boss Maurizio Arrivabene saying Mr. Vettel needed to “earn his place” in the team.
Company President Sergio Marchionne also suggested Mr. Vettel needed to show more calm in the cockpit after a series of public outbursts of frustration.
Mr. Ecclestone has been close to Mr. Vettel throughout his F1 career, and sees him as the victim of technical regression at Maranello, rather than the architect of his own downfall.
Technical director James Allison also left Ferrari mid-season, before a Summer reshuffle.
“Ferrari has fallen back again into the era before Schumacher and Todt,” Mr. Ecclestone said, in an interview Sunday.
“Too many Italians are working for the team at the moment.
“I have nothing against Italy, but to have a firm rule within a team does not run in Italian DNA.
“Ferrari needs fresh blood. I’m sure Sebastian does all he can do to be successful with Ferrari.
“The question is how much are they willing to let him do.
“It’s not his fault that he does not win. It is down to the car and the team.”
Mr. Ecclestone thinks Mr. Vettel will remain true to the Ferrari cause, despite the collective dip seen in Y 2016.
“Sebastian’s Mission is Ferrari,” Mr. Ecclestone added.
“The way I know him he wants to fulfill this mission first.” He is German
Mr. Ecclestone re-iterated his desire for a complete overhaul of F1’s regulations, simplifying the rule book, revamping F1’s race format, and scrapping V6 hybrid engines in order to boost popularity.
“The rules must be changed, and I mean all of them. “They are too complicated.
“We are in the entertainment business, but how are we supposed to entertain people when the audience does not understand a thing anymore?
“Even the drivers do not know anymore what they can and cannot do on track.
“Sometimes I think the rule book just says: ‘Don’t Race!’
Let them touch from time to time, so what? Let the drivers handle it themselves.”
Mr. Ecclestone thinks F1 should divide Grands Prix into 2 sprint races, to cater for shrinking attention spans, and divorce itself from road car relevance.
“Two times 40-minute racing is more attractive to a TV audience than a boring Grand Prix,” he said.
“We have to introduce new engine rules as soon as possible.
“The important thing is to rule out the hybrid engines.
“FIA president Todt thinks they are the spirit of our times, and this may be true for normal road cars, but in F1 people want to see something special.
“They want to have noisy, powerful engines that can be managed only by the best drivers in the world.
“You do not put orthopedic shoes onto pro football players, only because these kinds of shoes are trending in everyday life.”
|NYSE:RACE||58.28||9 January 2017||-0.66||57.77||58.5||57.56||409,200|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Bullish (0.42)||Neutral (0.19)||Bullish (0.40)||Very Bullish (0.67)|