17 April 2014
Chinese F1 Grand Prix: Alonso wary of new team principal
Fernando Alonso admits he is wary about the lack of F1 experience that Ferrari's new team principal Marco Mattiacci has
Fernando Alonso admits he is wary about the lack of F1 experience that Ferrari's new team principal Marco Mattiacci has.
Mattiacci has been brought in to replace the outgoing Stefano Domenicali – whose resignation was announced at the start of the week – having previously been the CEO of Ferrari North America. Asked if the lack of F1 experience could be an issue, Alonso said it would take time to work out if that's the case.
“Well, I think we need to give him time and try to see how he settles down,” Alonso said. “It's too early to say if it will be a very good thing or very bad. I think we need to make sure he has all the facilities ready, all the technical stuff ready, all the team behind him, try to help him settle down as fast as possible.
“[Ferrari must] try to put him in a condition to feel comfortable from day one. I certainly hope … we are really hoping it will be a successful managing of the team and everyone is looking forward.”
Alonso also revealed that he has yet to speak to his new team principal and is not even sure if Mattiacci will be present in China.
“No, I haven't had the chance [to talk to him]. I don't know if he's coming here, I guess so, so it would be a good time to welcome him. I don't really have much to say. I drive the car. He will be good enough to recognise what are the weak areas of the team, what are the strong areas of the team and hopefully improve them. I think that as drivers, we will try to drive as fast as we can, Kimi [Raikkonen] and I, and try to help him in whatever field our help is required.”
And Alonso was keen to pay tribute to the departing Domenicali, saying he has been in close contact with the former team principal all week.
“I think that Stefano was a great man, first of all. I'm a close friend of his, not just on the circuit. We ski together every January 1st in Italy in the mountains. We still have a close relationship. We've been talking all the week long. I think that will continue, because we have known each for many years and we have worked very closely for this couple of years, so that's important, to separate work from friendship.
“Then, as a team principal, I think he made good choices, good things. Obviously we missed opportunities in 2010, in 2012. They missed opportunities in 2008 with Felipe (Massa). If not, he could probably have three championships in his pocket.
“I think he brought in Pat Fry, he brought James Allison, Raikkonen, so I think all the things that people ask from him he was giving to them, probably, as I said, the results in the sports are important and the pressure at Ferrari is also quite big, so he made his decision which we respect and we will try to move forward in different directions but try to move forward. I'm happy with the time that we passed together.”
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