Boss Sergio Marchionne says the success of Ferrari should be judged on the fortunes of the race team, regardless of how strong the road cars are
Mark Tisshaw
13 March 2015

The importance of Ferrari winning Formula 1 races and championships cannot be underestimated, boss Sergio Marchionne has declared, claiming the company is only defined by its ability to race.

Marchionne took the reins at Ferrari from Luca di Montezemolo last year in addition to his role as head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Marchionne’s desire to reverse the F1 team’s ailing fortunes was understood to be a key reason behind the switch.

Ferrari has not won a race in F1 since early 2013. This compares to the ever-improving fortunes of the road car division, which in 2013 recorded an increase in revenue of 5% year-on-year to £1.885 billion. Trading profit was £299.5 million and its net profit £201m for the year.

Marchionne, speaking at the recent Geneva motor show, said “there was nothing else like Ferrari” on the market.

“A comparison to any other brand is irrelevant,” he said. “At the heart of our brand is racing. This is not an accident, we’re not Aston Martin.

“We define ourselves on our ability to race, others race but it has been taken to the brand.”

He said the racing influence was always evident in Ferrari’s road cars, and as such they were “not normal”.

Citing the FF as an example, he said: “You have four-wheel drive, four seats and look a million dollars. But you can also get pissed off and drive it at 320kph [198mph]. This is not normal in a car. We live and breathe racing.”

He said Ferrari’s racing DNA should “never, ever be underestimated”.

He added: “We are unique and defined on racing. When Ferrari loses, it is not good. Ferrari does not feel good. It may take one, two or three years to win again. It’s at the heart of what we do. All the tech in the road cars has its heart in Ferrari racing.”

In this morning’s latest practice session at the season-opening Australian grand prix, Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were third and fourth fastest behind the pace-setting Mercedes-Benz drivers.

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Comments
6

13 March 2015
Worst thing ever to happen to Ferrari. Watch him, over time, steadily squander Di Montezemolo's legacy. He makes a dog's dinner of everything he touches. Exhibit A: the Alfa 4C. Exhibit B: any present Lancia. Exhibit C: FIAT, in general.

13 March 2015
Norma Smellons wrote:

Worst thing ever to happen to Ferrari. Watch him, over time, steadily squander Di Montezemolo's legacy. He makes a dog's dinner of everything he touches. Exhibit A: the Alfa 4C. Exhibit B: any present Lancia. Exhibit C: FIAT, in general.

Exhibit D: Jeep Cherokee, now an "premium" (i.e. overpriced) parody of its former honest and practical self

14 March 2015
Daniel Joseph wrote:

Exhibit D: Jeep Cherokee, now an "premium" (i.e. overpriced) parody of its former honest and practical self

Recently on holiday in the USA we rented a Jeep Cherokee as we're skiers. Been in other 4x4s we've rented and this sadly was the worst of the lot. Stripped of anything like parking sensors, absolutely no toys at all. Being in the mountains, sometimes it would freewheel downhill other times it would stop from going fast. Yet we couldn't figure out when it would or wouldn't brake! I thought it would be a premium car, but I was wrong. I think it was the Chevrolet Equinox we had before and I thought it was much superior. That's the impression I get just from be a tourist in the USA using them on snow covered roads.

14 March 2015
Norma Smellons wrote:

Worst thing ever to happen to Ferrari. Watch him, over time, steadily squander Di Montezemolo's legacy.

The one thing you can't argue with is that he's going to be throwing money at the F1 team. Absolutely throwing it. Best decision was to employ Vettel, a decision I said they should make when I was standing on the Monza track after Vettel won his first F1 race. They only waited until the price went up! But that wasn't even his decision either. With teams struggling to get on the grid, is it healthy for F1 if Ferrari is spending wildly? Probably not.

14 March 2015
Yes, it's pretty clear that this guy has fallen into the trap of genuinely believing his own marketing/spin/management speak, whatever you want to call it. It's always the kiss of death for an organisation when senior managers do this because they then can't/won't accept reality (or take crticism) anymore and this inevitably leads to failure. See the England cricket team as conclusive evidence of this.

TBC

15 March 2015
So, does this mean that Marchionne has staked both his reputation and job on the F1 team returning to glory? I'm guessing that if he was the boss of a premiership football team it certainly would..........

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