MAY 24, 2011
Costa goes as Ferrari restructures
Ferrari has announced that technical director Aldo Costa has relinquished his position as technical director at Ferrari "to take on new responsibilities within the company."
It seems as if Costa could have paid the price for a difficult start to the season in which Ferrari has yet to win a race. With five races down Fernando Alonso, who recently committed to the team until 2016, has had just one podium finish, in Turkey, and currently languishes fifth in the championship table, already 67 points behind Sebastian Vettel.
In a technical restructuring, Pat Fry, who joined Ferrari from McLaren, will become director for the chassis side, with Corrado Lanzone responsible for production and Luca Marmorini in charge of engine and electronics, all three reporting directly to team principal Stefano Domenicali.
Nobody, therefore, has been directly appointed to the role of overall technical director to replace Costa. These things are sometimes done later in order to handle matters sensitively, but the news is bound to prompt further speculation about the ultimate destination of Sam Michael, who recently resigned as Williams technical director.
Michael recently confirmed that he has a Williams contract through to December 31 and is then subject to a fairly standard senior personnel clause that precludes him from working for another F1 team until March 1, 2012.
With Mike Coughlan due to start his new role at Williams next month, however, it could be that the team decides to terminate Michael's contract early, so that he is no longer involved in its 2012 plans. "That could happen," Michael said, "but it would be the team's decision."