MAY 11, 2016
Ferrari slow to react to rule changes
Luca Baldisserri, a former key manager and engineer at Ferrari, says the Maranello team should work on adapting better to rule changes.
53-year-old Baldisserri was a key member of the team in the hugely successful Michael Schumacher era, but in recent years he headed Ferrari's young driver programme and now oversees the careers of Mick Schumacher and Williams' Lance Stroll.
When asked about Ferrari's struggle for wins in the new Mercedes-dominated 'power unit' era, he said: "I keep in mind one thing, which was also true when I was active.
"In Maranello, we have always had a tendency to focus on the immediate, whilst underestimating the impact of rule changes.
"Recall 2005, when the changing of tyres was prohibited. And 2009, when although the double diffuser was illegal, we were blown away," he told Ferrari insider Leo Turrini's blog.
"It seems to me the same thing occurred with 2014 and the return of turbo technology," said Baldisserri.
"This overwhelming dominance of Mercedes was not expected," he added. "The numbers are stronger than the Ferrari of Schumacher, Todt, Brawn etc."
Baldisserri does, however, think Ferrari has got its current driver lineup right.
"Alonso on the track is as strong as Vettel," he said. "But Alonso is missing all that Vettel does off the track."
And while Baldisserri is now steering the young Schumacher and Canadian Stroll towards the F1 grid, he insists his days in the garage and pitwall are over.
"I have no nostalgia for the grands prix," he said. "And if they (Schumacher and Stroll) get to formula one, I would watch them on television, as it's a life that is no longer for me."