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'Ferrari suffers from trying to be too Italian'

'Ferrari suffers from trying to be too Italian'

28-03-2023 16:02 Last update: 20:28


Ralf Schumacher thinks Ferrari is getting in its way by focusing too much on the team's Italian character. In an interview with Auto Bild the former F1 driver discusses the current state of the team with which his brother Michael became unprecedentedly successful.

Ferrari has now been searching for another title for 15 years. Last year, the team was initially able to compete well with Red Bull, but throughout the season Ferrari had to acknowledge losses. This year, the Italian racing stable only seems to have slipped even further: not only Red Bull, but also Mercedes and Aston Martin remain ahead of Ferrari in the championship so far.

According to Schumacher, the problem has to do with the team's internal politics. "I think they are still suffering from the announcement of former president Sergio Marchionne, who declared an all-Italian team as the creed for Ferrari. Nationality should not count, but quality. The great strength in the successful era with my brother, was that there was unprecedented competence in that team. My brother, Jean Todt, Ross Brawn, designer Rory Byrne. It was important that they were given all the freedom they needed."

Vasseur first non-Italian since Jean Todt

With Frederic Vasseur at the helm, this year Ferrari has a team boss who is not Italian for the first time since 2007. According to Schumacher, this is a positive development, although he is pretty sure it will not bear fruit yet this year.

"Vasseur's predecessor Mattia Binotto was too close to Ferrari to be able to make the right choices ," Schumacher reflects. "Vasseur learnt motorsport on his own. He has the skills to get the most out of every employee. But I still don't think they will be a championship contender. Even though I wish they were, because of the excitement."