There was a lot of disquiet at Ferrari and “Things weren’t right” under the leadership of Maurizio Arrivabene, says Ex-Formula 1 driver-turned-pundit Martin Brundle.
Ferrari presented a strong threat to Mercedes this year as Sebastian Vettel fought hard against his primary rival, Lewis Hamilton. But they lost the championship due to a series of driver and team errors.
After suffering another defeat, the Italian restructured their management last week, removing Arrivabene as the team boss and promoting chief technical officer Mattia Binotto to the position.
Speaking in the 2019 Autosport International Show, Brundle said he noticed the distress in the team a few times last year. He also emphasised that his assessment is not personal since “you don’t know what you don’t know if you’re not inside an organisation”.
“But I did observe it, and see that things weren’t right,”
“You look at situations like Hockenheim, where Vettel was put under pressure because they didn’t do the right things earlier on in the race.
“Then he fell off the road, and he fell out of the championship from that moment onwards.
“You look at other things like the slipstreaming in Monza (when Vettel did not get a tow off Kimi Raikkonen because Ferrari stuck to a previously agreed order on-track.) Certain things weren’t being done.”
Arrivabene faced a lot of criticism for the way he handled the media after CEO Sergio Marchionne’s death.
Brundle believes that the new team boss has to adapt to the challenges that come with the new territory.
“I do think Mattia Binotto has got a very good reputation in developing the team technically, he’s clearly a leader of people,” said Brundle.
“But of course now he’s the lightning conductor. He’s got to be up front, he’s got to speak to nasty, horrible people like me in the Formula 1 media.
“He’s got to be there and explain why things went well, why things didn’t go so well. It’s a different job and a different challenge.”