AFTER six years without a title, the weekend’s Italian Grand Prix have pushed Ferrari over the edge. For the first time since 2008, Ferrari have missed the mark and failed to secure a car on the podium in its home race.
This means Ferrari is not just a worry on the track but also a corporate concern.
Fernando Alonso stepped down on Sunday due to a mechanical problem on lap 30 of 53 and teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished ninth. Alonso could be in for change.
The Spaniard won two F1 titles when he was with Renault and is still considered by many to be one of the top drivers in the sport. But his contract is set to expire in 2016 and no talks of a renewal have been mentioned.
“I’ve always said that I want to stay with Ferrari and if there are no big changes I’ll stay for at least another two years,” Alonso told Sky TV last week. “But we need to evaluate and work on maintaining this marriage in a winning manner.”
“In Formula One, as in sport in general, there are days to forget and this was certainly one of them,” said Marco Mattiacci, the latest team principal since Stefano Domenicali resigned, in the midst of the team’s worst stretch in 20 years.
Rumours have been circling since before the latest Italian Grand Prix that President Luca di Montezemolo was being forced out of the company four decades after Enzo Ferrari, the founder, brought him in.
Montezemolo stood with his head high in court on Saturday, in the Monza paddock and insisted he was happy to stay.
“In March I told the shareholders and especially the people at Ferrari, who I’m very close to, that I would be available for another three years,” Montezemolo said. “If there is then anything new, I myself would be the first to say so.”