Ferrari: F1's newest team boss Mattiacci upbeat for future

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
New Ferrari boss Marco Mattiacci explains sunglasses

Ferrari will do "whatever is needed" to return to the top of Formula 1, according to their new team principal.

Marco Mattiacci said he had discussed the future with Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo, who was prepared to recruit new staff if necessary.

"But only if he really believes it is going to be an added value to this team," explained Mattiaci.

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Mattiacci said Montezemolo was "extremely focused" on giving as much support as he could to the team.

"Whatever is needed will be done," said Mattiacci.

Formerly the head of Ferrari's North American road-car division, Mattiacci was drafted in to run the F1 team following the resignation of former team principal Stefano Domenicali.

He quit after the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen could finish only ninth and 10th in the last race in Bahrain.

Ferrari had expected to be title contenders this year following major rule changes that resulted in the introduction of turbo hybrid engines and a fuel restriction.

But the shock of discovering they were a second a lap slower than Mercedes and struggling to beat traditional midfield runners such as Force India and Williams, who also use Mercedes engines, convinced Domenicali it was time for "an important change".

Mattiacci revealed he was woken by a phone call at 5.58am at his home in New York last Friday to be told by Montezemolo he had a new job.

"After the second or third minutes of discussion, I understood it was serious," said Mattiacci.

Attending his first race this weekend in China, Mattiacci caused a stir by wearing sunglasses throughout both practice sessions despite the generally overcast weather.

He joked: "If you do almost 40 hours of flight and you don't sleep in the last four days, probably you need sunglasses."

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Mattiacci insisted Ferrari were still hopeful of being title contenders this season, echoing comments by Alonso.

"I don't think we are going to give up," said Mattiacci. "Our objective is to close the gap as soon as possible with Mercedes. Not an easy task."

He admitted that, with no previous experience, he needed to prove himself quickly but insisted he was "an extremely motivated person".

He pointed to his wide business experience, built up over 14 years with Ferrari, but added he was now working in "a completely different culture with a completely different speed of reaction".

He added: "You need to do things yesterday, not in two months like in the corporate world."

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