It’s Official, Domenicali Resigns, Mattiacci In

On receiving Stefano Domenicali’s resignation, Ferrari thanks him for the dedication he brought to his service to the company, in positions of ever increasing responsibility over the past 23 years. It offers Stefano Domenicali its most sincere best wishes for the future.

Stefano Domenicali has decided to resign from his position as Director of the Gestione Sportiva.

“There are special moments that come along in everyone’s professional life, when one needs courage to take difficult and very agonising decisions,” said Domenicali. “It is time for a significant change. As the boss, I take responsibility, as I have always done, for our current situation. This decision has been taken with the aim of doing something to shake things up and for the good of this group of people that I feel very close to. With all my heart, I thank all the men and women in the team, the drivers and the partners for the wonderful relationship we have enjoyed over all these years. I hope that very soon, Ferrari will be back where it deserves to be. My final words of thanks go to our President, for having always supported me and to all our fans. I only regret that we have been unable to harvest what we worked so hard to sow in recent years.”

Ferrari announces that, as from today, it has appointed Marco Mattiacci, current President and CEO of Ferrari North America, as the new head of the Gestione Sportiva.

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Domenicali stands down at Ferrari as F1 team principal

Stefano Domenicali has stepped down as Ferrari team principal following a poor start to the 2014 season.

The new power unit regulations this year offered Ferrari a chance to end Red Bull’s dominance, but Mercedes is well clear of the rest of the field and Ferrari has only managed a best result of fourth in Australia; with Fernando Alonso and Raikkonen finishing 9th and 10th respectively in Bahrain. Domenicali has now opted to resign following the poor start to the season, and said he had taken the decision to try and “jolt” the team in to success.

“There are certain moments in the professional life of each of us where it takes courage to make tough decisions,” Domenicali said. “It’s time to implement a major change.

“Again, I take responsibility – as I always have – for the situation we are experiencing. It is a choice taken with the desire to do something to give a jolt to our environment and for the sake of this group, which are closely linked. I sincerely thank all the men and women of the team, the drivers and partners for the wonderful relationship we have had in these years.

“I wish you all that you can quickly return to the levels that Ferrari deserves.”

Marco Mattiacci – CEO of Ferrari North America – has been named as Domenicali’s replacement.
Ferrari has not won a drivers’ championship since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, with its last constructors’ title following a year later. Domenicali took on the role of team principal from Jean Todt in 2008 and has seen the team take 20 victories in that time. Alonso missed out on the drivers’ championship at the final race of the season in both 2010 and 2012.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was present at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix but left the race early with both cars unable to challenge for the podium, and has since vowed to “leave no stone unturned to get where we need to be.

“We’ll work day and night to improve, and we’ll take the decisions that we need to take,” Montezemolo added

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Bahrain F1 Grand Prix: Alonso: Racing is still exciting

Fernando Alonso says racing in F1 is still exciting despite the slower lap times and new regulations in 2014.

New power units and aerodynamic regulations have seen lap times drop significantly in 2014, while drivers are also limited in terms of fuel and fuel flow. The new regulations have come in for some criticism, with Sebastian Vettel calling the sound “sh*t” last weekend and Sergio Perez saying the Malaysian Grand Prix was “boring”. However, asked if the racing was boring or exciting for him, Alonso said testing himself against his fellow drivers was always a thrill.

“Still exciting because at the end of the day you are competing against the others,” Alonso said. “That is the DNA of the driver, the competition, if we drive go-karts we enjoy so much and we are driving at 50km/h with very hard tyres and sliding everywhere and we keep enjoying that race.

“It is not a problem of excitement, it is just that the cars are too slow. The fastest lap in Malaysia in 1:34.7 with [Sebastian] Vettel some years ago and [Lewis] Hamilton did a 1:43.0, so that’s nine seconds. And behind the wheel when you drive nine seconds slower you don’t enjoy as much as driving the fast car.

“As far as it is the same for everybody, and you compete against the others you keep enjoying it but for drivers like me or Kimi [Raikkonen] or Jenson [Button] who drove another F1, not better or worse, you will miss some of those cars.”

However, Alonso did admit that the physical challenge had decreased to such an extent that he didn’t even need a drinks bottle in Malaysia.

“Definitely. I remember going to Malaysia and having very specific preparation and from Saturday doing a lot of strange things to get hydrated. Don’t get me wrong, but we had some specific training programme etc, and now they asked me on Saturday, ‘Do you want a drink system on the car?’ And I said ‘No, I don’t want.’ I don’t even sweat sometimes. So I had the Malaysia race even without the drink system. It’s not necessary any more.”

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Malaysia GP : After Race Quotes

Fernando Alonso (4th): “The points scored today are the result of a trouble free weekend, in which the small improvements on the car worked as we had expected and it ran very reliably. We definitely have a lot more work to do, because while we are moving forward, the others are doing the same. Everyone in our team is doing their utmost to close down the gap. It’s no secret that we definitely need to improve our top speed, as could be seen from my duel with Hulkenberg. I was able to get him thanks to fresher tyres, but we definitely need to up our performance right from the very next race.”

Kimi Raikkonen (12th): “I am very disappointed with how this race turned out, because I got a good start, but then the collision with Magnussen damaged my right rear tyre, which meant I had to make an extra stop. That wiped out any chance I had of fighting for a good finish. After the accident, the car’s handling was not the same, as the tyre had caused damage to the floor, which led to a loss of downforce.”

Pat Fry: “A race of mixed fortunes today, because while Fernando managed yet again to give his all, Kimi’s race was compromised right from the start. Despite the different outcomes, both of them drove at a good pace, reasonably similar to that of the cars grouped behind the Mercedes. The F14 T continues to make progress and has proved to have good reliability, but we know this is not enough. We know we are working in the right direction, but if we want to reduce the gap to the leaders, we need to make a major step forward.”
Read more at http://en.espnf1.com/malaysia/motorsport/story/151513.html#rQRKiIJ2ptUDrWsA.99

Fernando Alonso (4th): “The points scored today are the result of a trouble free weekend, in which the small improvements on the car worked as we had expected and it ran very reliably. We definitely have a lot more work to do, because while we are moving forward, the others are doing the same. Everyone in our team is doing their utmost to close down the gap. It’s no secret that we definitely need to improve our top speed, as could be seen from my duel with Hulkenberg. I was able to get him thanks to fresher tyres, but we definitely need to up our performance right from the very next race.”

Kimi Raikkonen (12th): “I am very disappointed with how this race turned out, because I got a good start, but then the collision with Magnussen damaged my right rear tyre, which meant I had to make an extra stop. That wiped out any chance I had of fighting for a good finish. After the accident, the car’s handling was not the same, as the tyre had caused damage to the floor, which led to a loss of downforce.”

Pat Fry: “A race of mixed fortunes today, because while Fernando managed yet again to give his all, Kimi’s race was compromised right from the start. Despite the different outcomes, both of them drove at a good pace, reasonably similar to that of the cars grouped behind the Mercedes. The F14 T continues to make progress and has proved to have good reliability, but we know this is not enough. We know we are working in the right direction, but if we want to reduce the gap to the leaders, we need to make a major step forward.”
Read more at http://en.espnf1.com/malaysia/motorsport/story/151513.html#rQRKiIJ2ptUDrWsA.99

Malaysian GP: Little bit of a nightmare race for Alonso

Fernando Alonso has said Ferrari needs to improve and that his car felt slow for all of Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, a race he described as ‘a little bit of a nightmare’.

Alonso spent most of the afternoon battling with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, and while he got the better of both – with Ricciardo dropping back after pit stop problems, and then passing Hulkenberg to take fourth near the end, the Spaniard was still disappointed.

Indeed he was 35.9 seconds off eventual winner, Lewis Hamilton at the ‘flag, while Sebastian Vettel was 11.4 seconds ahead in P3.

“It [my Ferrari] felt slow for all the race, to be honest,” Alonso told reporters in Sepang, including Crash.net. “I felt not competitive enough and I was not fast enough in the first stint to compete with the guys in front. Then when we did the first stint and we switched for another set of medium tyres. I was not really comfortable then either – not comfortable with the balance and not comfortable with the brakes. It was a little bit of a nightmare out there. We understand that Hulkenberg was on a different strategy and from that point we needed to push and try and get him. It was not possible to challenge the Red Bull. But we knew Hulkenberg would be in front in the last stint and so we will need to overtake him. There was no time to lose in the pit stop or with the people we were lapping, any small time lost, would be a penalty later on. We tried to concentrate on that.

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Malaysia GP Results

Pos Driver Team Laps Gap
1 Hamilton Mercedes 56 1h 40:25.974
2 Rosberg Mercedes 56 + 0:17.313
3 Vettel Red Bull 56 + 0:24.534
4 Alonso Ferrari 56 + 0:35.992
5 Hulkenberg Force India 56 + 0:47.199
6 Button McLaren 56 + 1:23.691
7 Massa Williams 56 + 1:25.076
8 Bottas Williams 56 + 1:25.537
9 Magnussen McLaren 55 + 1 Lap
10 Kvyat Toro Rosso 55 + 1 Lap
11 Grosjean Lotus 55 + 1 Lap
12 Raikkonen Ferrari 55 + 1 Lap
13 Kobayashi Caterham 55 + 1 Lap
14 Ericsson Caterham 54 + 2 Laps
15 Chilton Marussia 54 + 2 Laps
Ricciardo Red Bull 49 Technical
Gutierrez Sauber 35 Gearbox
Sutil Sauber 32 Electrics
Vergne Toro Rosso 18 Engine
Bianchi Marussia 8 Accident Damage
Maldonado Lotus 7 Engine
NS Perez Force India 0 Did Not Start

Fastest Lap: Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:43.066 (Lap 53)

Malaysian GP: Alonso delighted with fourth after Kvyat clash

Fernando Alonso has said he is ‘extremely happy’ to have put his Ferrari on the second row of the grid for the 2014 F1 Malaysian Grand Prix, especially after that incident with Daniil Kvyat in Q2.

Alonso looked poised to start in third place, but was demoted right at the end of the top-ten shootout when Nico Rosberg improved. Despite slipping down a spot though, Alonso remained upbeat: “I am happy. I am extremely happy with fourth,” he told reporters in Sepang, including Crash.net.

“You never know where you are from practice. In free practice on Friday, we saw Mercedes again not using the potential and they did the same in Australia. Then on Saturday they were one second ahead. Today in FP3 they were one second ahead too. They only use the [full] potential at the moment on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. To be fourth then is nearly the maximum we can do right now.”

“Also after the accident the car was very heavy on one side and very light on the other,” he continued. “In wet conditions this is not the easiest way to drive the car. We managed to put the car out on the track though and complete the laps and those laps were enough to be fourth.

“We need to be very, very happy.”

Quizzed on the coming together with Kvyat, Alonso was philosophical: “Obviously it was an unfortunate situation, wrong place at wrong moment. I didn’t see him – that is the truth. I turn in and I only felt the hit. I didn’t even see him before he hit the car. I haven’t seen a re-play yet or anything like that. I don’t know where he was coming from – if he was late on braking, if he locked the tyres… I don’t know anything. Just for sure, it was a surprise on the out-lap with these visibility conditions, to have this kind of attack,” he added.

“We were lucky to be able to come back to the pit lane and repair the car, with a world record, probably, front suspension change.”

So what can he do in the race now? “We will push to the maximum tomorrow. Whether it is dry or if it is wet, we need to put some pressure on Mercedes.

“It is not 100 per cent sure that the cars will finish again. We were very concerned in Australia and we cannot now be relaxed about finishing the race two weeks after. We also saw one of the Mercedes was very dominant there, but the other one retired early on. We need to be there. We need to put on pressure. We need to try and make it so they don’t have an easy race.

“But at the same time we need to be realistic and know it is probably going to be difficult for us to match the pace of Mercedes,” he concluded.

Malaysian Grand Prix: Qualifying results

1. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 59.431s
2. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 59.486s
3. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 2m 00.050s
4. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 2m 00.175s
5. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault 2m 00.541s
6. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari 2m 01.218s
7. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 2m 01.712s
8. Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes 2m 02.213s
9. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault 2m 03.078s
10. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 2m 04.053s

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