Team building skills needed at Ferrari next year

October 15, 2009

Felipe Massa signing autographs at Silverstone in 2008

Felipe Massa signing autographs at Silverstone in 2008

Will Fernando Alonso be a time bomb ticking under Ferrari when he gets to Maranello at the end of this season, or will he show for the first time in his career that he can cope with a fast and talented team-mate in Felipe Massa?”

The above is a quote from Ed Gorman of the Times in a piece entitled ‘Fernando Alonso and Ferrari: Will the Marriage Last?’. Gorman compares the Ferrari situation with that of McLaren back at the start of 2007 when Alonso went to a new team believing he was the clear number 1, only to be thwarted by a young upstart (Lewis Hamilton) who already had the team, and then boss Ron Dennis, behind him. The comparison is a very persuasive one as Massa, like Hamilton at McLaren, is very well established in the Maranello family and will (if all goes to plan) be returning to the team in 2010 following his convalescence from an injury incurred at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Well things are already hotting up between the new team mates at Ferrari. Filipe seems to be particularly aggrieved that his bid for the World Championship in 2008 was partly scuppered by the Renault Crashgate scandal; Piquet’s deliberate crash creating a succession of events that meant Massa lost a commanding lead of that race (which was won by Alonso) and subsequently lost the World Championship. At a press conference for the forthcoming Brazilian Grand Prix Massa decided to announce to the Brazilian media (and therefore the world) his belief that Alonso was aware of the plan for Nelson Piquet Jr to crash his car at Singapore in 2008 – something that Fernando has consistently denied. He was quoted as follows: “It was the team and Nelson – but Alonso was part of the problem. He knew. We can not know it [but] of course he knew. [It’s an] absolute certainty.”

So it’s all looking like peace and tranquility at Ferrari next year! Ferrari’s legendary team spirit and Team Principal Stefano Domenicalli’s experience as an HR manager are likely to be tested to the full.

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