In recent times, there has been much talk about the talent of certain engineers, such as Adrian Newey and James Allison, in constructing dominant machines that initiate winning cycles lasting several years. However, this does not seem to hold true for Ferrari, as their latest single-seaters didn’t match the performance of their rivals.
The F1-75 had started the season showing great potential, but then fell victim to Red Bull, also due to team shortcomings overall. What is not often discussed, though, is the fact that Maranello has seen some great minds pass through their ranks, only to be eventually let go from the team.
In some entries on his blog on IlQuotidiano.net, Italian journalist Leo Turrini has revisited the story of how the Scuderia let go of James Allison due to family issues: “Allison had already been at Ferrari, then he left and returned. He was highly regarded by everyone. In 2016, while returning from the Melbourne GP, his wife suddenly passed away. Having three children, James requested and was allowed to work from home in England for a while. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen’s car was far from competitive. Sergio Marchionne got angry, asked Allison to return to the factory, he asked for a bit more time, which was not granted. The rest is known, his subsequent move to Mercedes. It’s a sad story and in hindsight, it was also a mistake. A glaring one.”
And now, if Fred Vasseur struggles to find technicians willing to come to Maranello, part of the blame lies here too. As the team principal himself has said, many of the big names in the sport currently reside in Great Britain, and it’s difficult to convince them to change countries to work for a team in need of revival. Additionally, many are aware of the treatment meted out to the technical director of Mercedes. “Quite a few foreign technicians hesitate when faced with Ferrari offers because they know the recent history of the Scuderia. And Allison’s story, unfortunately for Marchionne and Arrivabene, is a stain across the Channel. Some things aren’t paid for immediately but later on,” the journalist wrote.
Aldo Costa is also in the mix
Another personality that Ferrari failed to retain is Aldo Costa, who also moved to the technical department of Mercedes but has recently returned to Italy. In secret, the engineer has recently worked again with the constructors from Maranello, contributing to the project of the 499P, the WEC car.
Once again, Leo Turrini has highlighted the wrong move by the Maranello management in letting him go: “Aldo Costa, my good friend, is doing very well at Dallara. He has never forgiven Ferrari under Montezemolo and Domenicali for his 2011 departure. And I add that he’s perfectly right: it was one of the many wrong moves of the last Red generation. The truth is, there are no innocents.” – the Italian journalist concluded.