Ferrari turnaround started with former regime claims ex-designer


Former Ferrari engineer Nicholas Tombazis believes the Scuderia's form this season is a direct result of the work conducted by its former engineering staff, and not its current management.

In an impressive change of the guard which started early on in 2014 with the departure of team principal Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari overhauled almost its entire management team. After former President Luca di Montezemolo was unceremoniously led out of the gates of Maranello by Fiat-Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne, Domenicali's successor, Marco Mattiaci, also left the Scuderia along with head of engine department Luca Marmotirni, engineering director Pat Fry and chief designer Nickolas Tombazis.

Under Marchionne's guidance, newcomer Maurizio Arrivabene was entrusted with turning Ferrari's fortunes around. And while the red team remains at a hefty length from its dominant Mercedes rival, Ferrari has been put back on to its winning way in 2015, with Sebastian Vettel clinching two victories this season.

In a revealing interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Tombazis believes however that much of the team's progress this season is a direct result of the old regime's previous efforts and work conducted in an upgraded wind tunnel.

"First of all I do not reject my responsibilities, but I worked less on the 2014 car than the other cars before it, "Tomazis said. “Second, the car of 2015 car was the first one, since that of 2008, on which I was able to work with a lot of time on my hands.

"It was also the first to exploit an up-to-date wind tunnel. We wouldn't have matched Mercedes this season, but we would have improved. But by view was not shared by those who came to Maranello."

Tombazis suggested that the bulk of Ferrari's under-performance in recent years was linked to the weaknesses of its wind tunnel and the pressure to deliver against rival Red Bull.

"Red Bull and the British teams do not have the same pressure we had in Ferrari," he added. "The environment in the team was bad, it was like having a gun behind our back. The introduction of the wider front wings since 2009 exaggerated the role of the wind tunnel, and ours had problems..."

The Greek designer admitted he did not expect to be fired at the end of a poor 2014 campign, but was equally shocked by the demise of both Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo.

"I felt sorry for Stefano and di Montezemolo, they always gave me a lot of confidence and their exit was a shock. Everyone has made mistakes, but the 2015 revival was started with the old staff."

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