Enzo Ferrari’s only living son Piero has backed the revolution at Maranello led by new president Sergio Marchionne.
Having faltered at the start of the new turbo V6 era, Ferrari has undergone a radical shakeup involving an almost total clean-sweep of the top roles in red.
Leading the charge now is Fiat Chrysler chief Marchionne, who in the past days has been involved in a war of words with Ferrari’s ousted long-time boss Luca di Montezemolo.
But Piero Ferrari is backing Maranello’s new chief, even though Marchionne has already attracted attention as a result of his combative start.
“I saw him speaking clearly and honestly, without subterfuge or like a politician,” he is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I am excited by the generational change that is underway. Companies evolve, but formula one forces you to renew yourself,” said Ferrari.
“Do not forget that at the end of 1961, my father fired the seven top executives and started again, putting the young Mauro Forghieri at the head of everything.
“My father would have understood him (Marchionne) at a glance.”
Ferrari added: “Marchionne is a person who hates delays. He works hard, recognising and solving problems instantly. He has many qualities.”
As for a comparison between Ferrari’s new boss and Montezemolo, Ferrari insisted: “That is impossible as they come from different worlds, with different paths, different characters and a different way of working.”
Ferrari also backed the arrival of Sebastian Vettel to replace Fernando Alonso, saying the German can “lead the team on the right track”.
“I appreciate that he does not have a manager, and lives with his feet on the ground without frills. And he is very fast — you don’t win four world championships by chance.”
As for Vettel’s 2015 teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who struggled notably this year, Ferrari answered: “He is able to express himself with the right machine, which in 2014 he did not have.
“I don’t think he has lost any of his talent.”
Ferrari said he is “prudently optimistic” about the 2015 season, acknowledging that “there are no miracles in F1”.
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