Ferrari are very much a team in transition at the moment. After yet another campaign where neither title has looked likely, they are now making significant alterations to the most influential figures behind the operation. With Pat Fry having seemingly left Maranello, (albeit not confirmed), engine designer Luca Marmorini has now left the team with immediate effect. It is all part of the shake up at the hands of Marco Mattiacci and following Ferrari’s rather underwhelming performance in regards to the powertrain, the latest departure has been on the cards for a while.
Mattiacci is certainly a harsh figure – something which seems to be in direct contrast to his predecessor Stefano Domenicalli. Marco has entered Ferrari under no illusions. Having not been a part of the Formula One programme before, none of the personnel could afford to live on past glories and unfortunately Marmorini has suffered as a result of this. The 52-year-old has clearly been held responsible for the lacklustre powertrain which Ferrari have produced and as head of engine design, this is somewhat understandable. The powertrain may not have made as many negative headlines as Renault’s, but it is a far-cry from the power-house (pardon the pun) that is the Mercedes unit.
The Ferrari powertrain is extremely harsh in terms of power delivery and this is visible even to the untrained eye. Ever since testing, drivers have been struggling in traction zones and oversteer has been difficult to correct. Compare this to Mercedes – power delivery is smooth and gives the drivers the confidence they need to get on the power earlier in the corners. This compounds the fact that the Ferrari unit is also underpowered compared to the Mercedes. So, drivers are both later on the power and slower when they do eventually have the confidence to press the loud pedal – certainly not a combination which will induce fast lap times.
“Ferrari announces that, as of today, Luca Marmorini, Director of the Engine and Electronics department, is leaving the company,” the statement read. As an interesting side-note, there was no mention of Pat Fry in the aforementioned statement. No official conformation as to whether he remains at the team or has left Maranello. I sense another Martin Whitmarsh situation brewing…