Marchionne: 2015 will be a year of reconstruction

2014 Scuderia Ferrari Christmas Lunch

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By Olivier Ferret

22 December 2014 - 18:45
Marchionne: 2015 will be a year of (...)

This morning at Ferrari’s base in Maranello there was a press conference and end-of-year lunch. President Sergio Marchionne and Managing Director and the Scuderia’s Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene spoke to Formula 1 journalists from Italy and abroad before meeting up with them for lunch and to share Christmas wishes.

Sergio Marchionne kicked off proceedings by saluting those present, stressing: “I will try not to talk about 2014 because it has been a year to forget. So instead let’s talk about the future; we will look towards 2015 with some optimism.” Replying to one of the first questions, Marchionne confirmed: “2015 will be a year of reconstruction. In the last few days we have made some sharp decisions on the make-up of the team and we know exactly who the key people are for development. We have taken away all the baggage of uncertainty which harmed the start of the work on the 2015 project.”

For his part, Maurizio Arrivabene said: “I bring experience that has matured in my last company, the fact of knowing how to motivate people and to get the best out of them. In the company I’ve seen plenty of will to get things done: I am here to give the people my trust and to streamline the team. We won’t get anywhere individually, we have to work as a group.”

The subject then turned to Sebastian Vettel, the spirit of his arrival and what he can expect of 2015. President Marchionne replied: “I don’t think he’s naïve, he knows our level of performance but this is the power of Ferrari: it manages to attract people even just based on its potential. Our job for 2015 is to set this potential free. Vettel’s big gamble is ours too, to reconstruct the team and to make it grow. The work we have undertaken alongside Maurizio is to give guarantees to this team, to bring about clear decisions and to have faith in the people who make up the team.”

Speaking of Sebastian, Arrivabene added: “Vettel brings with him the experience of winning, he has his four world titles and the enthusiasm to work together. He certainly wants to make the Scuderia grow alongside us. Having said that, even though drivers may be luxury employees they are still employees and they must work together with others. I think Sebastian is well equipped for the job that awaits him. He gets on very well with Kimi and this is a positive element, even if I hope that they won’t get on quite so well on the track, because the rule must remain that your team-mate is your main opponent.”

There was also time to talk about the future of Formula 1, a debate in which Scuderia Ferrari is always involved: “There is a problem over the appeal of the races,” said Arrivabene. “We must keep working to give people spectacle and emotions. We must work to bring Formula 1 closer to the fans, otherwise we risk ending up racing on our own in empty circuits. We must know how to get the most out of the tools used by the new generation, which is how to attract young people and create the chances for fans to interact more with the stars of our sport. The Thursday of a Grand Prix weekend could, for example, be better exploited.”

2015 will be a year of reconstruction and recovery for the Scuderia, and to convey this idea Arrivabene set a minimum target: to win at least two Grands Prix. President Marchionne concluded with these words: “I can guarantee the team is putting in a phenomenal effort. We have people here who are giving their absolute best and they have my full support. The important thing for us now is to give them courage and all the resources necessary to move forward and make the Scuderia grow.”

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