The son of Ferrari’s infamous founder Enzo Ferrari has admitted Adrian Newey turned down multiple offers to move to the Maranello-based team.
Piero Ferrari, the 77-year-old vice chairman of the fabled Italian company, admits the 2023 season has not started well for the Scuderia.
“Of course not,” he told Italy’s Autosprint. “But I was afraid that it would be difficult.
“We just have to make do with the equipment we have at the moment. The problem is that with the current budget limits, you have to decide how much to invest to improve the current situation without jeopardising the work for the 2024 car.
“We have to be patient,” Ferrari added.
The team, however, was not patient with its former boss Mattia Binotto, who was ousted after Ferrari finished second behind Red Bull last season.
Binotto’s successor is Frederic Vasseur.
“We have to give him time to get things under control,” said Piero Ferrari. “He is someone who knows racing well, he has been in this environment for years, so he deserves the trust.”
Ferrari admits that a key to the team’s improvement will be a wave of more key appointments.
“We need people with different experiences,” he said. “When we look at history, when we really made changes to the organisation and moved staff away from other teams, the results were very visible.
“We are good at certain things, but for other things we need specialists from outside.”
One such ‘specialist’ is undoubtedly Adrian Newey, the famous Formula 1 designer whose talents are often described by experts as genius-like.
However, the 64-year-old has just extended his contract with Red Bull, the dominant F1 team at present.
“They are very good at building cars that are strong and go well on all circuits,” Piero Ferrari said. “It’s not just now that they are strong.
“Today, Red Bull wins with hybrid engines, but previously the team won with naturally aspirated engines,” he insisted. “(Sebastian) Vettel won four world championships with them and that was certainly no coincidence.”
It’s no surprise to learn, therefore, that Ferrari has made multiple attempts to lure Newey from England to Italy.
“He said no to (Luca di) Montezemolo and to Jean Todt,” said Piero Ferrari. “Apparently he doesn’t want to move – he likes to stay in England.
“And apart from that, his undisputed skills aside, he doesn’t do it alone. He has very good people around him.”