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Ferrari rules out sacking Domenicali

ESPN Staff
September 17, 2013 « Pecking order should shift in Singapore - Mercedes | Pirelli names tyres for Korea, Japan and India »
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Luca di Montezemolo has ruled out firing Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali, arguing that the team boss has put in place a structure that will soon start yielding championship victories again.

Ferrari has not won a drivers' championship since Kimi Raikkonen took the title in 2007 and last won the constructors' in 2008. Domenicali has overseen two near misses in the last three years and, as well as signing Raikkonen for 2014, has overhauled the technical side of the team, bringing in James Allison from Lotus and revamping the Maranello wind tunnel.

Asked by Gazzetta dello Sport if Domenicali will be replaced, Montezemolo said: "Never, he would be missed.

"He was the first to advocate the choice of Kimi. He has worked well, preparing for the future and now I expect to see results in the present. But, over the past three years, we have lost two world titles at the last race and it was not his fault.

"I've been around a long time, from the point eleven years on from [John] Surtees' title. Then as president, with Schumacher and the [Jean] Todt-[Ross] Brawn-[Rory] Byrne triumvirate, we created a golden era and now the team is ready to start winning again.

"The void since the Schumacher era was caused by delays on the simulation front and with the aerodynamics. However, in all but three years, Ferrari has always been in the title fight right to the last race.

"I am counting a lot on James Allison. With him came the head of aerodynamics from Lotus [Dirk de Beer] and other new faces. Finally, we will have the creativity we were lacking. Allison knows the team and the men and he speaks Italian.

"Others wanted him, but he preferred us and his arrival will also bring a change in working methods in many areas. Pat Fry will concentrate on improving our on-track operations, our methodology and the simulator."

Asked what the chances were of Ferrari turning its fortunes around this year and snatching the title from Sebastian Vettel, Montezemolo said: "I would not talk about percentages, but I would bet on Ferrari in order to win a lot of money, given that we are apparently outsiders.

"Looking to 2014, I would say however that we can no longer afford to be the contender beaten in a photo-finish. I can't wait to be winning again. The time is now, believe me…"