New Ferrari boss Mattiacci will need time - Alonso
Fernando Alonso says Ferrari's new team principal Marco Mattiacci will need time to settle into his position.
Mattiacci comes to the team after Stefano Domenicali stepped down as Ferrari boss on Monday and is set to arrive in China this weekend to get down to work. Mattiacci does not have first-hand experience of working in Formula One, but has worked in senior positions in both Asia and the USA for Ferrari.
"I think we need to give him time and try to see how he settles down," Alonso said. "It is too early to say he will be very good or very bad, we need to make sure he has all the facilities ready, technical stuff ready and team behind him to settle down as quickly as possible.
"We will try to put him in a position to feel comfortable from day one. We are really hoping he will be a successful manager in the team and everyone is looking forward."
Alonso still holds hope that Ferrari will turn its fortunes around this year.
"I think we need to be honest with our situation. It is not where we wanted to be and there is a lot of room to improve. We need to become better in a lot of areas on the car and there is a long way to go. The championship is very long and we probably know that for the first part of the championship we will not be as competitive as Mercedes or some of the teams that are on top. We need to maximise what we have in our hands now and hopefully we can be very competitive later on in the season."
Alonso was close to Domenicali but said he understood why his former boss decided to step down.
"We need to accept what Stefano decided. He was probably not anymore with the mood to continue and with the feeling to take the weight on his shoulders, and he made a very responsible move. It's not easy when you have a very privileged position in a Formula One team, to step back and say 'maybe it is better to move'.
"He did it for Ferrari to improve and for Ferrari's interest, so that is something that we cannot forget and we have to respect the decision. From that point it is not as if at this race we will improve one second, because it's not as if Stefano was doing the front wing or rear wing by his hands, so we need to wait a bit of time and see what we can improve. We will try to help all the team with the new people coming, to make us stronger and try to get back some of the success from the past."
Asked if he had talked with Mattiacci yet, Alonso added: "I didn't have a chance. I don't know if he is coming here, but I guess so. It will be a good time to welcome him, but I don't have much to say. I drive the car and he will be good enough to recognise what are the weak areas of the team and what are the strong areas and hopefully improve them. As drivers we will try to drive as fast as we can - both Kimi [Raikkonen] and me - and try to help in whatever way our help is required."