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2014 upheaval was crucial for Ferrari future - Allison

ESPN Staff
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Technical director James Allison says the bloodletting at Ferrari over the course of last season was necessary to allow the team to go from strength to strength over the coming years.

Ferrari's top management was almost entirely overhauled over the past year, with team principal Stefano Domenicali leaving last April and his replacement Marco Mattiacci exiting before the end of 2014. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo also left after a long and illustrious career at the team to be replaced by FIAT boss Sergio Marchionne.

Further down the chain there were more departures, including the head of the engine team Luca Marmorini, engineering director Pat Fry, head of aero Nicholas Tombazis and head tyre engineer Hirohide Hamashima. The restructuring put Allison in a position to oversee both engine and aero departments while the charismatic Maurizio Arrivabene arrived as team principal.

Even though much of Sunday's success in Malaysia followed development that was initiated by those that have now left the team, Allison is confident Ferrari is now a much leaner outfit and capable of making more progress in the future.

"Any changes like that are not done lightly and are not easy to do, but are done looking to the long-term to try to make sure we have got a team of people in place that we know can build to the future and just make us stronger month by month," he said on Sunday. "We will increasingly benefit from those changes in the months and years ahead rather than making a difference overnight."

Allison said the victory was a big relief for the team after the pressure of going the entire 2014 season without a victory.

"It feels to win in any colour, but there is something absolutely fantastic about this team. Every team works hard, but at Ferrari they work especially hard. At Ferrari we also have the history of the team bearing down on us and everywhere you go in the factory there are all the past evidence of their massive success in the past, and anyone who works there in a period when it's not successful is cowed by that fact.

"And then they have the weight of an entire nation on them as well, and those are pressures that they soak up and when the pressure is released by a day like this, boy does it feel good. Everybody here won't be able to find proper words to tell you how wonderful it is."

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