Mattiacci: Ferrari angry with 2014 performances

2 Comments

Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci has said that the team is angry with its performance at the beginning of the 2014 F1 season, but has no intention of giving up yet.

Mattiacci was made team principal following Stefano Domenicali’s decision to resign in the wake of the team’s poor start to the season, which has left it sitting a distant third in the constructors’ standings.

Despite promising widespread changes and restructuring, the team has failed to improve in the first few races under Mattiacci’s rule, although the Italian has said that these things will take time.

“We are very angry with ourselves, but we have no intention of giving up,” he explained following the Canadian Grand Prix. “The circuit definitely didn’t suit us, given that it highlighted the strong points of some of our competitors and, on top of that, not everything went right either, given that we started from too far back and the others improved more than we did.”

In a race that just eleven cars finished, Fernando Alonso could only come home in sixth whilst Kimi Raikkonen crossed the line in tenth place. Although the team was never likely to challenge Mercedes for victory, it should have been in a position to capitalize when the German marque faltered, as it did in Canada.

Mattiacci went on to explain how the future at Ferrari is being built around its drivers and key personnel. This was a successful tactic in the late 90s and early 2000s when Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn and Jean Todt had the team centered on them, and went on to enjoy the most dominant streak for any one team in F1 history.

“We have improved since the start of the year, but every step forward we make must be looked at in the context of what our rivals have done,” Mattiacci said. “Ferrari has begun work on a specific approach, based around a few key figures: President Montezemolo, James Allison, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and a group of highly talented engineers.

“It’s a case of restructuring the team, with people being given the best possible conditions in which to get the job done.”

Any plans that Ferrari may have had to make Adrian Newey a part of the team ended in Canada when Red Bull confirmed that he had signed a new long-term deal with the company. He will work in an advisory capacity from 2015.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.