Ferrari shake up technical team

After a string of dismal performances in 2011 season, Ferrari make changes to keep F1 title fight alive.

    Ferrari team members wait in the pits at the Spanish Grand Prix [AFP]

    Formula One's Ferrari have announced a shake-up of their technical team following a miserable weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix where double world champion Fernando Alonso was lapped by winner Vettel, despite finishing fifth.

    Ferraro technical director Aldo Costa has stepped down as Ferrari technical director to take up "new responsibilities" within the company.

    Ferrari said in a statement ahead of Sunday's showcase Monaco Grand Prix that the change was immediate.


    Ferrari announced the technical team was being restructured in three areas, with Pat Fry becoming the director for the chassis department, Corrado Lanzone in charge of production and Luca Marmorini continuing with electronics, with all three reporting directly to Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali.

    Fry, who joined from McLaren last July, had been the assistant technical director and will effectively take on
    Costa's job.

    The 47-year-old Briton spent 18 years with McLaren, where he was chief engineer, and played an important role in designing that team's race-winning cars.

    Last weekend's Spanish GP continued the poor start to the season.

    Alonso seized the lead at the start, stayed in the hunt for the first third of the race and then fell off the pace after switching from soft to harder Pirelli tyres.

    The Spaniard finished fifth in front of his home fans at the Circuit de Catalunya but was lapped by both the Red Bull and McLaren drivers.

    "There is no denying that being lapped hurts," said Domenicali at the time.

    "It's even more painful after seeing a driver of Fernando's calibre putting on such a breathtaking display at the start and then fighting like a lion to keep drivers with clearly faster cars behind him for almost 20 laps."

    Alonso was similarly despondent after the race:

    "I tried to do the maximum, keeping the quickest ones behind me for around 20 laps, but after that there was nothing I could do," he said.

    "We must analyse carefully the behaviour of all the modifications we brought to this grand prix and understand why, in the space of two weeks, we have lost ground to Red Bull and McLaren."

    Alonso's Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa suffered a gearbox problem and stopped by the side of the circuit, the team's first retirement of the season.

    Ferrari remain third overall in the constructors' standings, with 75 points to leaders Red Bull's 185 after five races.

    Alonso stays fifth in the drivers' championship, a massive 67 points adrift of Red Bull's race winner and world champion Sebastian Vettel.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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