Scuderia Ferrari has drafted in Maria Mendoza from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in order to reorganise its quality control department, as reported by the Italian media earlier today. Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has said his team paid the price for “ignoring” quality control with its technical director Mattia Binotto confirming changes were being made to the department. Sebastian Vettel’s title hopes appear dashed after a crash in Singapore and engine troubles in Malaysia and Japan leave him 59 points adrift with 100 remaining.
Tuttosport informs that Maria Mendoza has been called in to organise the reshuffle in the quality control department, and part of Mattia Binotto’s changes behind the scenes. Technical director Mattia Binotto hinted that changes were imminent at last week’s Japanese Grand Prix, saying: “What we are considering is something, already planned, to improve our quality department. Our quality department will be and somehow is already reinforced and those are the changes that our chairman was meaning.”
Maria Mendoza was previously head of quality control of the powertrain department for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. She graduated from Zaragoza University, and joined the FIAT Group in 2012.
Italian-Canadian Sergio Marchionne revealed earlier this week that it was a €59 spark plug that forced Sebasian Vettel’s retirement from the Japanese Grand Prix. In an interview with Italy’s Class CNBC television channel, Sergio Marchionne explained: “It was a technical nonsense that had an impact on a car that costs millions of euros. It is a problem we have probably ignored over time because it was never of much importance. But now we have had at least three occasions where we’ve really seen the devastating impact on performance. We will fix it.” – the Ferrari president said.
At the same time, the Maranello team is continuing investigations into the cause of the spark plug failure, which came one week after the broken manifold problems that hit the team in Malaysia.