Who is Antonello Coletta
Behind Ferrari’s historic victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans undoubtedly lies the directing role of Antonello Coletta, GT Sporting Activities Manager of the Maranello team. After a fifty-year absence from the top class in the historic endurance race, the crew composed of Alessandro Pier Guidi, Antonio Giovinazzi, and James Calado managed to cross the finish line first with the Ferrari 499P, a victory that produced a reverberating feeling around the world for the Ferrari fans.
56-year-old Antonello Coletta has been with Ferrari for 26 years. With a degree in Economics and Commerce from Sapienza University, he started in motorsport as the sports director of Forti Corse in F.3000 before moving to Peugeot and Alfa Romeo, finally arriving in Maranello in 1997. He has held various roles within the Prancing Horse, such as coordinator of the Ferrari Challenge and head of Ferrari Corse Clienti, the sports activities of Scuderia Ferrari and GT sports activities, the Fiorano circuit, and roadshow activities.
Antonello Coletta’s shadow over Frederic Vasseur
While Ferrari immediately achieved success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, their Formula 1 team has been struggling and has not won a driver’s championship since 2007 or a constructor’s championship since 2008.
Frederic Vasseur, who arrived in January, is trying to rebuild the Maranello team, but the project seems rather complex given the strength of rivals – particularly Red Bull – and the weakness shown so far by the SF-23 project. Today’s edition of the Italian newspaper La Stampa highlighted the coincidence on the weekend of July 7-9 between the Silverstone race in Formula 1 and the 6 Hours of Monza in the WEC, asking: “Should we watch the Le Mans-winning 499P with two Italian drivers on the track […] or follow the (mis)adventures of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz against the elusive Red Bull?”
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Corriere dello Sport, in an article written by Fulvio Solms, went further by depicting Antonello Coletta as the “first man on the bench for a possible succession of Frederic Vasseur,” emphasizing that “Le Mans has brought his candidacy to maturity.” The Roman newspaper explained: “Either Ferrari in Formula 1 becomes a winner, or President John Elkann will change and create this reality in 2025, with the aim of having a winning team in 2026,” adding, “The president is convinced that the Formula 1 team can become stronger with the inclusion of Antonello Coletta,” whose presence “will be a thorn in Frederic Vasseur’s side.”
The newspaper then pointed out: “Coletta […] was disappointed when in April 2014, after Stefano Domenicali resigned, the then number one Luca di Montezemolo went fishing for Marco Mattiacci. And he felt even worse when […] he was forgotten in a corner by Sergio Marchionne and Maurizio Arrivabene. Antonello Coletta thus confined himself to the stronghold of GT activities […], never longing for Formula 1 and even saying ‘no, thank you’ on five different occasions when John Elkann proposed or simply hinted at entrusting him with the team that belonged to Mattia Binotto.”
And it concluded: “At the sixth proposal […] – according to those closest to him – Antonello Coletta will have a hard time saying no.” – Corriere dello Sport wrote.