Ferrari: what Eddie Jordan would do in Fred Vasseur’s shoes
After four years at the end of the 2022 Formula One campaign, Mattia Binotto’s tenure as Team Principal and Managing Director of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team came to an end. The engineer from Reggio Emilia resigned a year before his contract expired, and in his place, the leadership of the Italian company chose Frederic Vasseur as the new leader of the men in red on the track.
The 2023 Formula 1 championship has so far brought few satisfactions to Ferrari in a season marked indelibly by Red Bull’s dominance, which has won all 12 races held so far. Compared to 2022, the Maranello team has lost 123 points to itself, demonstrating that the SF-23 has not progressed enough to keep up with the dazzling start of the F1-75 a year ago. This makes Fred Vasseur’s task even more difficult, and with the long timelines expected in the technician market, changing course will not be immediate.
When asked what he would do if he were in Frederic Vasseur’s shoes, the former team manager and owner of the eponymous team, Eddie Jordan (the team, now Aston Martin, went through various ownership changes), expressed his thoughts as a guest on the Formula For Success podcast: “If I were in charge of Ferrari, I would obviously try to emulate what happened during the time of Michael Schumacher, who brought figures like Rory Byrne and Pat Symonds to Maranello. In Ferrari, there are definitely brilliant engineers capable of designing great engines and great cars, but it’s the finer details that make a racing car a winner. That’s the difference.” – he pointed out.
According to Eddie Jordan, Scuderia Ferrari would need a ‘John Barnard redux’: “It’s a brilliant team, but in Maranello, things are ‘different.’ Lunch breaks last an hour and a half, and you have to deal with various ‘whims.’ In the early ’90s, Ferrari came back strong with John Barnard, but the car was 90% made in Britain, and Ferrari needs to consider returning to that approach.” The first Ferrari 100% ‘made in Barnard’ was the 1989 640, which secured three victories, two with Nigel Mansell and one with Gerard Berger. The 640 marked the return of the 12-cylinder engine and the debut of the revolutionary automatic gearbox. The performances were immediately remarkable, but the lack of reliability prevented Ferrari from contending for the title in 1990, when Alain Prost battled Ayrton Senna for the championship until the last race.