Briatore: Where is the Ferrari leadership? elkann-002

Flavio Briatore blasted Ferrari bosses after the first two races of the 2023 Formula 1 season, questioning the invisible leadership at Maranello that has allowed the sport’s greatest team to slip down the pecking order, as witnessed in Bahrain and Jeddah.

Although Briatore conjures up a wide range of emotions among F1 fans, from the right man to lead Ferrari (or at least get involved) to help those who never want to see the man at a race track ever again, unforgiving of his 2008 Crashgate scandal.

Nevertheless, although no longer the mega-powerbroker he once was in the F1 paddock, he still has ‘fingers in pies’ including, apparently, still manager/advisor to Fernando Alonso and, like every Italian, Ferrari watching.

On the subject of the team’s disappointing start to the 2023 F1 season, in two races thus far the Scuderia was totally outclassed by Red Bull, found themselves chasing Aston Martin, and lagging behind, similarly struggling Mercedes, and a ferocious and ultra-close midfield large in their mirrors.

After the action in Jeddah, Briatore said of the early season crisis engulfing Ferrari: “It often happens at Maranello, people talk big during the winter when, instead, we need to be doing an in-depth analysis on why we haven’t won F1 titles for more than 15 years.”

In an interview with the 72-year-old Italian, who led not only Alonso but also Michael Schumacher to F1 titles, blames Ferrari’s big bosses for the team’s current unpalatable situation, these being Ferrari chairman John Elkann, and Benedetto Vigna the CEO.

“Where’s the Ferrari leadership?” Briatore questioned. “I don’t see them very involved in all this.”

Flavio: It’s not enough to make a one-person change at Maranello

Referring to the departure (sacking) of Mattia Binotto, replacing him with Fred Vasseur, Briatore questions the ‘solution’ to the problem: “It’s not enough to make a single person change, we need big name players in the team, there are none at the moment.

“I recall when Ferrari started winning continuously when they took 10-12 of the best people away from Benetton, and they did well,” recalled Briatore, of Luca di Monetezemolo’s brazen poaching of Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and others from his Benneton team of the nineties.

As for the revolving doors, for Team Principals, at Maranello, Briatore ventured: “Binotto did a good job, last year Ferrari was competitive but then he took on too many responsibilities himself, which created problems. I know Vasseur quite well: he is a hard worker, and he’s serious. He’s just arrived and is coaching a team with the players he has found. Let’s give him time.”

As for the growing frustration for the team’s star driver Charles Leclerc, the Monegasque who suffered a DNF in Bahrain and toiled hard all night to finish a distant (to race winner Sergio Perez) P7, the SF23 proving to be an awkward package, over a second down on where it should be for their Carlos Sainz and Leclerc to be in contention.

“They have the driver in Charles with the talent, what’s missing is the car… otherwise how would he manage to get so close to Red Bull in qualifying?” added Briatore.

2023 f1 standings after round 2 saudi arabia-001 ferrari