May 23, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci has denied making an approach for Red Bull designer Adrian Newey despite a number of recent stories suggesting otherwise.
Newey is widely recognized as being one of the greatest designers in the history of Formula 1, working with Williams and McLaren before making the move to Red Bull in 2006. Since 2009, the team has been one of the front-runners in Formula 1, winning the drivers’ and constructors’ championships each year between 2010 and 2013, and much of the credit has been given to Newey.
Ferrari on the other hand, has entered something of a decline. The team has failed to win a championship since 2008, and spirited efforts from Fernando Alonso to win a world title have been hindered by the pace of the car, with 2010 and 2012 being examples of him coming close but just lacking the speed to beat Sebastian Vettel.
It was thought that Ferrari was willing to triple Newey’s salary to bring him to Maranello and hoist the team out of the doldrums, but the 55-year-old confirmed earlier this week that he was committed to Red Bull. Now, Mattiacci – who took over as team principal just over one month ago – has denied that he made an approach despite being tasked with turning Ferrari’s fortunes around.
“If I invite Adrian Newey to work at Ferrari? No,” Mattiacci said in yesterday’s press conference in Monaco.
However, he did admit that plans were being formulated in order to get Ferrari back to the front of the field, although he hinted that a complete overhaul was not on the cards.
“I would be extremely arrogant in saying that we already have a vision,” he explained. “Definitely we are having a picture, a quite accurate picture of the problems we have experience so far. It is clear the gap toward the leader of the championship. So we are clear what are going to be the next steps.
“I wouldn’t say vision, we know that we need to have a continuous improvement every race and that’s the way we are working. We have a lot of assets, as I have said, very positive people, drivers but definitely there is the need to improve dramatically.”
With Fernando Alonso also getting restless, it appears that time is of the essence for Mattiacci and Ferrari to cut the gap to Mercedes and Red Bull at the front.