Ferrari has confirmed reports top engineers Nikolas Tombazis and Pat Fry have left the Italian team.
We reported last week that, after a list of names left F1’s turmoil-struck grandee this year, the next would be chief designer Tombazis and the highly-rated British engineer Fry, who had already departed ‘on vacation’. Ferrari confirmed in a statement: “Nikolas Tombazis and Pat Fry will be leaving the Scuderia.”
Amid rumours the former Mercedes chief Bob Bell could be set to arrive, the statement said new team boss Maurizio Arrivabene is making the changes to ensure “a flatter structure and clear assignment of responsibilities”. We reported last week that the 2015 car project will continue to be headed by James Allison, with Simone Resta stepping up to replace Tombazis. Undoubtedly the highest-profile change at Ferrari for 2015, however, is the departure of Fernando Alonso, although as he leaves for McLaren the Spaniard has been quoted as predicting a “very strong” season for the Maranello marque next year.
According to La Repubblica, however, he decided to leave the fabled Italian outfit because “in these five years we (Ferrari) lost a bit in terms of technical expertise”. “At first it was aerodynamics and now it is the power unit,” he explained. “Now from the outside it will be difficult to judge how Ferrari is doing but they have talented people, resources and motivation from everyone in the team, then in time they will win,” said Alonso. Some of those resources will be funded by new reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez’s incoming Mexican sponsors, including Telmex, Telcel and Claro, the team also announced on Tuesday.
Alonso said he will miss Ferrari. “I will certainly miss Italy in general,” he is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, “but particularly the family atmosphere of the team. “At McLaren I will certainly not find this Latin ambiance,” said Alonso. Finally, Ferrari said it has signed up the respected and experienced Autosprint journalist Alberto Antonini to run the team’s press office.