The various strands of the Ferrari Formula 1 team still need to work more closely together, despite sharing a single Italian base, according to new team principal Marco Mattiacci.
The former CEO of Ferrari North America has conducted a thorough review of the Scuderia's working practices since taking over from Stefano Domenicali ahead of April's Chinese Grand Prix.
The high levels of cooperation between Mercedes' separate engine and chassis bases at Brackley and Brixworth are considered crucial to its success this season, suggesting a team like Ferrari - with a single base in Maranello - should also have had an advantage under this year's new rules.
But Mattiacci refuted this suggestion when quizzed by AUTOSPORT.
"What you say is counter intuitive; [that teams based] all in the same place should be faster than people that are [separate]. It is not necessarily [the case]," he said, when asked by AUTOSPORT why teams with separate chassis and engine bases, such as Mercedes and Red Bull, might be making faster decisions than Ferrari.
"It's not just the decision of process, it is the way people cooperate with each other.
"It is not because if you have different geographical areas that necessarily [you] should be slower than teams in the same building like we are.
"We are working very much on that area. We have to be more reactive, and we have to be more integrated."
Four-time world champion and ex-Ferrari driver Alain Prost recently suggested traditional F1 teams like Ferrari needed to rethink their approach in order to return to the top of the sport.
Mattiacci addressed Ferrari staff at Maranello on Tuesday, outlining his plan to revamp the Scuderia by making it more innovative, and getting it to operate more efficiently and quickly.
Mattiacci reckons Ferrari is making progress, but that it will take time to turn the fortunes of such a big team around.
"When you take a company [the size of Ferrari] I don't think that if in one month you see progress that you need Marco Mattiacci," he told AUTOSPORT.
"There is much work to do but we are definitely moving in the right direction.
"There is a very strong dialogue with all my colleagues and I think there's a mutual understanding that we need to improve.
"Motivation is at a good level."
Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo's call to arms for Bernie Ecclestone to hold a meeting on the future of Formula 1 has reignited debate about the state of the sport.
While early-season criticisms about new fuel-efficiency rules have been quelled by some exciting races, di Montezemolo has maintained his stance that things are amiss.
In his letter to Ecclestone last week, he makes it clear that there are several areas where he thinks F1 has taken a 'wrong turn'.
But rather than simply speaking out about where he believes F1 should be doing better, di Montezemolo has suggested an action plan.
He wants a gathering of F1's key players - including teams, media, and even companies not currently directly involved such as Google and Apple - at Ferrari's Maranello headquarters in the week before the Italian Grand Prix.
The three key issues that have prompted di Montezemolo's worries:
Maranello, 9 June – The Canadian Grand Prix saw improvements relating to various aspects of the F14 T, but it did not deliver the results Scuderia Ferrari was hoping for. The disappointment felt at the track has not compromised the team’s fighting spirit, with the squad now heading back to Maranello, more determined than ever to move forward with the short, medium and long term development programmes.
The current mood within Ferrari is summed up well by Team Principal Marco Mattiacci. “We are very angry with ourselves, but we have no intention of giving up. The Canadian circuit definitely didn’t suit us, given that it highlighted the strong points of some of our competitors and, on top of that, not everything went right either, given that we started from too far back and the others improved more than we did,” he said. “On the positive side of this weekend, everyone wants to fight back, starting with our drivers, Kimi and Fernando, who are both extremely tenacious guys, competent and competitive and they know how to work as a team to point us in the direction of the areas that are a priority in our development programme. Some updates produced good results on track and that’s why we will continue down this path race by race”.
The Team Principal also reiterated the fact that the new path embarked on in Maranello will take time to deliver results. “We have improved since the start of the year, but every step forward we make must be looked at in the context of what our rivals have done. Ferrari has begun work on a specific approach, based around a few key figures; President Montezemolo, James Allison, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and a group of highly talented engineers. It’s a case of restructuring the team, with people being given the best possible conditions in which to get the job done”.
In the short term, the priorities do not change. “There is a clearly defined development programme that we are working through and which will see us bring updates to every race”, added Mattiacci. “Another major target is to speed up our reaction time, which is something our competitors seem to manage to do”.