Ferrari clarify new team roles 12 Jan 2007
Ferraris sporting director Stefano Domenicali and new technical director Mario Almondo have explained their new roles for the 2007 season. Speaking at a press conference in Italy on Thursday, the pair also shed more light on the teams plans for a consulting role for Michael Schumacher.
As sporting director, Domenicali will take responsibility for all the teams operations at races, albeit under the continuing direction of Ferrari CEO Jean Todt. Although Todt will continue to attend all races, the former team principal will not necessarily be present for the entire race weekend.
"I can confirm that he will be at the tracks but maybe not right from the start of the weekend, explained Domenicali. He is still managing director, he is still the boss. I will continue to work and maintain relationships with the governing body, the staff and be chief at the race tracks and head of our own tracks such as Mugello."
Almondo, who replaced Ross Brawn as technical director in November, intends to change some of the responsibilities he will undertake. Planning only to attend races as and when his presence is required, Almondo will instead concentrate on his technical role back at Ferraris factory. He will hand over Brawns trackside responsibilities to Luca Baldisseri.
"I am the technical director, but this is not to be confused with the task undertaken by Ross Brawn, who was the chief at the track as well, said Almondo. However, that task will be undertaken by. I'm going to avoid the overlap that Ross had. My role will be different and I'm going to decide what my presence will be. Preparation is important, so I may be at some Grands Prix and not others."
Some details concerning Michael Schumachers new role within the team were also revealed. The former champion will have regular technical input into Ferraris development programme, even if he does not attend tests in person.
Meetings, which will include Michael have been programmed all year, on technical issues, so that he can interpret the feelings of a driver, explained Almondo. We have a new technical organisation which will be helped by Michael Schumacher. We are developing technological aids which will allow him to contribute to tests, even if he is not present, and during meetings and at Maranello."
Recent reports that Schumacher may carry out testing duties were dismissed, with Domenicali confirming that there were currently no plans for the German to drive the teams new car, which will be unveiled to the press at Ferraris Maranello base on Sunday.