Binotto says Mercedes’ departing engine guru Andy Cowell is not set for Ferrari switch
Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto says Mercedes’ engine guru Andy Cowell is not about to swap the Silver Arrows for the Prancing Horse and join the Italian team.
The Scuderia are currently enduring their worse season for years – they sit just six in the constructors’ championship after a miserable home race at Monza which saw both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc fail to finish. And although a brake issue for Vettel and a crash for Leclerc put them out of the race on Sunday, engine power is widely understood to be one of the key problems with their SF1000 car as they have struggled all season long for outright pace.
Meanwhile Andy Cowell, the man who oversaw the creation of the current generation of Mercedes hybrid power units – the most successful engines in F1 history – announced earlier this year that he will be leaving the team this season.
It might seem like Cowell would be the perfect hire for a Ferrari team desperate to make gains with their power unit, but over the Italian Grand Prix weekend, Binotto said the British engineer was not about to make a switch to Maranello, after he was asked about the prospect in the pre-race press conference.
“In terms of new people joining Ferrari in the future, I think that in F1 you can never be satisfied, so if there is anyone that can bring added value to the team it’s our responsibility to look for it and eventually to do it,” he said.
“You mention Andy Cowell – as far as I’m aware, he’s still working in Mercedes currently. Certainly there are great names in F1. Is there someone joining Ferrari very soon? It’s not the case.”
Ferrari rejigged their technical set-up earlier this year in response to their poor start to the season, and Binotto said it was still too early to judge whether that reorganisation had been a success.
“In July we restructured the technical department. It’s only very little time [since] it happened, and I think that normally to see the results of an organisation it takes some more time,” he said.
“I’m pretty happy in the way that I can feel the people responsible [in the team] understand the urgency of our situation, are working hard, are committed, and united in the way to progress the car and to progress our competitiveness.”