Goodbye good bosses

Author of the article: , published April 21, 2014

Maybe McLaren and Ferrari really need to work completely on the edge before the results show up.

Ron Dennis and Luca di Montezemolo are in all probability thinking in this direction, and they are ruling accordingly. Both no longer have anything to prove, but they can lose quite a bit; yet they feel called to establish proper order.


What if there are problems. Who will say goodbye?

Can Eric Boullier and Marco Mattiacci feel safe at all?

The latter in particular is on much thinner ice, given that his racing connections are not much different from Luigi Chinetti, who was also Ferrari's first husband in America decades ago. There was a feeling of less panic around his appointment.

As if it had all happened before.

Let's go back half a century. In the last weeks of 1961, after the mass departure of staff, Enzo Ferrari appointed a man with the phenomenal name Eugenio Dragoni to the position of his new sports director. “Ah, a perfume maker,” John Surtees said, “and one with distinctly toxic upper tones. He had some connections that you just couldn't get to the bottom of. "


Surtees wasn’t the only Ferrari world champion who couldn’t come to terms with Dragoni’s way of driving. Phil Hill once overheard part of a telephone conversation with Enzo - this was the most important task of any sporting director until 1988 - and he saw in it a rather derogatory description of his rather solid drive to third place in Spa in 1962 with a relatively uncompetitive car; it was then that he knew his story at Ferrari would soon be over.

Four years later, Surtees in Spa were outraged by Dragoni’s report, in which he complained to Enzo that “Il Grande John” had allowed the rival team to take the lead for 20 laps. There was no talk of him bringing in the best starting position, driving the fastest lap and celebrating a nice victory - and above all in desperate weather conditions.

A short circuit occurred earlier in Monaco, where Dragoni arbitrarily arranged cars among the racers, and the last drop over the edge fell in Le Mans, where Fragoni informed Surtees that his co-driver Lodovico Scarfiotti would drive the start of the race to this delighted his uncle Gianni, who watched the race as a spectator. The said uncle was spelled Agnelli and was the new Fiat boss.

Enzo sided with Dragoni, but succeeded him at the end of the year with the esteemed journalist Franco Lini, but meanwhile Surtees was long gone from the team. The situation was, to put it mildly, chaotic, and anyone who remembers the logical operation of Jean Todt will find the whole thing quite incomprehensible.


Sports directors are like American presidents: only a few remain in lasting memory - for good reasons. One such was undoubtedly Jean Todt, who led the team between 1993 and 2007. Another such was Montezemolo, when in 1974-75 he finally brought the team out of a chaotic state.

In the years before and after World War II, the team was led by Nello Ugolini for two periods. He was better known for his involvement in football, eventually putting Modena FC at the top of Serie A. He was called "Maestro", and his work was successful and methodical - and he was the first to realize the importance of his position. as Enzo was coming to fewer and fewer races at that time, and eventually did not go to them at all.

Ugolini was present at the extraordinary performance of Tazio Nuvolari, when he defeated the entire German phalanx at the Nürburgring in 1935, and also during the period of Albert Ascari's rule in 1952-32. Soon after, however, he closed the door to Scuderia for all eternity; he committed the greatest possible betrayal after he crossed the Vio Emilia in 1956 and went to Maserati.

Since 1978, Marco Piccinini has held the position for ten years. An important indicator of his abilities was the fact that throughout the episode of the fight between FISA and FOCA, he maintained contacts and friendships with Bernie Eccleston and Max Mosley, despite being essentially their opponent. No wonder, then, that the naive Gilles Villeneuve didn't trust him at all in the end.


What about the others?

The first was Renzo Saracco. After two years on the sidelines, he took over the management of Scuderia’s motorcycle division. From 1932 he took care of the Norton and Rudge motorcycles; however, this team only existed for a very short time.

Marco Lolli followed. What more is not known about him.

The Second World War was also engulfed by Federico Giberti, who led the team in 1934 and later 1947-51. He had the honor of sending a dramatic call from Silverstone to Enzo that Alpha had finally been defeated. He has always been loyal to the Scuderia and helped assemble the first Alfetta in 1937-38, after the Second World War he was responsible for sales - which was by no means an easy task - and was present when he left in 1961. He returned after four days - and stayed at Ferrari for the next 23 years.

Former journalist Eraldo Sculati was "best known" for not telling Peter Collins that he had to hand over his car to the first driver, Juan Manuel Fangio, at Monza in 1956. After a loud quarrel with Fangio's representative Marcello Giambertone, he allegedly rushed to the press center, where he explained his position. Although this story is not entirely in line with his otherwise calm and prudent character, he did not retain his position for very long.


As well as his successor “Mino” Amorotti. He was wealthy and was able to talk to Enzo without any fear, and his greatest contribution to Ferrari’s fame was finding and buying land near Maranello, where a new factory was later set up.

The journalist was also Romolo Tavoni, who lasted four seasons in the team, despite tragedies that would shake even much stronger personalities. He didn’t exactly have a lucky hand: shortly after his arrival at the helm in 1957, Eugenio Castellotti died in testing, and later that year Alfonso de Portago flew into the crowd at the Mille Miglia race; Luigi Musso and Peter Collins died in 1958; and finally, in Monza in 1961, Wolfgang von Trips flew among the crowd. Tavoni had previously applied for his previous post of press secretary, but was somehow persuaded to continue. As a "reward", he was physically attacked by Jean Behr in Reims in 1959, and after the death of his friend von Trips, he was prevented from attending the funeral. He eventually left the team, and never returned.

Lini was left with only one year - the Summer of Love - but he successfully repaired many bridges, which were destroyed by the fiery Dragoni, while his trusted advisor Franco Gozzi, who would also stake his life for Enzo, took over the position for the next three years. .


The calm Swiss Peter Schetty had the right qualities: degrees in economics and political science, as well as his own racing experience, among other things, in 1969 he won the mountain climbing championship behind the wheel of a Ferrari. After a very successful 1972 racing sports season, where Ferrari won all the races he competed in, he returned to the family business.

Alessandro Colombo was later called from Innocent. As an engineer, he had something to show - his Formula 1 chassis was built in the UK - but he had no chance against the technical genius of Mauro Forghieri, either technically or politically.

Much more suited to the role was Daniele Audetto, his image included sunglasses and the obligatory unbuttoned top buttons on his shirt, under which he revealed a medallion. Still, he was unable to step into the shoes Montezemolo had left behind. Lauda never came to terms with him and did not mourn his departure after the end of the 1976 season.

However, if Niki had known how things would turn out in 1977 under Robert Nosett, a typical representative of the bureaucracy, he would probably have thought carefully about his assessment of Audetta.

Fiat's husband Pier Giorgio Capelli led the team in 1988 and was the last to be appointed to the position by Enzo Ferrari himself. It proved to be only a temporary solution, much like Claudio Lombardi (a renowned engineer who was appointed to this position in 1991) and Sante Ghedini (1992-93).


We couldn't say that about Cesar Fiori. He was possibly related to the Lancia brand as a family, he had a degree in political science and a long series of successes at the highest level of rally, and he was very suitable for this position. Nevertheless, he argued with Alain Prost and after Monaco in 1991 he flew out of the team.

It is a very demanding job that has chewed and spat out too many good men.

Given that Domenicalli stepped into Jean But’s shoes — which are bigger inside than outside! —And that his boss could occasionally rightly say “hey, I could have done better that too,” it was probably a success already that he was on this place at all lasted so long.

OK, he really is neither Lincoln nor Kennedy, but neither was James Buchanan or Andrew Johnson, who are considered two of the worst American presidents. Nor was he Ross Brawn.

Long live the new boss?

Article contributed Tifosi Club.


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