Ferrari has announced a restructuring of its trackside operations in a bid to turn around its disastrous start to the season – with team manager Luca Baldisserri being switched to a factory-based role.
Following crisis talks at Maranello last week to discuss why the outfit has failed to score a point in the first two races of the year, its worst start to a campaign since 1992, the team has ramped up efforts to ensure it changes the situation as soon as possible.
As part of that bid to help improve the performance, the team has decided to set up a new Working Party to fast-track car improvements that are essential if Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa are to start delivering the results needed to keep them in the title hunt.
This department will be headed by technical director Aldo Costa, with Baldisserri now handed responsibility for coordinating the factory efforts with trackside operations. Work will focus on all areas of car performance, including a double-decker diffuser if the concept is given the green light by the FIA International Court of Appeal this week.
The staff changes mean that Baldisserri will no longer attend races, with his role at the races now being taken by chief track engineer Chris Dyer.
The decision to move Baldisserri away from his trackside role comes after team principal Stefano Domenicali labeled the team's performance in Malaysia, where errors in qualifying and the race cost it dearly, as "unacceptable."
"Well, of course it is not a positive weekend," Domenicali told reporters after seeing Massa knocked out early in qualifying and Raikkonen's race wrecked by a wrong switch to wet tires on a dry track. "It is the second one in a row and it is not good, for sure. Anyway, what we have to do is react immediately.
"The people have to take their own responsibility for things, and this is important in the moment where either from the performance point of view, and the management point of view, things are not going well. This is for sure not acceptable, and I am not accepting that."
As well as the team restructure, Ferrari will bring a host of new parts to this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix – including a revised front wing – which were evaluated by Marc Gene in straight-line testing last week.
Ferrari has also confirmed that design consultant Rory Byrne and chief designer Nikolas Tombazis will represent the team at the FIA International Court of Appeal hearing into the diffusers, which takes place tomorrow.