Ex-chief engineer sees 'climate of fear' at Ferrari

Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:05am EDT
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(Reuters) - Ferrari are suffering from a "climate of fear" with staff reluctant to take risks in case they are fired, according to the Italian Formula One team's former chief engineer Luca Baldisserri.

"Unfortunately, neither (chairman Sergio) Marchionne nor (team principal Maurizio) Arrivabene have racing experience, a culture that has been lost at the top of the team," he told Italy's Corriere dello Sport newspaper.

"They are no longer a team but a group of scared people," he added. "Inside there is a climate of fear, the boys do not take risks, they don't make decisions for fear of being kicked out in disgrace."

A Ferrari spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Baldisserri worked closely with seven times world champion Michael Schumacher and Brazilian Rubens Barrichello during a golden era for the team at the start of the century and subsequently oversaw Ferrari's driver academy.

He left Ferrari last year to manage the career of Canadian former academy driver Lance Stroll, who is tipped to race for Williams next year.

Ferrari have failed to win a race so far this year with Germany's Sebastian Vettel and Finland's Kimi Raikkonen, after three victories in 2015, and have slipped behind Red Bull in third place overall.

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A logo of sports car manufacturer Ferrari is seen in Monaco September 30, 2016.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard