Alonso: Give Mattiacci time
Fernando Alonso has urged critics to give new Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci time to prove himself despite a lack of experience in F1.
Alonso lost one of his closest allies in Stefano Domenicali this week as the Italian tendered his resignation on Monday in the wake of the team's poor start to the season, and with just one trophy to show for his six years in charge.
In his place, president Luca Di Montezemolo has opted for 43-year-old Mattiaci, who up until this week was president and CEO of Ferrari North America.
Whilst possessing considerable management skills, Mattiacci lacks any knowledge regarding F1 and will quickly need to bring himself up to speed.
"We need to give him time, to see how he settles," said Alonso, when asked about Mattiacci ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.
"It's obviously too early to say whether he will be very good or very bad.
"We need to make sure he has the facilities ready, all the technical stuff, that all the team are behind him to ensure he settles as fast as possible, to put him in a place where he feels comfortable.
"And we're obviously hoping he will be successful because we need to be honest with our situation, it's not where we want to be, with a lot of room to improve. We need to be better in all areas."
As a good friend of Domenicali, Alonso is naturally sorry to see him go as he said: "Stefano is a great man.
"We ski together on the first of January in the mountains in Italy, and we still have a close relationship.
"We've been talking all week long, which will continue because we've known each other for many years.
"As a team principal he made good choices, did good things.
"Unfortunately we missed opportunities in 2010 and 2012 (to win the title), and another in 2008 with Felipe (Massa), otherwise he could have had three championships in his pocket.
"But he brought in Pat Fry (engineering director), James Allison (technical director) and (Kimi) Raikkonen, and all the things people asked of him he gave to them.
"But results in sport are important, and the pressure at Ferrari is big, so he has made his decision, which we respect.
"It's not easy when you have a very privileged position in a Formula One team to be able to step back and say that maybe it's better to move.
"He did it for for Ferrari to improve, and in their best interests, and that is something we cannot forget, and we have to respect his decision.
"It's not as if in this race we will improve by a second because it is not as if Stefano was doing the front wing, the rear wing or whatever.
"So we need to wait, to see what we can improve, to help all the team to make us stronger and to regain some of the success from the past."