The Ferrari Owners’ Club
of Great Britain

Ferrari F1 Engine Guru Leaves

31-07-2014

marmoriniFerrari have confirmed that Luca Marmorini, who oversaw the design and development of their power unit, is leaving the F1 team. There has been much speculation in recent weeks about the 52-year-old’s future. He joins Stefano Domenicali in paying the price for the poor results of the team in this year and in the recent past as well.

Ferrari refused to comment at the time but they have now released a statement confirming the departure, with Mattia Binotto taking his place as part of an ongoing restructuring process.

‘Ferrari announces that, as of today, Luca Marmorini, Director of the Engine and Electronics department, is leaving the company,’ the statement read. ‘As part of the restructuring of the Power Unit department, Mattia Binotto will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer.

‘James Allison, Technical Director, continues to be responsible for the entire car project, supported by Nikolas Tombazis, Chief Designer Chassis, and Lorenzo Sassi, Chief Designer Power Unit.’

The statement did not mention Pat Fry, Ferrari’s Director of Engineering, even though they denied earlier this week that he would also leave as part of the shake-up orchestrated by new team boss Marco Mattiacci.

Luca Marmorini had been Head of Engines and Electronics at the Scuderia since October 2009. He started working at the Scuderia’s engine department in 1990, At the end of 1999 he left to join Toyota Motorsport with their unsuccessful Formula 1 project but returned to Ferrari 10 years later.

It seems that Marmorini has paid the price for Ferrari’s underwhelming performances so far this year, with their response to F1’s new hybrid era paling by comparison with the efforts of fellow works team Mercedes. Despite the ability both outfits have to build their cars in-house – seen as a real advantage given the emphasis the rules are placing on the new breed of power units – Mercedes have clearly made better use of the resources at their disposal. The creators of their W05 chassis have also influenced the design of Mercedes’ all-conquering engine, resulting not only in F1’s most powerful hybrid unit but also the best-packaged car.

In contrast, Ferrari’s F14 T is thought to be overweight, underpowered and with a harsher power delivery.
More performance is being eked out as reliability improves and Ferrari feel more confident in exploring the power unit’s limits but F1’s engine freeze limits hardware changes.