Luca Marmorini, Former Ferrari engine chief has revealed that he was told to sacrifice the potential of the new power unit as the team claimed it would make up for the performance deficit through aerodynamic improvements.

Marmorini oversaw the development of Ferrari’s power unit but departed the outfit when his organisation was reshuffled at the end of July, after the team claimed just two podiums across the opening 11 races of the year.

Marmorini claims that Ferrari Chief Designer Nikolas Tombazis assured him that the power loss from the engine side would be compensated by the aerodynamic improvements made to the F14T, compared to recent Ferrari machines.

“In short: it was made ​​to pass the idea that all the woes of the F14T are the fault of the power unit,” Marmorini is quoted as saying by Italian journalist Leo Turrini. “As if in a company with the history of Ferrari had forgotten how to make engines! I mean, I accept any accusation, but do not tell that to Maranello [as] there are people who do not know the business, the turbo, hybrids, etcetera.

“With my colleagues I packed a power unit with a certain size, ie, [a] smaller version of the Mercedes and Renault, because we were asked by the project manager of the car, Mr. Tombazis.

“[They] said we want a very compact Power Unit, with small radiators, because the less power [we] will compensate with aerodynamic solutions that will guarantee us an advantage over Mercedes and Renault. It’s been exactly like that, except that, when we are confronted with the competition, the horsepower was less obviously, but this was not compensated by aerodynamics!”

Marmorini also admitted feeling sympathy for the engineers at the team and revealed that he was rarely in communication with Team Principal Marco Mattiacci, who joined the outfit in April.

“I would like to explain [the problem] to Mattiacci, but in three months I exchanged a few words, we saw each other twice: the first for the greetings, the second when he subjected me a letter that confirmed my farewell to the company,” he said.

“Look, I do not want to accuse anyone. For real. [I must] point out, however, that Ferrari took a road racing department plans to entrust to inexperienced people.

“Ferrari also runs the risk of damaging the bedrock on which many successes have been built on in the past. I do not speak for me, I am now out. But I’m sorry for the engineers I know who are still there, good people who are demoralised.”

Marmorini also wished his successor, Mattia Binotto, well and denied signing a deal to return to Formula 1 with Renault.

Hi, I have been a Formula 1 fanatic since 1987 when my family took me to the Adelaide GP. I now enjoy close friendships with team members at Ferrari and within the Holden Racing Team (V8Supercars).
  • “Aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines.” – Enzo Ferrari

    That is the bedrock that Ferrari built it’s success, they aren’t at risk of loosing that foundation, they have already lost it.

  • adam vella

    As much as I hate to say this, the team is going back to the future. Its becoming a repeat of the 80’s – 90’s T era. A time that all tifosi try and forget. There were only 2 highlights of that era and that was Alboreto and Schumacher signing with Ferrari
    I’m positive that Ferrari wont win another title until 2020.

    • and even with the schumacher signing, it was almost a FIA conspiracy to revive ferrari. Because you also essentially had the entire championship winning benetton team signed over to ferrari at the exact same time.

      right now they’re just trying to stick bandaids on a festering gunshot wound by trying to sign over as many qualified big names as they can. There’s no system in place, and the only obvious source of “leadership” is coming from a 70 year old man still trying to fight the new F1 and revert it back to the “glory days”.

  • * losing

  • Il Padrino (Mr. Luca D) needs to go. I feel for you, Todd. FIAT knows not what they doeth.

  • tk

    Is the Ferrari PU that bad? It might be a good compromise if it were fitted to the RB10. (RB10’s aero can be improved with smaller Ferrari PU too and it’s a bit more powerful.)
    it could be a different answer to the new regulations (aero has no design freeze) or am I too optimistic? I guess I am.

    • it IS that bad. One thing you’ll notice with all the onboards is how peaky the power delivery is on all the ferrari engined cars.

      The renault has never had the highest top speed, even during their championship years, but they’ve always had superb driveability around the corners

      • Rik

        This year’s Torro Rosso cars have the highest trap speeds. It’s not all engine, aero is very imporntant as well.

        What’s happening at Ferrari is happening mid season due to the fact that there is a new chief in town and they alway’s clean house and this is a necessary component to get rid of the complacent people and replace them with hungrier people.

        Had the leadership change end of season this would not have been so visible.

        The size of the engine package, intercooler, etc. has no bearing on the engines hp potential if they merely added larger coolers but had the engine been great they could have just added better cooling to get more power and thus be faster but it’s not all about hp

  • we already knew these problems; they were already reported on. It just sounds like he’s pushing blame somewhere else and making himself less culpable. Which might be valid, for all we know, inside the sharktank that is the works ferrari team.

    • and i use the word “team” loosely

  • rapierman

    Well, here’s the problem: Ferrari may not be able to win with the powerful engine designs that they’re famous for, but they also can’t win by the engine designs alone, because that’s the Ford Mustang route. It’s the fact that they tried to win on the engine alone, then they figured they could win with aero alone since they weren’t allowed to do the biggest and baddest engine that they were capable of.

    Instead of trying to win by one component alone, how ’bout more than one component…say “engine-plus-aero-plus-maneuverability”? That’s what’s going to get them up front.

    • Tangential, but the outgoing Mustang is a surprisingly nice-handling, tactical, and fairly comfortable car. The Boss 302 is superb, if heavy.

  • Marmorini’s specific defenses do smack of sour grapes. Internal cooling of course affects performance potential and thus design, but Ferrari’s solution looks no more compromising than its competitors. It’s PU heat issues are purportedly emissions-based from the exhaust manifolds and turbine EGT’s, not combustion/cooling. Marmorini also failed addressing supposedly poor ERS to turbocharger integration.

    He specifically uses “engine” instead of “power unit” or “power plant”… asking that the former be as small and efficient as possible is logical, but if Ferrari specifically directed Marmorini design a less powerful engine for heat concerns, and that the improved aero via packaging would balance performance scales, Ferrari seriously misunderstood the 2014 tech regulations.

  • Benalf

    Ferrari team should take a sabbatical…..