Formula 1

Ferrari in focus as F1 show arrives in Shanghai

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After being in the headlines for much of this week, all eyes are on Ferrari as teams arrive in Shanghai for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

As now former team principal Stefano Domenicali announced his resignation on Monday, the fabled Italian team finds itself at perhaps the lowest point it has been in several decades.

The team has been unable to take advantage of the new 2014 rules and find themselves well off the leading pace and even struggling to beat some of the sport's midfield teams.

That lack of competitiveness ultimately led to Domenicali's departure as the pressure of being the boss at F1's most popular team took its toll and now Ferrari need to regroup and fast if they are to start making progress.

Certainly the last few days have seen the company president Luca di Montezemolo step up his involvement in the F1 operation as Domenicali's successor, Marco Mattiacci, prepares for his first weekend at the helm in China.

Some are pointing to Mattiacci as merely a short-term fix as the team perhaps looks to lure back it's former technical chief Ross Brawn, that may seem unlikely given Brawn has stated he has no desire to return to F1 and is enjoying retirement.

Former Mercedes Technical Chief Bob Bell has also been suggested after he also officially left the Brackley-based team on Monday, however, Di Montezemolo has told reporters that Mattiacci is currently the man for the job.

"He will already start to make a difference at the Chinese Grand Prix," he is quoted by the ANSA news agency.

"He's going to be at the helm for a long time. I am also going to be closer to the team during this transition, taking a more hands-on role until Marco gets the hang of things," Montezemolo added.

The man most believe as the real leader at Ferrari, Spanish driver Fernando Alonso has also given his initial backing to Mattiacci, though admits it could be some time before he has time to sit down with his new boss.

"We need to accept what Stefano decided. He wasn't in the mood to continue with the feeling of having everything on his shoulders," the two-time champion is quoted by GMM.

"In this race, we will not improve by one second, because Stefano wasn't doing the front wing or the rear wing, so we need to wait and see what we can improve."

Should things not improve as the sport enters its European season after Shanghai it is also reported that the team could give up on this year altogether and instead switch to the further rule changes coming for 2015.

"Our first priority," said current technical chief Pat Fry, "is to establish ourselves as the second best team."

But speaking to Italian media Di Montezemolo admitted: "The next four or five races will be decisive in seeing whether we can catch up with Mercedes (this season),"

There is no doubt the current goings on internally at Maranello were coming, a team with the heritage and the pedigree of Ferrari simply don't like not being the best.

The fact that the current drought has no obvious end in sight is perhaps the most concerning thing for the Tifosi going forward.

What most will be curious to see is who else will leave the team during this apparent period of transition, names were brought in like James Allison, Pat Fry and Kimi Raikkonen while Fernando Alonso will not take being second of third best forever.

Ferrari will find a way out of it's current hole, but just who and what the team will look like when it does it currently anyone's guess.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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