Elkann: ‘Painful reality’ means Ferrari must restart ‘with humility’

Ferrari chairman and acting CEO John Elkann says the Scuderia must approach its revival with “humility” amid the painful reality that its glorious past does not equate do a great future.

In Abu Dhabi back in December, Ferrari pulled down the curtain on its worst campaign in Formula 1 since 1980, when the Italian outfit finished tenth among eleven teams in the Constructors’ championship.

Ferrari has vowed to improve its performance this year and start turning around its fortunes, thanks in part to an improved power unit, with its engine representing a costly weakness carried throughout the 2020 season.

But with teams required by the regulations to carry over their 2020 chassis, modified to suit this year’s rule changes, Ferrari’s opportunity to significantly move up the pecking order is limited.

In a conference call with Wall Street analysts on Tuesday in the wake of the Italian manufacturer’s 2020 results which exceed full year guidance on all metrics, Elkann celebrated the House of Maranello’s strong results, but with one caveat related to F1.

“Two-thousand-twenty was also a year of celebration,” Elkann said. “Our 1,000 Grand Prix, the highest number in Formula 1 ever reached; our victories in the GT racing season and we reached over 2.5 million visitors in our eSports series.

“But our 2020 Formula 1 results reminded us that a great past doesn’t equate to a great present or future.

“This painful reality, both for ourselves and our fans, is that we must restart with humility, focusing on what will make us competitive and ultimately lead to winning.”

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On the call, Elkann – who took over the responsibilities of CEO on an interim basis following the unexpected departure in December of previous executive Louis Camilleri – addressed the topic of Ferrari’s search for a new CEO while also paying tribute to his predecessor.

“We have established as a board, a search committee, which is responsible for a process to identify the right successor Louis Camilleri,” Elkan said.

“And we want to take the necessary time to find the best possible CEO for our company. On this note, I would like to express my most sincere thank you to Louis, who is listening on our Call today, for his personal commitment, as our CEO since 2018 and as a member of our board since 2015.

“His passion for Ferrari is and has been limitless. Under his leadership, the company has further firmed its position as one of the world’s greatest companies.

“Louis built a leadership team that is continuing to propel our company forward as our results demonstrate, and for which I am personally grateful to him, and to all of my colleagues at Ferrari.”

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