Formula 1

James Allison changing Ferrari design focus

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James Allison (Ferrari) - GP of Australia 2015

Image credit: Ferrari S.p.A.

ByAutoSport
07/04/2015 at 10:29 | Updated 07/04/2015 at 10:29

Ferrari Formula 1 technical director James Allison says his main influence so far has been to end a culture of short-term thinking and ease the pressure on the design team.

Allison joined Ferrari from Lotus in mid-2013. Although Ferrari endured its worst season in two decades in 2014, it has begun this year as Mercedes' closest challenger and defeated the world champion team to win the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Asked about his role in Ferrari's turnaround, Allison said he had tried to change the mindset around Ferrari's technical department.

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"I haven't designed a single piece on this car, there's a lot of very talented people who do that," Allison said.

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"If I've had any feat, it's trying to say which bits are worth putting lots of effort into.

"[I'm here] to make sure pressure has been taken off people to deliver things for next week but to work with a slightly long timescale in mind - which frees up your hand to do a good job.

"It's hard to do anything in a two to three month timescale. You need to build a programme over months and years rather than weeks."

Although the end of Ferrari's victory drought followed a winter of restructuring and management changes, Allison said the true effect of that reshuffle would not be evident for some time.

"Any changes like that are not done lightly and not easy to do," he said.

"But they are done looking to the long term to make sure we have a team of people in place that we know can build for the future and just make us stronger month by month.

"We will increasingly benefit from those changes in the months and years ahead rather than it making a difference overnight."

Ferrari's winter engine improvement has been credited as a major factor in its turnaround.

Allison said that programme did not begin in earnest until the middle of 2014, and that work on this year's aerodynamic concept had actually come first.

"The aero programme was around about early January 2014, the engine programme much later," he said.

"Work was going on, but the real momentum of the engine programme was late May [2014]."

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