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Ferrari's Bold Strategy Equality Over Hierarchy

Ferrari’s Bold Strategy: Equality Over Hierarchy

06/03/2024

Alain Prost expresses skepticism towards Ferrari’s shift from traditional “number 1” driver roles as it welcomes Lewis Hamilton, pairing him with Charles Leclerc. This significant change raises questions about team dynamics and success strategies.

The four-time world champion is referring to the 2025 arrival of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who will be teamed with the highly favored current Scuderia incumbent, Charles Leclerc.

Prost remarked that when Formula 1 teams are serious about winning drivers’ titles, there’s usually a nominal or de facto “number 1.”

“I’ve never been officially the lead driver of a team, ever. I never requested it, but perhaps that was a mistake.”

“Had I been the lead driver, maybe one of the years at McLaren, or in 1990 at Ferrari, I might have won the world championship, as things would have unfolded differently.”

And while officially or contractually designating clear number 1 drivers is no longer the norm in F1, Prost insists the reality is quite different.

“If you look at history, Ayrton (Senna) was always the lead driver, and the same goes for Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, and Max Verstappen.”

“And that’s actually the case for all the championships of the last 20 years.”

Prost believes a number 1 driver is even more crucial at Ferrari.

“Especially at Ferrari, you really need a number 1 driver, as you’re dealing with more pressure. There’s a lot of politics there, some of which we don’t know and sometimes don’t understand.”

“When you’re up against another team, having a clear number 1 makes the task much easier for a team. I won the title in 1986 after a battle with Nigel (Mansell) and Nelson (Piquet).”

“They were teammates at Williams and they never received team orders. I really used that to my advantage.”

“When you don’t have a chance of winning the title, you might not need a lead driver. But if you do have that chance and you want to win that title… perhaps we’ll see that next year with Lewis and Charles.”

“It will be very interesting. It will be very challenging for the management, but on paper, there won’t be a lead driver, which is a good thing for the sport anyway.”

Ferrari’s Bold Strategy: Equality Over Hierarchy. Ferrari’s Bold Strategy: Equality Over Hierarchy

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