August 5, 2014

Aldo Costa gets a few things off his chest.

Aldo Costa is an Italian engineer who spent most of his career at Ferrari until 2011 when he was pushed out as technical director of  the Scuderia.    Costa was promptly hired by Mercedes and the rest is, as they say, history.

Costa was interviewed by Italian motoring journalist and author Leo Turrini, an old hand in the business and someone rarely off the mark.  It's an interesting read and while most of whatever happens outside the British press usually gets ignored by the internet, I thought Axis readers who follow F1 would find this interesting.  

I'll translate ,  hopefully Leo will not mind.

"Aldo Costa gets some pebbles out of his shoes"

by Leo Turrini

In summer when the heat is oppressive it's always good to look for anything refreshing.  I had a pleasant and refreshing conversation with my friend Aldo Costa.  

Do you know who he is?

Up until the 2011 Spanish GP he was technical director at Ferrari.

He was brusquely removed from that position after that race.

Soon after he was hired by Mercedes.  Today he leads the team currently dominating F1.

I asked what it feels like.

"...professionally, it's a very happy moments, I would be lying if I said I did not feel a certain satisfaction..."

"At Mercedes we have twelve Italians.  Twelve engineers on the Grand Prix squad.  I recruited them myself when I was hired.  Some came from Ferrari, some straight from universities.  We are a little Italian colony inside this giant multi-national..."

"I can assure you Mercedes will not give any preference between Hamilton and Rosberg.  It is not in our interest.   What's more,  within the team we have one imperative:  as we have two very competitive drivers, ready to bang wheels at every race, we have the duty to give each equal cars..."

"I know, I know, you want to ask me about the radio call to Lewis in Hungary.  I admit, from an outsider's point of view it sounded bad but it was logical:  Nico had to come in to change tires soon and was faster, it made sense to ask Lewis to let him pass.  But there were no ulterior motives, trust me..."

"I'm now working on the 2015 car.  That's normal in my line of work. I will not go to races for the rest of the season, except maybe Belgium and Monza but that's it, I have different priorities..."

"Ferrari, Ferrari, Ferrari....must we really talk about it?"

"OK, write that I saddened,  I'll be hones, I'm from Emilia (ed: Emilia Romagna is the Italian region where Ferrari is based) I used to work in a company that is a legend.  I'm not happy to see what it is reduced to, in F1, even is they sent me away in a manner that I cannot exactly describe as "elegant" ..."

"Let me say that there are a lot of great people working in Maranello, people I gave great affection for and pains me to see involved in such a complicated situation.  I'm not being condescending, I left many friends there, why would I want to see them suffer?..."

"Having said that, I don't think that in 2015 Mercedes headaches will come from Ferrari. We are worried about Red Bull which is demonstrating and has demonstrated in the past extraordinarily quick reactions."

"What are the reasons for the Scuderia's decline?  It's not the definitive answer, just my opinion. There have been some huge errors but strategic and in vision.  And, clearly, there have been mistakes with hiring and firing of personnel."

" I'll give you and example, in 2008, us from the Reparto Corse made a request for a new wind tunnel.  We thought it essential in order to remain competitive.  We were told it was not needed..."

"At Ferrari, decisions on strategy and personnel, were always taken by "l'avvocato" Montezemolo.  He has made them when Ferrari was winning  and when it stopped winning,  I want to be clear about that."

" I don't think that in 2011, after the Spanish GP, it was Alonso who had me fired.  I consider Fernando one of the greats when inside the car, when he's racing.  Out of the car, I never understood him, for me he remains inscrutable and enigmatic.   In any case, he will not come to Mercedes, I don't see any reason why Hamilton would want to leave a team like ours..."

"Allison? I met him when he was at Ferrari as an aerodynamicist and I will tell you that in that position he is really good.  He has done well in other capacities afterwards, but I have no way to judge him.  I hope he does well."

"Tombazis?  listen, when they sent me away they said it was me who was stifling the creativity  to the Greek designer.  since, he's freed his imagination,  the results re there for all to see..."

Domenicali?   I have no ill feelings towards him,  sometime we exchange texts.  Ferrari belongs to his and mine and Marmorini's (ed: recently dismissed Ferrari engine man) 

Would I go back?  Actually, I'm quite fine where I am..."


  1. Guess he's getting the last laugh on this one. Good for him.

  2. A Greek man is the problem in an Italian squad ... interesting,

  3. Hiring pat fry just after he produced one of The worst mclarens ever was also a huge mistake I think....

    Whats the exact James Allison post at Ferrari? Fry s ?

  4. Allison is just below Mattiacci and responsible for managing the whole team. Fry's duties are to manage track operations

  5. It's got to be somewhat satisfying to see them struggling...I've been given the (steel toed) boot from a place or two, and even been subjected to gloating by those who remained...

    and then just a few months later, on both occasions, then entire company was sold and every single one of those gloating clowns was jobless - at least I got unemployment while they got practically nothing.

    I'm sure Aldo feels for the people, or at least some of them...but company, well...

  6. Thanks for linking this, very interesting opinion. We don't always want to hear which driver is moving teams, the engineers are of interest too!

  7. Not completely ignored by the British media:

  8. the exception confirming the rule...


nRelate Posts Only