Ferrari drops Costa

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro has decided to replace its technical director Aldo Costa. He will remain with the team (for now), but is no longer going to be fulfilling the role he has held since 2007. The team says that Pat Fry, who joined from McLaren last year, will take over the chassis department while Corrado Lanzone will head the production departments. Both will report directly to Stefano Domenicali.

The 49-year old Costa started working in the automobile business in 1986 with Abarth. After 18 months he was hired by Giancarlo Minardi as the chief designer for his F1 team, at the age of only 27. He remained in charge of technical matters at Faenza until 1995 when he took up an offer to join Ferrari. He then moved up the ladder there.

Fry is 47 and started his career in the missile business with Thorn EMI while wanting to get into motorcycle racing. Instead to was offered a job with the Benetton F1 team that was looking for electronics engineers for its active suspension programme. When John Barnard took over the technical side of the team he moved Fry to his office in Godalming and put him in charge of R&D, but then went back to the race team in 1992 as engineer to Martin Brundle. He was later lured to McLaren by his former colleague and friend Giorgio Ascanelli, and race engineered a number of drivers, including Mika Hakkinen. He later moved to research and development projects but later returned to returned to race engineering David Coulthard. He left McLaren last year.

Luca Marmorini, a former Toyota F1 engine designer for many years, stays in charge of the Engine and Electronics divisions.

34 thoughts on “Ferrari drops Costa

  1. Good to see you’re buying into this ‘Costa has resigned’ line that Ferrari is pathetically attempting to trot out.

    No doubt he was made an offer he simply couldn’t refuse, although it remains to be seen what “other duties” he’ll fulfil at Ferrari… I suspect he’ll join Chris Dyer in the mail room…

  2. So much for the day quit then Joe!

    I wouldn’t even be suprised to see Sam Michael appearing at Ferrari to replace him full time in march next year!

    I read this as Costa put on gardening leave and be able to find some place for himself next year.

  3. Desperate changes, or is there any logic behind these high profile firings and hirings at Maranello. I’m longing for the day when the headlines would read “Ferrari hires Newey” or “Newey joins Ferrari on long-term contract.” Not that I believe that will ever happen.

  4. ….and the 20 year cycle starts again.

    You wait. By the end of the year, Alonso will have been dropped after comparing the car to a truck, to be replaced by Marc Gene for one race only.

    Next year Jarno Trulli will line up alongside Massa in car hobbled by politics between the engine and chassis departments.

  5. The thing I can’t figure out in all this is why has Alonso signed until 2016?
    He MUST know something we don’t? (maybe all he knows is that F1 contracts aren’t worth the paper they are written on!)
    or perhaps he just wants to feel secure in the knowledge that he has signed for a team he will have all to himself without any pesky young hot shoes like Hamilton or Vettel joining ..
    I think Massa is there as long as it takes Kubica to get fully fit (which we all hope he does of course) If so its generous of Alonso, Kubica could be the biggest handful of the lot!

    1. Iain,

      Alonso signed for Ferrari. Ferrari is owned by Fiat. Fiat is owned by Exor. Exor is in league with News Corporation. A major F1 asset has been secured.
      Lewis Hamilton signed with Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment. Fuller made American Idol, the most successful TV series in US history. This made huge profits for Fox TV, owned by News Corporation. Another major F1 asset has been secured?

  6. I like how you said he started his career in the missile business!

    Hello, I design missiles to kill people!

    Monaco should be fun, the appearance of a late safety car could be interesting as will its other appearances.

  7. 4u1e–

    Yes… they will then sign Kobayashi with a view to trying to build the team around him — but the years of futility and fiasco will continue, the only highlight being Kobayashi’s brilliant win in the 2019 Canadian GP, Ferrari’s first since 2010…

  8. …or Vettel and Newey jump ship to Maranello as soon as Alonso is gone, of course, jump-starting the cycle by a decade or so…

    Can’t see Newey’s particular brand of Goodwood-attending Ginetta-totalling pencil-using Englishness being a very good fit at Ferrari though…

  9. Joe:

    who do you think is a possible replacement for Costa, I would imagine that there aren’t a lot of Rory Byrne’s sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for a call from Ferrari (With all due respect to Sam Michael, I dont think he is of the caliber that Ferrari require, but I may be wrong)

    Who would you speculate could fill in the void?

  10. Not that I’m a massive Ferrari fan but you can only hope that they choose strong people and stick with them after all these reshuffles. If people are going to get booted out over short-term problems then the team will never get back on top.

    I’m not much in to football but it is evident that Manchester United enjoy so much success as they have implemented a long-term strategy and stuck with it while other teams have chopped and changed because they haven’t seen immediate success and suffered as a result.

    I wonder if Williams are on the phone to Costa and Dyer…

  11. Good luck to Pat I wonder if he remembers his introduction to motor sport all those years ago towing my stock car to the track and it was my copy of Autosport that he saw the job for Benneton. Lets hope the reshuffle improves Ferrari’s luck on the track

  12. Well, it was long due that Ferrari mad some changes, especially in the Tech / Aero department.

    This year’s car is no good, and it’s woes lie in the Aerodynamics, it just does not generate enough ground force. The engine is fine, powerful, strong and reliable, and the chassis apparently is not bad.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Stefano is the next to leave, his direction has not been very good, even though he’s an extremely nice person, I can see a huge difference in the way the works since he took over. My impression is that Kimi’s championship was due to him riding the wave left by the Ross/Jean/Michael teamwork and effort. After that it’s been a downhill catastrophe in my opinion.

    Joe, get ready for the Canada Audience, I’m taking a truckload of questions for that meeting, really looking forward to it after reading your blog since it started!

    Augusto Gabaldoni

  13. 4u1e,

    I sincerely wish that would happen, because I’m completely disillusioned by this foolish long term contract Alonso has signed. He’d only be doing himself good by getting out of the Red Mess.

  14. Excellent news. Lack of personnel stability and continuity is a harbinger of declining success. Ferrari’s only recent glory days were the result of a longtime collaboraton between Todt/Brawn/Byrne/Schumacher. Now that those guys are all gone Ferrari are floundering as they did before they brought in the “Benetton” team. Perhaps we are witnessing the new era of Ferrari sagging to the midfield as they did for so many years prior to their success in the 2000s. RedBull vs McLaren for the next few years? Two teams with at least the pretense of sporting ethics. I can only hope.

  15. Right you are, Karen. Plus… radio-spying on RB and bankster abusing Domenicali … Typical ElFraud scenario.

  16. Joe – do you think there is a cultural problem at Ferrari? Much like at some of the Japanese teams in the past?

  17. another of the old Benetton championship winning team gets a promotion. reminder of who they were: Brawn, Gascoyne, Stepney, Fry, Wirth, also had Richards, Byrne and off course Flav and Symonds. Classic team.

    1. Badger,

      I believe that traction control was banned in 1994 and the FIA was unable to show that the software in the Benetton was actually used. Many in F1 believe it was but that allegation has yet to be proved. I think that with modern technologies the case could probably be proven one way or the other using acoustic analysis of gear changes recorded with in-car cameras. I suspect there is some bright engineer out there who might want to do that in his spare time…

      In any case, that has nothing to do with Pat Fry. The name associated with that was one Tad Czapski.

  18. @Adrian Newey Jr – What kind of a cultural problem, specifically ? You have no idea how crazy the Italians are about Ferrari. Just tune into RAI for one weekend of F1 coverage, preferably at Monza. You will be amazed how passionate these people are.
    Also, in terms of losing – after drinking the tea with biscuits (with MSC and Kimi) they do not want only tea with Alonso – neither the latter – so there’s an immense pressure for wins, hence the change.
    I don’t really know what’s needed for Ferrari to challenge Red Bull and Mclaren (downforce, I presume), but they have been slapped or actually lapped – Alonso +1LAP …

  19. Joe,

    I think you’ve painted the bigger picture well to Iain. So it is all a political gameplan. In other words, it only means that with the future of Formula 1 in the winds, Ferrari would want to make its influence felt.

    No wonder then, that they’ve got distracted from the immediate job of making a race winning car.


    You left out Tom Walkinshaw from the Benetton dream team.

  20. Lon,

    I’d prefer it to be a Ferrar-McLaren-Renault-Mercedes-Lotus battle. These are the iconic teams. For some reason I just hate Red Bull. All this super rich energy drink manufacturing company has done is pump in tons of cash to the once Stewart and Jaguar outfit and call teh team after itself.

    Had the team remained Jaguar, with Newey on board of course, I’d have been delighted with all the sucess. But the name Red Bull sounds…I don’t know…too boyish to be considered an F1 team. They’re good as a sponsor, as they’ve been to the dominant Dakar-winning Volkswagen outfit, the Repsol Honda HRC MotoGP team and the NASCAR team. But as a constructor in their own right, I can’t be comfortable with that.

    Maybe they should branch out as a constructor in other motor racing series. Then their name can carry a lot more respect than it does now.

    P.S. Joe, these views are extremely personal. I don’t mean to take anything away from their dominant success along with the fact that it has made F1 more boring and predictable, a disease which this sport seems to contract every now and then.

  21. @ Iain,

    yes but still not complete. It’s a very small part, there are a lot of ways to look at it. The news corpos might be one of them..

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