Arrivabene wanted us to leave Ferrari alone… to get rid of their first bit of dead weight.
Speculation on Ferrari’s future has been buzzing around the Scuderia after a poor showing this season. Kimi Raikkonen, Maurizio Arrivabene, Seb Vettel and James Allison were all rumoured to be getting the chop for weeks. After claiming that everything was fine, fine, fine, Ferrari has now officially sent its first man packing and it just happens to be Allison. The technical director was supposed to have stayed on till the end of 2017, but he and Ferrari decided to terminate his contract prematurely by mutual consent. So the official statement says, anyway.
“The team would like to thank James for his commitment and sacrifice during the time spent together, and wishes him success and serenity for his future endeavours.”
But apparently, there is a bit more to the story than a mere professional mismatch. This has been a difficult year for Allison, who tragically lost his wife right after the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. With children to look after, he’s wanted to be posted back to the UK full-time to be near them for quite some time now. In such extenuating circumstances, being served his walking papers was most likely a welcome relief for this grieving technician. Certainly, he does not harbour Ferrari any ill will for the parting of ways.
“During the years I spent at Ferrari, at two different stages and covering different roles, I could get to know and appreciate the value of the team and of the people, women and men, who are part of it.
“I want to thank them all for the great professional and human experience we shared. I wish everybody a happy future with lots of success”
He’ll be replaced by Mattia Binotto, who was the chief operating officer of the power unit. It’s fortunate for all parties involved he actually wanted to be relieved of his position. We wonder if the outcome would have been similar if Raikkonen or Arrivabene himself has ended up on the chopping block.