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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Need For Calm

Poor Bridgestone, again they fall all over themselves to take the blame for Ferrari's lack of pace in a race. Not helped this time by Barrichello have has taken to lambast the hapless tyre maker in this article on

Two weeks ago, Jenson Button launched a scathing attack on engine supplier Honda. See also this article. Honda apologised for their mistakes. But Jenson I think is decidedly unimpressed. Last Sunday, he must have been fuming again after clutch problems forced his retirement.

Nevertheless, both Jenson and Rubens should look to their team mates for a lesson on how to handle pressure. Takuma Sato has called for the team to look on the bright sides (whatever those may be at the moment). Michael Schumacher, looking less than cheerful in Bahrain after qualifying and his retirement, is ever a calming influence. As his quite rightly points out, they win as a team and they lose as a team.

Michael's leadership of the Ferrari team is very evident. Jean Todt and Luca may seem to the public as the figureheads of the Scuderia but if you read F1Racing magazine, there are others who say that Michael is the true CEO. He follows that time honoured adage; praise in public but criticize in private. He makes all the right positive and diplomatic noises in public but you can bet he give it to em good back at the factory.

Michael I believe is someone who concentrates more on getting the job doen and extracting the maximum from his team rather rather than going red on them. He joined Ferrari in 1996 with a car that was a complete dog to look at and even more so to drive. All through the years though, he kept his cool and just kept at it. And his team repaid him in spades for his patience, inelligence input, speed and encouragement.

That's really what the guys at BAR and Ferrari need to do now. Whilst Ferrari have Michael, Jean and Luca to see through the storm they find themselves in, BAR's leadership now that David Richards is gone must be seen as a little suspect. Three races and no points to show for it. They need strong leadership now but I'm not sure if Nick Fry is up to it. Nothing like a charismatic whip like Richards to motivate the boys in Brackley.

Jenson Button is perhaps not as complete as Michael Schumacher outside the racing car but at the least he can show some calm and encouragement to his team. Sometimes the things that are not said have the greatest effect. Michael Schumacher knows this. Jenson should learn it.

Of course, Jenson Button's outburst is sensational news in the media and I think viewers love lapping it up. But not what his team needs right now.

But don't get me wrong. Ferrari are in trouble and I'm loving every minute of it. It won't last for sure but I'm a happy chappy right now.

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