Bernie Ecclestone says Ferrari need 'fresh blood' to win in Formula 1 again
Bernie Ecclestone says Ferrari must hire "fresh blood" from outside Italy if it's to succeed in Formula 1 again, because the current management and staff lack the DNA to run a successful team.
The Italian team failed to win a single race in 2014 as it finished fourth in the standings behind Mercedes, Red Bull and Williams. However they looked to have made progress the following season when Sebastian Vettel won three races, helping them to finish second, but that was short lived as they dropped to third last year, yet again failing to win a single race.
F1 boss Ecclestone says Vettel isn't to blame for his slump and that the team needs to hire fresh blood outside of Italy if it is to succeed.
"It's not his fault that he's not winning," the 86-year-old told Sport Bild. "It's about the car and the team.
"Ferrari has fallen back into the time before [Michael] Schumacher and [then team boss Jean] Todt."
He added: "There are too many Italians working there.
"Nothing against Italy, but running a team successfully is not in their DNA. Ferrari needs fresh blood. But I'm sure Sebastian is doing everything he can to succeed."
Ecclestone insists the four-time champion is determined to succeed with Ferrari amid rumours he could be looking to leave for Mercedes in 2018.
"Sebastian's mission is called Ferrari, because I know that he wants to succeed there first," he explained.
Meanwhile Ecclestone suspects Mercedes will once again dominate in 2017 despite the rule changes, suggesting only a change in engine formula can stop them.
"Their engine will still be the best, giving them a huge advantage," he said. "Equalising the situation can only be done with new engine regulations, so we need to do that as soon as possible."