Ferrari should have kept Fernando Alonso, according to departed designer Nikolas Tombazis. At the end of last year, in a wide-ranging team shakeup, the fabled Maranello marque ousted not only Tombazis but also the British engineer Pat Fry.
But Tombazis, who claims he is now shaping up to return to F1, told Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper that the apparent fruit of the revolution - the SF15-T car now raced by Sebastian Vettel - was actually designed by him. "I was working until early December, when it was already in production," he said. "I just wonder what they would have said if it had been a bad car rather than a good one."
But Tombazis says he regrets never giving the similarly-departed Alonso a title-winning Ferrari to race, adding: "In my romantic vision, Ferrari would have done well to keep him. And me." He credits Ferrari's current technical boss, James Allison, with making the good decision to put him in charge of the 2015 project "in a timely manner".
"I regret that in December they (team management) did not have the patience to wait for the results," Tombazis added. "The other (key) aspect was the modernisation of the facilities. Pat Fry changed the situation," he said.
Tombazis said the 2015 car - the only machine on this year's grid that has been able to beat the dominant Mercedes - was the first Ferrari he worked on that benefitted from an "up-to-date wind tunnel". "So I speak now of two people (Allison and Fry) with different outcomes." Asked, therefore, if he thinks himself and Fry were made scapegoats, Tombazis answered: "Partially, yes. I would have expected a different treatment." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing