Ferrari appoints Maria Mendoza to improve quality control

Published on 12 Oct 2017 09:25

Ferrari has appointed a Spanish woman to help "fix" car reliability problems that have marred the team's push for the 2017 title. In the Sepang-Suzuka double header, Sebastian Vettel suffered car problems that now strand him a whopping 59 points behind Lewis Hamilton with four races go go.

"We need to renew our commitment to the quality of the components we use for F1," Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said afterwards. "On at least three occasions it has had a devastating impact on the Scuderia's performance. We will fix it," he promised.

La Repubblica newspaper is now reporting what that "fix" is. Her name is Maria Mendoza, who has been promoted by Marchionne from elsewhere in the Fiat Chrysler parent company. The Italian newspaper said Spaniard Mendoza has been in charge of a 25-person quality control group at Fiat for the past five years.

Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda said Ferrari's troubles in Malaysia and Japan were "unbelievable". "(At Suzuka) we had the same problem in the morning and with the permission of the FIA we changed the spark plug," he revealed to Auto Motor und Sport. "But I think with Vettel it was more than just a spark plug."

Indeed, Ferrari's technical boss Mattia Binotto admits the Maranello team has been struggling with "some quality issues with parts" recently. (GMM)

Replies (11)
Posts: 152
I fully expect Ferrari to order Raikkonen to take out Hamilton in order for Vettel to try and take the title.
Italians are a crazy bunch. :)
Posts: 220
They should send Kimi to Campania for a few days. Craziest driving I've experienced in Italy and for that matter in Europe.
Posts: 152
If they brought her from FIAT to do quality control then they have never driven a FIAT.
Posts: 533
I thought the same thing!
Although I haven't driven a recent Fiat, so maybe they've improved. But historically you can't go much worse.
Posts: 152
Just look at FIAT 500L's reputation in USA. :)
Posts: 533
Interesting that Mercedes had a similar problem. It's crazy that a relatively simple part like a spark plug failed for both contenders for the world championship.
Hamilton's luck in general, and this year in particular has just been off the charts, though.
US ajpennypacker 12 Oct 2017 21:530
Posts: 992
Hamilton has been lucky. But let's not forget he had his own share of challenges at the beginning of the season. All while Vettel enjoyed remarkable performance and consistency.
Posts: 625
If you read the story, Niki Lauda surmised that Ferrari’s problem was “more than just a spark plug”.
US ajpennypacker 12 Oct 2017 21:540
Posts: 992
Why would Ferrari admit to their PU having serious quality flaws? Especially with Maurizio fighting for his job... I look forward to heads rolling at Ferrari by the end of the year.
Posts: 426
Amazing that Mercedes needed permission from the FIA to change a spark plug! I'm surprised that they didn't get a grid penalty for such an infraction.
NL Patentprutser 13 Oct 2017 09:350
Posts: 221
Everybody is talking about Arrivabene's head. WHY?
Ferrari did during the winter a fantastic job and could challenge Mercedes again. Now there are some issues he would be sacrificed? Taht would be the most stupid thing to do.
They have to work on reliability, but they stil did a great job

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