Case Study Formula 1

Q1. What do you need in order to succeed in Formula One? The case studies emphasise that all three racing teams focussed on different strategies. Their strategies changed within the environment and circumstances, but what is overwhelmingly evident is that a team needs all the elements to be in synergy and for focus to be on every aspect of the strategy. As the old adage, ‘A team is only as strong as its weakest link. This means that in order to be successful and to maintain success, you’ve got to get all the elements right, the overall package, the budget, the designer, the engine, the drivers, the organisation and every aspect, from what is deemed most important to the least important, all play an essential part of sustaining a winning team. The strategy employed has to be all encompassing and must definitely not rely on any one aspect only, as this has proven to be short lived, and cannot sustain long-term success.
A distinct advantage is for these racing teams to be afore with latest technology and to ensure a good relationship with its sponsors and suppliers especially the engine suppliers, as was evident with the Honda partnership in supplying engines. Another dimension is the attitude, drive and enthusiasm of the team. Their desire to win and the extra effort they put in, not just to rely on a fast car or good driver, but also to have a focussed mindset and good inter-relationships. 2. Why do you think your team were successful during this period?
The Ferrari team was successful during this 2000 –2004 due to them changing their mindset from the conventional and adapting to the rapid advancement of technology. Even though they had the money, resources and discipline they lacked the innovation to move forward and keep up with the rest of the world with respect to technology. By recruiting John Bernand the top technical designer and setting up the GTO plant in Guildford gave Ferrari the edge they needed. This plant focused on long term R & D and the Marnello plant concentrated on the current design and activities.

Both long term and short term strategies were being fulfilled and a synergy was formed. The death of Enzo Ferrari gave rise to a new management team with a different management style. This created some problems/shift within the organisation but it also gave way to benefits, as the saying goes, “Change is as good as a holiday”. The new management team was able to amalgamat the human resource plan, marketing plan and financial plan to ensure sustainability of the organisation. They recruited the right people to compliment the business and take their business to new heights.
The new team helped Schumacher to world titles. In addition Schumacher’s talent as a driver coupled with his motivating skills provided a base for an excellent performing team. Ferrari’s supply chain was critical for the sustainability of their company. Long-term commercial and technological partnerships were set up with Marlbaro and Shell which maximised the benefits of Ferrari’s investments. These partnerships provided the technical and financial support needed. 3. Why were they unable to sustain this success? One of the key reasons that Ferrari was unable to sustain their success was as a result of complacency.
The developers at Ferrari lack the foresight to acknowledge that the design of the product i. e the F1racing car. The strategy that was adopted by Team Ferrari focused primarily on the engine that ran the car, this owing largely to the fact that this was the ideology of it’s chairman Enzo Ferrari, this strategy was entrenched in the technical development team. Ferrari believe that by building better faster engines that their cars would remain unbeatable. This strategy was effective however only for a period of time.
Other teams had realised that there were other aspects of the cars design that contributed to it’s performance. As result the strategy of these teams shifted from finding the perfect engine to designing the perfect race car that was aerodynamically efficient, who’s chassis were lighter and therefore sought to find an engine that compliment these new designs, this was achieved with the use of the V12 engines which perfectly. Whilst all of these technological developments were taking place in the F1 arena, Ferrari chose to focus on it’s long term strategy which focused on the development of the V6 turbocharged engine.
This essentially meant that their drivers were now competing with cars that no longer held a competitive advantage, in fact the cars were now considered inferior. The fundamental flaw in this instance was that Ferrari had ignored the change in trends in the immediate environment and stuck to what they felt worked. The strategy was to exploits their strengths but neglected the opportunities that presented themselves. They had failed to respond to an immediate threat, thus exposing their weaknesses and allowing themselves to retrogress to the extent that Ferrari was no longer considered a threat.
This was further compounded by the problems that were being experienced between Audetto and Laude, Ferrari’s strength was derived somewhat from the relationship between Team Boss and Driver and with Audetto not being able to accomplish this, it impacted on the performance of the team. In addition, the heavy reliance on the driver, meant that the team was left at the mercy of it’s driver, this was evident when Laude was unable to compete for six weeks, this allowed the competition to close in on the lead that Ferrari had established.
What this showed was Ferrari’s inability to adapt to a change in circumstances. The strategy that it had employed during this time did not include contingencies. What could they have done to sustain their success further? A key consideration for Team Ferrari should have been the technological advancements that were taking place in terms of the design of the vehicle. It was undoubted that Ferrari had the necessary resources at their disposal to have developed a car that other manufacturers would have envied which in fact they did manage to do.
However their strategy should have been innovative to have explored a more integrated approach to the design of the car. They should have exploited the opportunity of forming alliances with key design engineers that specialised in the field of aerodynamics as that was a growing trend in the F1 arena. Management should have been more in tune with the immediate environment and had the foresight to have identified the shifting trends and re-strategized to accommodate the trends thereby ensuring that they remained more competitive.
Further, the changes in the management team should have been limited to allow for the team to adapt to the technological changes that were taking place around them. The strategy of Ferrari should have focused on fully utilising its strengths to exploit the opportunities that presented themselves thereby addressing the threats imposed by it’s competitors. 4. Conclusion: In order to have remained competitive or in fact dominant Ferrari should have adopted a more entrepreneurial approach to it’s business and seized the opportunities to be innovative to point of being the benchmark in Formula One racing.
The strategy should have been influenced more by the technological environment in which it competed as a opposed to the historical goals of a single individual. It should have sought to make it offerings to the F1 world current and innovative, resourced should have been channelled towards an integrated approach to the manufacture of a Formula One car that was both innovative yet extremely competitive, thus ensuring that Ferrari remain at the forefront of innovation and Formula One racing.

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