Maybe he’s mellowed, but for sure he won’t be replicating Ricciardo’s disposition. What effect that has on the team will be down to those inside it, something touched upon by his former Ferrari colleague Rob Smedley in our magazine last year. “He constantly wants the best and expects 110 per cent of everything and everyone which is extremely demanding. But I think that gets misconstrued as aggression. That’s not the right word. I never saw him angry, never heard him utter a wrong word. But he is an operator who knows his way around a team and what the machinations are. But I found him very motivating. You need people like that, you can’t have an attitude of ‘good enough’ in a top F1 team. He doesn’t want to just take part, he just has that single-minded motivation 365 days a year.
“I think how he affects people depends on the person you’re talking about. What I find demotivating is not winning. So when I heard him saying out loud what was wrong and what needed changing – things he didn’t hold back on, he really calls a spade a spade – even if it was something over which I had responsibility, I welcomed that. Some don’t. Egos come into, I guess, and how thick or thin your skin is. Some take it personally.”
Extracting the full potential from all the people in the team, with a very singular and legendary character in the cockpit, is going to be one of Brivio’s key challenges.