WINNING in Formula One is Ferrari's top priority, new company boss Sergio Marchionne declared at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.
While the road car business is in its best shape ever, with about 7200 cars to be delivered in 2014, Marchionne – who also heads up the Fiat Chrysler empire – says it's more important for the Prancing Horse to stand on top of the F1 podium.
"It's absolutely crucial. I think that the winning side of Ferrari on the track is the biggest goal," Marchionne said.
However, he knows it won't be easy: "We've seen phenomenally massive automotive houses fail. BMW couldn't make it, Toyota couldn't make it… but we also understand very thoroughly that it's in the DNA of the [Ferrari] brand."
The sentiment was echoed by outgoing boss Luca di Montezemolo, in his last appearance at a motor show for Ferrari.
"There's no question Ferrari has to win again,” Montezemolo said, “but our belief has been based not only on the victory in Formula One – in the States, Formula One doesn't exist and it is still our largest market – but winning in the races is important.
"Ferrari not winning is not good for the brand, is not good for the image."
Marchionne has made it his mission to get Ferrari back to the top in F1.
"The key objective right now is to re-establish Ferrari in Formula One. We're all optimistic about 2015; whether we can do it first time out, whether it takes two times, it's got to be done. It's a non-negotiable objective.”
Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.
Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!