The Ferrari Team had a competitive car for the 1979 Formula One Championship. The 312 T4 was an aerodynamic evolution based on its predecessor, the 312 T3. New for Ferrari, for a first time their car included also ground effects. The engineers not only calculated how the air passes over the car, but furthermore how it does it under the vehicle. The Scuderia’s two drivers Jody Scheckter and Gilles Villeneuve not dominated the field, had been competitive since the first race, the Argentinian Grand Prix.

In general the car was doing good over the season, but nevertheless the engineers created a special version for the Monaco Grand Prix. In opposite to other tracks, this was a curvy way through the city, meaning engine and maximum speed not played such a big role, but the driver skills and the handling of the race car. As consequence, the team changed the position of the rear-wing from behind of the car to over the car, shortly before the rear tires. This gave the drivers an additional advantage for the difficult race and Scheckter could achieve on of his three season victories. Enough for him to became World Champion and together with Villeneuve’s results, the Ferrari team won also the Constructor’s Championship. As a thank-you, Scheckter received one T4 after the successful season.

1979: Ferrari 312 T4 (short-tail)
1979: Ferrari 312 T4 (short-tail)

Based on a first Compliance Risk Assessment, a company or organization has to understand in what kind of competition they are participating. If they are active in risky markets, their choice should be a robust 4×4 rally car, if their markets are more transparent, it could be a fast Formula One. The basic idea is that the company’s values are our engine and controls our aerodynamics. Normal F1-tracks are fast and include big safety zones left and right the street. For companies this means that laws are transparent and get adequately executed. Monaco with its many curves and buildings directly beside the streets represents a non-transparent region. Laws are bureaucratic and impunity widely spread. Values alone are not enough, as employees could not know or understand the legal requirements and each driving error mean to end up in a wall; race over! On such a track the engine has less importance in relation to the aerodynamics. To install a big rear wing (controls) over the engine (values) gives as an advantage.

On a second level, we learn that a global ethics & compliance system has to be flexible to be adapted for special markets. If a region is less transparent than the global market, additional controls should be easily to add. This way Compliance leads to Sustainability:

Values (fix) + Strategy (fix) + Compliance (flexible) = Sustainability

With this mind-set we, the same as Scheckter in ’79, can hear the Prince of Monaco’s famous annual greeting: ”I am happy that it is you, who you won the race!”