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Stefano Domenicali resigns as Ferrari team principal

Apr 14, 2014, 10:25 AM EDT

Canadian F1 Grand Prix - Qualifying Getty Images

The challenging start to the 2014 Formula One season for Ferrari has seen a major change at the top. Team principal Stefano Domenicali has resigned, effective immediately, with Marco Mattiacci, president/CEO of Ferrari North America, set to replace him.

Here’s the official statement on the change, from the Ferrari website:

“There are special moments that come along in everyone’s professional life, when one needs courage to take difficult and very agonising decisions,” said Domenicali. “It is time for a significant change. As the boss, I take responsibility, as I have always done, for our current situation. This decision has been taken with the aim of doing something to shake things up and for the good of this group of people that I feel very close to.

“With all my heart, I thank all the men and women in the team, the drivers and the partners for the wonderful relationship we have enjoyed over all these years. I hope that very soon, Ferrari will be back where it deserves to be. My final words of thanks go to our President, for having always supported me and to all our fans. I only regret that we have been unable to harvest what we worked so hard to sow in recent years.”

Ferrari said in a statement it thanks Domenicali for the dedication and service he brought to the company over 23 years.

Here’s the official statement from Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari President, re: the change:

“I thank Stefano Domenicali, not only for his constant dedication and effort, but also for the great sense of responsibility he has shown, even today, in always putting the interests of Ferrari above all else. I hold Domenicali in esteem and I have watched him grow professionally over the twenty three years we have worked together, I now wish him every success for the future. I also want to wish all the best to Marco Mattiacci, whom I know to be a highly regarded manager and who knows the company well. He has accepted this challenge with enthusiasm.”

Though Domenicali pressed through over the years, the fact remains that Ferrari has not won a Constructor’s Championship since 2008, nor a Driver’s Championship since 2007. After Montezemolo hastily left the Bahrain Grand Prix, changes seemed imminent.

In three races, the team has no podium finishes, with Fernando Alonso on 26 points and Kimi Raikkonen on 7. Ferrari currently ranks fifth in the Constructor’s Championship.

  1. thefutureofoil - Apr 14, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Classy gent, but you have to produce results. Great drivers and another turd of a car.

  2. techmeister1 - Apr 14, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    The problem is we don’t know if his successor will be any more able to right the ship at Ferrari or not. There seems to be something significant missing at Ferrari but no one seems to know what it is.

    They had hoped that they had resolved their wind tunnel issues last year but perhaps that isn’t the case. Several times this year Ferrari has said that they need to improve EVERY area of the car. If they meant a small and constant improvements in every area that would make sense but it they feel they are off by a lot in most areas then something must be fundamentally wrong. It is rather odd that the F14 is lacking in straight line speed. That may be due to aero or it could be the power unit.

    I don’t think anyone expected Mercedes to be a second plus ahead of all the other top players. With Ferrari only making small gains in the first three races and smaller teams moving forward I imagine the pressure was unmanageable for Domenicali who appears to be very bright and capable.

    IMO the worst thing Ferrari did was to let Ross Brawn go. I’ll never forgive him and Mercedes for cheating in ’13 with the illegal tire tests, but he has been able to bring three F1 teams to the pinnacle of F1 success.

  3. worknman24hours - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    I don’t know how one acts when you’ve put your best into a job for twenty three years and you ‘are asked to step down.’

    Anyone really think he just woke up one day last week and said, “‘ Think I’ll retire.” ?

    Domenicali has become the scapegoat for the current several years of slowness in the Ferrari cars but really ,he is the guy at the top and that means you are the guy responsible.

    Also, this means the car BETTER get better FAST or at the end of this season, Luca’s going to have a bonfire firing fest of people working on the F1 team.

    You can’t blame Stefano anymore.

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