Stefano Domenicali has resigned as Team Principal for the Ferrari F1 team, it has been confirmed.
The resignation, which comes following a disappointing start to their 2014 campaign, will take place with immediate effect. Ferrari have promoted Marco Mattiacci, the current President and CEO of Ferrari North America to the role.
“There are special moments that come along in everyone’s professional life, when one needs courage to take difficult and very agonising decisions,” Domenicali said. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Domenicali has been involved with Ferrari for a long time, having joined the team in 1991. In 2003 he became Sporting Director before taking over from Jean Todt as Team Principal in 2008. Ferrari’s President, Luca di Montezemolo thanked Domenicali for his time with the team. “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,” he said. “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.” In his first year as Team Principal, Domenicali successfully navigated the team to the Constructors Championship, although they have failed to win a Drivers Championship in the six years with him at the helm. Ferrari currently lie fifth in the championship – with their drivers fourth and twelfth – and di Montezemolo reportedly left in the middle of the Bahrain Grand Prix, signifying his dissatisfaction.
Di Montezemolo also spoke highly of Mattiacci. “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 concluded. “He has accepted this challenge with enthusiasm.”
It is unclear as to where Domenicali’s future lies, but at least his situation with Ferrari is clear. Martin Whitmarsh, who had a similarly long career with McLaren, lost his job as Team Principal at the start of the year and McLaren are as yet to make comment as to what he is doing now.