Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali resigns after Scuderia's poor start to 2014

Ferrari fifth in standings; Departing team boss hopes decision will "shake things up"; Di Montezemolo accepts resignation; Ferrari North America President Marco Mattiacci takes over

By Mike Wise.   Last Updated: 15/04/14 8:34am

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Stefano Domenicali: Has resigned as Ferrari's Team Principal

Stefano Domenicali: Has resigned as Ferrari's Team Principal

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Stefano Domenicali has resigned as Team Principal of Ferrari, it was confirmed on Monday, with the 48-year-old paying the price for another slugglish start to a Formula 1 season by the Scuderia.

After three races, Ferrari stand a lowly fifth in the Constructors' Championship, 78 points behind Mercedes - F1's only other manufacturer outfit, but one which has stolen a clear march on the Italian marque in adapting to the sport's new hybrid technology.

The performance gap between the two outfits was particularly stark at the recent Bahrain GP. While Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg duelled wheel-to-wheel for victory at Sakhir, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen could only trail home ninth and tenth respectively.

"It is time for a significant change. As the boss, I take responsibility, as I have always done, for our current situation," said Domenicali, who joined the team in 1991. "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."

Ferrari have admitted that their F14 T currently lacks performance, but it's a story their legion of tifosi fans have become accustomed to hearing in recent years.

Having last won the Drivers' Championship with Raikkonen in 2007, Ferrari secured the constructors' title the following year but they have since struggled in Red Bull's shadow.

Taking over from Jean Todt ahead of the 2008 season, Domenicali therefore enjoyed a winning start but Ferrari have time and again been forced to try and play catch-up.

On the track, their problems have tended to centre on a lack of aerodynamic performance. However, this season their new 1.6-litre V6 turbo is also down on power compared to the unit developed by Mercedes.

Stefano Domenicali factfile

Born: May 11th 1965
1991: Joins Ferrari from university
1996: Becomes team manager
2002: Promoted to Sporting Director
2007: Succeeds Jean Todt as Team Principal
2008: Ferrari win last of their 16 constructors' titles
2014: April 14th, resigns replaced by Marco Mattiacci

Both Alonso and Raikkonen just about managed to keep a lid on their frustrations in Bahrain and the situation will not have been lost on Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, present in the Middle East and who issued a rebuke to the Spaniard when he spoke out last summer.

"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," said Montezemolo.

"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."

Domenicali will be replaced by Marco Mattiacci, who currently serves as President and CEO of Ferrari North America.

However, Mattiacci has no racing experience and speculation will inevitably link Ross Brawn, the former Ferrari Technical Director who stood down as Mercedes Team Principal at the end of last season, to the role in the long term.

Ferrari's statement in full
'Stefano Domenicali has decided to resign from his position as Director of the Gestione Sportiva.

'"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."

'On receiving Stefano Domenicali's resignation, Ferrari thanks him for the dedication he brought to his service to the company, in positions of ever increasing responsibility over the past 23 years. It offers Stefano Domenicali its most sincere best wishes for the future.

'Ferrari announces that, as from today, it has appointed Marco Mattiacci, current President and CEO of Ferrari North America, as the new head of the Gestione Sportiva

'In accepting Stefano Domenicali's resignation, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo commented: "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."

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