Stefano Domenicali has stepped down as Team Principal of the Ferrari Formula 1 team.
After a difficult start to the season in which neither Fernando Alonso or Kimi Raikkonen has scored a podium result due to an underperforming car, Domenicali has accepted responsibility and announced his immediate departure from the team.
He will be replaced by Marco Mattiacci, the president and CEO of Ferrari North America.
Domenicali has been in charge of the Ferrari Formula One Team as Team Principal since 2008, with the team failing to win a Drivers’ World Championship under his control.
The 2014 season presented a chance for Ferrari to return to the top of the sport with a heavy emphasis on engine power. However, the Scuderia has been clearly outperformed by rival Mercedes-Benz over the first three races.
Ferrari announced that Domenicali had stepped down on Monday night (Australian time) and it’s hoped that the change will re-energise the entire team.
“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. 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 President Luca di Montezemolo thanked Domenicali for his tenure and also welcomed Mattiacci into his new role.
“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,” Di Montezemolo 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.
“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.”