Stefano Domenicali resigned as Ferrari’s Formula One team principal on Monday with the company’s North America president and chief executive Marco Mattiacci appointed as his replacement.
The Italian team, the oldest and most successful in the sport, have made a poor start to the season with two fourth places for Spaniard Fernando Alonso, the team’s best results in three races so far.
Ferrari has not won a driver’s world championship since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, although they were constructors’ champions in 2008. At the most recent race in Bahrain, Alonso and his Finnish teammate were ninth and 10th.
“There are particular moments in all of our professional lives where you need the courage to take difficult and very painful decisions,” said Domenicali, who had been principal since January 2008. “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.”
Mattiacci will take overall charge of the Gestione Sportiva – the carmaker’s sporting activities including the Formula One team that has competed in every championship since 1950 – with immediate effect.
Ferrari had hoped to make a strong start to Formula One’s new V6 turbo hybrid era this season but they and Renault – who power champions Red Bull – have been eclipsed by rival Mercedes. The German manufacturer has won all three races with a power unit that looks more competitive and reliable than others.
Domenicali has been with Ferrari for 23 years in various roles.