Stefano Domenicali has resigned as Team Principal of Ferrari in the wake of the team’s poor start to the 2014 season. He will be replaced by Marco Mattiacci, the former head of Ferrari USA.
But the background to the story is not quite as many will imagine.
A furious Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo left the Bahrain Grand Prix early after seeing his cars overtaken on the straights as the new hybrid turbo engine lacked performance compared to its rivals.
Speaking at an event in Maranello the president said that Ferrari would take what ever decisions were necessary to get the team back on track.
However the decision to quit was Domenicali’s and he was not pushed out by Montezemolo, who wanted the 48 year old to continue, according to well placed sources in Italy.
Domenicali was part of the Dream Team around Michael Schumacher in the late 1990s and early 2000s and was always earmarked for the Team Principal role in a well organised succession plan.
He took over from Jean Todt in 2008 and won the Constructors’ championship that year, narrowly missing out on the Drivers’ title with Felipe Massa.
Since then the team came close with Fernando Alonso in 2010 and 2012, but a series of cars unable to compete with Red Bull and more recently Mercedes have left Ferrari in a frustrating position, especially with two world champion drivers in the cars.