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New team boss at Ferrari as Stefano Domenicali pays the price for failure
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Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Apr 2014   |  11:26 am GMT  |  290 comments

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.

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290 Comments
  1. AlexD says:

    OK….so even though I would love Domenicali to stay and be more successful as he is a nice guy, I think the decision is right and there is nothing else that could have been done. Probably long overdue. Probably he should never be the team boss.

    On the other hand, I see that nothing changes really. They bring a no name…not Ross Brawn, not Horner, etc. So when the new guy fails, who will take the bale, LDM and he will step down?

    Sadly….still do not see Ferrari moving in the right direction. More like….somebody had to take the blame, but it is not a step forward to a future success.

      1. Michael Powell says:

        Time for Luca to go.

        The road car division is a money-maker but the cars are still utterly dull and underdeveloped.

        The racing car division seems to have gained the same cautious mentality, and has avoided innovating for years.

        There is one guy at the helm of both these divisions.

    1. Rayz says:

      I agree with the last part of your post. This was nothing more than a statement, a token gesture. Domenicali is ultimately responsible for success at Ferrari of course, but in a season with the changes like we’ve seen, these cars were in planning and development stages going back over 2 years. There was a project team in charge of the 2014 car that are much more culpable. Domenicali was (rightly) attending all the grand prix during 2012 and 2013 when the errors were being made in the 2014 car. Nothing will change by his departure, forced or not. My guess is he could see the writing on the wall and was given a face saving way out by calling time on it himself. James Allison was brought into the fold too late to have a major impact on the 2014 car and we have yet to find out whether or not he can drag the team back to the front of the grid in the medium term. In terms of his general team management, I think overall Domenicali did an excellent job. His designers and aero team let him down in the fight against Red Bull since 2009 and this new 2014 power train is inferior to the Mercedes’, again very little he could do about that given the limited time available to Domenicali outside of the grand prix weekends.

      If Ferrari want to get back to the top, it’s the design and engineering team that need the shake up. They haven’t delivered a car capable of winning a world title since 2008 and that is simply unacceptable. Of course, Stefano is partly responsible for these failures but his departure will not bring success. Meanwhile, those who have truly under performed are still very much in charge of the 2015 development as we speak and as such, Ferrari will continue to struggle.

      I sense some poaching of other teams’ major players may be on the horizon at Ferrari. RBR and Mercs have used their might to bring success and now Ferrari will have to open their wallets and flex their wallets to wrestle back success against the silver arrow giants. Even if they can bring in the top talent, I reckon 2016 is the earliest they can hope to be challenging at the front again. Too late for Raikkonen and it may even be too late for Alonso as well.

      1. Sri says:

        You rightly pointed out the issue that is affecting Ferrari and sadly, they are not addressing that (as far as we know). If reports are to be believed that Ferrari did not respond to Raikkonen’s issues in 2008 early enough (as he became competitive later in the season once the updates came in), then Ferrari single-handedly ruined his career. Then they hired Alonso and did the same (except 2010 perhaps). So the design team at Ferrari ruined the careers of two of the finest F1 drivers ever. They are continuing to do the same to make sure the two drivers will not get anything this season. Now how bad would the design team be to achieve such a feat?

      2. Timmay says:

        Raikkonen only came back for a final big cheque so it matters not now

      3. Flying Lap says:

        you have allready answered your own question. if 2016 is too late for Kimi and Alo, it will be sonner.

        We definitely will have more news coming soon.
        Bob Bell/ Flavio Briatore/Alonso as 06-07 WDCs?
        Or Bell/Brawn and Alonso stay?
        I personally think Ross is the key. And that Alo will go (or stay) to the same team as him next year. McL or Ferrari?
        Will see…

      4. Chris says:

        Rayz, how can you say its not his fault? Stefano is in charge and that is where the buck stops. If his engineers and designers are not good enough, he has a duty to do something about that and steer the company onto the right track (no pun intended). As you have alluded to, the time since their last title winning car is unacceptable, he must have realised new people were needed for 2014, he should have tried to hire them!! Everyone said back in 2012, Mercedes are the best placed manufacturer for 2014 regs, why not aggressively hire one or two merc people?

    2. Rod says:

      I completely agree with you, AlexD – this will not magically turn around the situation.

    3. Ahmad says:

      This is not about turning the situation overnight, but to prevent the drivers (especially Alonso with whom LDM had a special meeting) from leaving the sinking Ferrari taxi. But this looks really a rash and rushed decision since he hasn’t hired a replacement of high caliber in F1 such as Ross Brawn. Alonso’s stay will be depend on who takes over the role permanently. At the moment, I am still expecting Alonso to leave Ferrari, but not sure where a better opportunity will be on offer for him…

  2. Chris C. says:

    Finally!!!

    He seems a very nice person, but at the end we are all judged by our results and his results has been suboptimal for the type of company he was working. Its clear that he could not take the most out of the aero team and recently we saw the same from the engine team.

    James, can you provide a bit more of background on his replacement? Especially if he has some experience on the racing part of the business?

    1. James Allen says:

      I don’t believe he has much motor sport experience

      1. Sebee says:

        Will he become Super Mario or Super Temp?

      2. zombie says:

        So a person with no motorsport experience will be leading F1′s most famous team. Well, looks like Ferrari are well on their way to pre-Schumacher era oblivion ..

      3. Doobs says:

        If it’s a management role the new guy just needs the ability to kick butt. The engineering is done by engineers, design is done by designers, the racers race. The TP coordinates all these various team members.

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Doobs: Ferrari’s problem – and I have been saying this for quite a while – is that when the in season testing ban came in back in 2009, those pesky inglese teams invested heavily in clever and very capable CFD, mathematical analysis and advanced software simulation to compensate for the lack of available track time. And wow, has that clever Computational Fluid Dynamics analysis paid off at Milton Keynes and Brackley (Woking to a lesser extent).
        Ferrari are still in a hang-over of the empirical way of working – ie rolling out the car onto the test track for hours on end – that’s the old 20th century way of developing a pace setting F1 car.
        Ferrari have very little experience in advanced CDF, or they don’t know how to implement it. Probably a combination of the two.

      5. AlexD says:

        James, it indeed looks like it was Domenicali who made a decision to step out and there was no strategic plan by LDM to replace him. I feels like as soon as Stefano made a decision, LDM went to check who is available and assigned a guy with zero F1 experience, a corporate manager..sort of.

        I do not know..as a Ferrari fan I feel more worried that excited now. If this was Ross and Horner replacing him, I would be more reassured, but now…if feels like it is all moving from bad to worse.

      6. justafan says:

        Ross And Horner replacing him would be very good. Vettel replacing Raikkonen or Alonso would be very good too.

      7. Jose Sanchez says:

        Neither had briatore. Motorsport experience is not a recepy for success. Look at Ron Dennis in the past ten years.

      8. lord horn says:

        Why do I get the feeling, that Mattiacci is a ‘stop-gap’ for someone who will be announced in 2015?

      9. Chapor says:

        Flavio Briatore also didn’t have any motor sport experience… And he made good. Maybe Mattiacci can do the same.

      10. ManOnWheels says:

        Neither did Flavio Briatore and he was pretty successful. Let’s wait and see.

      11. RichB says:

        An italian executive, formerly running a non-motorsport division in the USA is brought in to run an F1 team.

        I’ve heard that one before…..Benetton….

      12. Michael says:

        He doesn’t. He’s the President and CEO of Ferrari North America.

      13. Flying Lap says:

        It makes sense if he comes with a big TP gun as Ross, Flavio…

        If not, this can be MM suicide. He could be the next one!!!

    2. jorge says:

      Placeholder until they get Brawn.

      1. Ahmad says:

        Looks like LDM is made to eat humble pie again after having to offer the job to someone whom he refused the Team Principal job and preferred an Italian. I wonder why he hasn’t hired Italian drivers with this same logic He’s really fighting to keep Alonso now, he shouldn’t have let go of Brawn. In business as in F1, it’s about hiring the best people regardless of nationality.

      2. Flying Lap says:

        And what about Alonso? If we think Alo is got a McL-Honda offer, that he is well supported by Santander (main Ferrari sponsor), and another huge spanish company (Movistar) is about to come to the sport…
        if you add all that data to the certainty that there are only three hiper drivers (Ham, Vet, Alo), and the other two are safelly in the other 2 bigest teams, then… Ferrari has to stop Alonso leaving.

        then the question is, how could you garanty succes in Alo’s point of view?

        I think only repeating the story of Alonso itself with Flavio and B. Bell in Renault years (with Movistar, do not forget), and it can only be in Ferrari, not in McLaren.

        Or stay or go somewhere else with Brown/B.Bell/McL/Honda/Boulier/Movistar… That solid proyect can not be done with drivers like Magnussen or the good guy Button.

        Alonso will decide, not Ferrari. Or Ferrari according the last reestructure with him, counting on him

    3. Rick says:

      Maybe the “last straw” here was the decision to use Kimi’s chassis during the recent test in Bahrain… A very strange decision that was.

    4. JB says:

      Check out his Linkedin profile:

      http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marco-mattiacci/3/b44/123

      He is a businessman/CEO.
      Personally, I would think someone when competitive sports experience is needed to save the Ferrari team. After so many years of seeing Alonso’s sad and disappointed face, it is about time that Domenicali steps down. However, I was expecting someone with Brawn or Boullier capabilities to replace him.

    5. aveli says:

      christian horner hasn’t done too badly. i found out that prophecy is the least paid profession.

  3. Kingszito says:

    Would Domenicali stepping down solve their problem? I think their problem is much more deeper than just one man stepping down.

    1. kgbvd says:

      IIt is at least an attempt to make sure that the ppl in place have the ability to tackle the team’s problems. Stefano obvipusly couldn’t.

    2. Matthew Cheshire says:

      As team principal, he needed to lead the way with solutions, even if he wasn’t causing the problems.

      If he couldn’t fix the problems he needed to make way for someone else.

      The next guy will be taking a chainsaw to the dead wood. Then someone else (Brawn?) will build the new team.

      It must be bad to get someone outside motorsport to “clean house”

    3. Sounding more and more like the Ferrari of Legend, except that now they’re playing the games with staff instead of Drivers. Given James’ comment that this resignation was not the wish of ‘Monty’ it leads, naturally, to speculation that perhaps there had been some directions which were not followed by those within the engine and aero limbs of the tree and who may have been otherwise protected by their “system” – but only speculation.

      One wonders, as well, if Monty has his own knife or if perhaps the Board at Fiat will hand one to him?

  4. AlexD says:

    Also interesting for Ferrari to put this announcement today as they know that today people will be talking FIA vs Red Bull.

    1. Matthew Cheshire says:

      I thought that too. But then remembered that Ferrari feel that they are more important than the other teams combined.

      They won’t believe their news could be shaded by anyone.

    2. HP says:

      Mercedes announced that Bob Bell will be retiring end of this season too, guess they all wanna be in the limelight :-P

    3. Flying Lap says:

      In fact, WE are speaking about F, not RB.

      Is Bob Bell’s news a coincidens or they are allready recruiting new tech staff?

  5. Antonio says:

    Overall I’m not terribly surprised at this announcement. Although I am some what disappointed as I really like the approachability and the the look and feel of the Scuderia under Domenicali’s reign. It was a lot more open compared to the Todt/Brawn team.

    Having said that, Ferrari’s recent season performances haven’t been acceptable. As Tifosi I don’t expect outright dominance but want there to be at least a fighting chance.

    For me the technical department is where the blame lies – i’d probably start with Pat Fry’s ‘Resignation’

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Why don’t the engine department resign?

    2. Abhishek says:

      Antonio, I’d agree with you. They should have started with the incumbent technical head and couple of senior folks in the Engine works department. Which is where the problem is. Sacking Domenicalli gives them a perfect opportunity to write off 2014 as a year of transition and prepare better for 2015. Is this going to please Alonso and Raikonnen, I doubt ! I have feeling Alonso’s going to put in his papers sooner than later sometime this year and change boats. He’s clearly had enough driving a second best or third best car for the last 3-4 yrs. I have serious doubts if Ferrari can make their PU any lighter or efficient in the course of the year in 2014.

    3. Random 79 says:

      ” I really like the approachability and the the look and feel of the Scuderia under Domenicali’s reign”

      I felt the same about McLaren under Whitmarsh, but unfortunately it seems that friendly and approachable doesn’t help to win too many championships.

      1. Doobs says:

        Agreed. Every team needs a Flavio. The nice guys are good at the warm and fuzzies, but lack the killer instinct needed in motorsport’s biggest shark-infested pool.

      2. Random 79 says:

        I’m sure that having a killer instinct can be a virtue in this sport, but I’m not so sure you need a guy that is happy to instruct his driver to crash and then lie about it.

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        In my opinion if you want to blame anybody, blame the team’s technical department! Or is that wrong?

      4. Random 79 says:

        No you’re right, but even a good technical department still needs strong leadership.

    4. Vlad says:

      Yeah let James Allison take over. He’s got good innovative ideas. I can’t remember the last time that Ferrari had a serious F1 innovation…. 1989 with the semi auto gearbox?

      1. Timmay says:

        Building the best F1 car(s) of the 2000s was innovative enough

    5. Rod says:

      The technical department is definitively where the problem lies, not with Pat Fry. He is in charge of developing the car using the existing power unit.
      Actually, he is one of the few hopes there are of turning around Ferrari’s plight this year.

      1. Antonio says:

        I think calling for the engine departments head is to early. After next year then yes. My reasoning is that up until this season the Ferrari engine has been exceptional and should maybe be allowed to redeem themselves.

        The chassis over the last few years, however, has been safe and completely unimaginative. They’ve lacked in this area for years and they need to address this very quickly. It’s not allowed for competitive and innovative in season development.

        The comment about SD masking an already written off season and now a transitional period probably has volumes of truth.

        The team must look inward and stop rocking the boat externally for their shortcomings. I agree with LdiM, this Ferrari is painful to watch. I imagine Alonso will be shopping around.

      2. MikeyB says:

        If you haven’t seen it already, it’s well worth having a look at the excellent Shell documentary “Horse Power”, about the development of Ferrari’s 2014 car and engine. They got unprecedented access to factory and personnel who are not normally publically seen – the ‘brightest engineering minds’ as they call them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJQF2NBw0MA

        See if you can spot the weakest link ;-)

  6. Chiranjeev says:

    WHY NOT ROSS BRAWN?
    Was he approached at all?

    1. chris says:

      Let the man retire in peace. I think hes had enough and he would be setup to fail from the start

    2. Matthew Cheshire says:

      Why would Brawn want to purge Ferrari? There will be many rolling heads before someone like RB can start.

      Brawn has proven he can build a championship team from a blank page- Ferrari will be making the page blank first.

      This may be unpleasant.

      1. Richard says:

        To be fair he didn’t really take a team from nothing, Honda left a pretty good car for him.

        Would love to see him back in F1.

      2. Kay says:

        Brawn joined Honda, then wrote off the 2008 car very early on, fully concentrated on the 2009 car before Honda decided to pull the plug. 2009 started as a blank sheet of paper for everyone due to new regulations. So Brawn has proven he can take a team from nothing to winning world championships.

      3. Gudien says:

        At neither Brawn GP nor Mercedes PETRONAS F-1 did Ross Brawn start with a ‘blank page’. Think back to the days of Honda’s F-1 team, Honda’s financial backing, and FIA support for illegal testing in season.

        Ross Brawn had a tremendous amount of help.

      4. Yes, but there are comparisons that can be drawn. First at Ferrari – a team spending hugely but achieving little. Ross galvanised the team and created an environment where engineers, drivers, aero guys et al could flourish and succeed.

        At Honda – a team spending hugely but achieving little. Ross galvanised the team and created an environment where engineers, drivers, aero guys et al could flourish and succeed. It was just that Honda pulled the pin one year too soon.

        At Mercedes – a team spending hugely but achieving little. Ross galvanised the team and created an environment where engineers, drivers, aero guys et al could flourish and succeed. It was just that the egos of some senior personnel (that should have been outside of the day-to-day running of the team) decided they didn’t need Ross. However, we all know that this year’s success has been built on the foundations laid by Ross. Let’s see if they maintain momentum next year.

        Meanwhile, opportunities are out there at McLaren, Ferrari and now a new American team. Question is – does Ross have the appetite for another challenge or have the joys of family and fishing overtaken the competitor within? My money is on family and fish! Whitmarsh is still out there. Any takers? Anyone?

    3. Sebee says:

      Right…because there is nothing like stress and this mess and Ross still has something to prove in a red shirt.

    4. Rich B says:

      HE’S RETIRED!!
      let the guy go fishing without constant rumours he’ll be back

      1. Youngslinger says:

        Not just the fish that are biting…..!!!!!

    5. Jari says:

      Time of Ross Brawn’s are over. There are no saviours in modern world, one person can not make the difference. And Ross Brawn have made it quite clear that he is not willing to share the decision making too much if he is in charge, he’s old school in that sense, and let him be like that. I honestly think his way of leading is not what will make success in modern F1 or in any modern business.

      It is a team effort and I think Ferrari follows Mercedes, McLaren, Williams, where there are no one single team pricipal but rather two or three persons in charge.

      I think an italian is a good choice for Ferrari, he is young has some fresh ideas, another point of view from America and maybe will hire good racing guy alongside, give him a chance. Who knew about Toto Wolf few years ago and he’s done well with good people around.

    6. Why on earth would a near 60 year old guy with mega millions in the bank, who has nothing to prove, want to step back into the ‘red coldron’ and have LDM breathing down his neck ? fishing must now seem much more appealing !!

  7. ben says:

    guys come on he was the best and raikkonen was a lad too!

  8. goferet says:

    Poor Domencalli, I guess he saw the writing on the wall after Luca’s disappointment in Bahrain and decided for the sake of his dignity to resign rather than get sacked.

    For sure, Domencalli has done a respectable job and if it wasn’t for misfortune in 2008, 2010 and 2012, he would at least have scored a couple of drivers’ titles and thus his legacy would have been completely different.

    But without a doubt, what has put Domencalli in a difficult position is the fact the team has always begun seasons (since 2009), with a car that was off the pace.

    And to make matters worse, the team had issues with the wind tunnels and so upgrades weren’t doing what they were meant to do.

    Anyway good luck to Domencalli but we won’t forget the good deed he did for the sport but having the courage to partner two champions in Ferrari and hence no more team orders.

    P.s.

    I think Ferrari should have gone for a foreigner as Domencalli’s replacement.

    I think companies do better when they are run by people with a different point of view.

    1. kgbvd says:

      If it were not for misfortune I’d be world champion and emperor of the moon! The constant issues that you refer to are indicative of a mgmt that doesn’t have its crap together. Stefano hardly ran a tight ship.

      1. goferet says:

        @ kgbvd

        Lol…

    2. Phil R says:

      “Decided for the sake of his dignity to resign rather than get sacked.”

      “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.”

      Did you read the article?!

      1. lord horn says:

        AS IF, Stephano was going to say ‘Luca asked me to leave.’

        If you’ve ever seen a HIGH PROFILE departure, (A CEO, A CFO, A President of a company) it will always be ‘He retired because he wanted to spend time with his family.’ Or ‘He retired because he wanted to do xyz’.

        Now, not every resignation is an eyewash (Brawn, for example), but remember, that this way, Stephano’s dignity AND Ferrari’s future remain safe.

        So yes, Stephano did not run a tight ship. I’d LOVE to see Steve Jobs FAIL. Then say, ‘but… but… Johnny IVE didn’t get the industrial design right!’ or ‘but…but.. but Tim Cook did not get the operations in order.’ It’s STEVE JOB’S business to see they get it right. Just the way it is Stephanos. Did JOBS know about ‘operations and finance’ the way Cook did? Nope. Did he run Apple great? YES! Did Stephano know about ‘technical designing’? Nope. Did he run Ferrari Team great. NOPE!

        That should be that.

      2. Phil R says:

        I guess I trust James Allen’s opinion on the Domenicali/De Montezemolo relationship and have remembered enough Ferrari manager’s being fired in a brutal enough way to think this is Stefano jumping rather than being pushed, even if the push was a long way in the future.

      3. goferet says:

        @ Phil R

        I think Domencalli was thinking long term.

        Just because Luca wants you to stay today doesn’t mean he would still want you tomorrow.

      4. Phil R says:

        That’s potentially true, but the smart way to do it is how they managed the Ross Brawn exit last year. They will miss the overlap at some point this year with his (what’s his name again?) lack of piranha club experience.

      5. Jonathan says:

        My inference would be that James’s ‘well-placed sources’ have received a three-line whip from Montezemolo about what they should and should not say. I find it very hard to believe Domenicali wasn’t pushed at all, although the ‘pushing’ may have been very subtle and gentle.

      6. Phil R says:

        Could be. Given the start of the season, Domenicali not being at Ferrari in 2015 was far from likely. It’s a long way for Domenicali to come back from, so maybe he saw that and cut his losses.

      7. Jordan says:

        Can you read the post again?

      8. Phil R says:

        Of course, and I have. I stand by my original comment that saying he was sacked based on the evidence of an armchair pundit compared to that of a respected journalist with sources close to the team that have been proven right through the years are totally contradictory and I know who I’m going to believe.

        If you’re not going to respect the content of the blog, why bother reading it in the first place? Anyone can read all of the media outlets that Domenicalli has left Ferrari and assume he was sacked.

    3. Gaz Boy says:

      Very well said.
      That’s a good observation that just for a few minutes of lunacy, Ferrari would have been WDC in 2008, 2010 and 2012 (in all fairness 2012 wasn’t there minute of lunacy, but that chap called Romain).
      That’s a very good point about having a manager/TP from “outside the country” so to speak. An outsider, lets say a straight talking bloke from the North of England (whose name begins with R?) has no cultural baggage with him when he arrives at Ferrari. He doesn’t know about the politics or intrigue of Ferrari and Italian racing; perhaps that is a good thing?
      Stefano is a charming, courteous and very eloquent man who deserves to stay in F1, but certainly not in a capacity with Ferrari. It was not entirely his fault that the Ferrari technical/aero team lacks clarity of though, wisdom, vision and direction: he has recruited some good people, including Englishmen Pat Fry and James Allison, but the whole infrastructure of Ferrari’s Formula 1 team needs a complete clean-out in my opinion.
      I wonder if being an Italian manager at Ferrari is something of a poisoned chalice in the same way being an Englishman is being the manager of The Three Lions? I’m sure the likes of Mr Keegan and Mr Taylor can offer Stefano with some helpful support of life after managing a national institution.
      Stefano, you have my respect and admiration. Ferrari is plagued with internal issues that was beyond your reach I’m afraid.

      1. Vlad says:

        They could also re-hire Aldo Costa.

      2. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        Yes m8, that’s about right.

      3. BW says:

        ‘but that chap called Romain’

        Or that chap called Fernando, in Japan.

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        Of course, I forgot about Suzuka 2012. Both those few seconds of lunacy cost have tipped the balance the way of Fernando 2012 WDC. Alas….

      5. Yak says:

        Or the terrible strategy call in Canada that saw Alonso out on track with ruined tyres, going so slowly in the end that spectators could have followed him around a lap on foot.

        To put the loss of the title down to one incident is misguided. If we’re going to give back points to drivers where they’ve retired through no fault of their own, throw some points in the direction of Vettel and Hamilton too. Without their misfortunes, Alonso probably wouldn’t have stood a chance.

      6. super seven says:

        What, you mean Rob Smedley? ;-)

      7. Gaz Boy says:

        Well he was the protege of another straight talking Northern bloke whose name also begins with R!

  9. kenneth chapman says:

    someone always has to pay the price. domenicali had ample opportunity to get the team back to winning ways but like most situations it is not a simple equation.it takes special talent to pull all the elements together and he failed. time to move on.

    it remains to be seen just who will take the role on but if LDM can convince brawn for one more throw of the dice the that may be the best solution…in the short term.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Kenneth, in all fairness to Stefano, he did recruit some excellent people, such as James Allison and Pat Try. He has tried to get some common sense and clarity of thought into the technical department at Maranello.
      However, you are spot on in saying that it takes a lot of special talents all aligned together and under Stefano’s directive they couldn’t do that.
      I would agree Stefano has done the correct thing and resigned – being an Italian TP at Ferrari is something akin to a poisoned chalice, and I suspect Stefano was fed up with the constant politics, intrigue and back-stabbing that is life at Ferrari.

  10. Peter says:

    He is a nice guy and he deserves respect for making this difficult decision. Probably he is best positioned in an HR role based on his personality. Good luck to him. Hope the new TP has some racing knowledge.

    1. felangeo says:

      Not the HR people I know

      1. Richard says:

        Aha! This made me smile! :) Have to agree too, although I do think Stefano would be excellent in most roles.

  11. Alpha16 says:

    Thank goodness finally!!!!its about 5 years too late but finally its happened!!

    His a nice chap but his a poor leader!He should have never been team principle in the first place!

    Brawn wanted to succeed Todt as team principle and if they gave him the job he would never have left for Honda and would probably still be running Ferrari and you can be sure they would have won many titles since then instead of being the heap of crap they are now!

    If I was LDM I’d be kissing Ross Brawn’s backside trying to get him back!

    Frankly his about the only man I can think of who can sort Ferrari out!

    This is no time for Ferrari to give another Italian an opportunity to screw Ferrari up for another 10 years!

    If they want an Italian in charge there’s only 1 man fit enough to run Ferrari but unfortunately Flavio Briatore is banned for life!

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Flavio would be no use. I can’t see Raikonnen crashing on orders to keep his seat…if it’s not ranting loudly and cheating Flavio doesn’t offer much.

      1. Alpha16 says:

        He has won 4 drivers titles and 3 constructors titles so he does have a lot to offer!

        Yes they cheated!Ppl screw up sometimes but over the history of F1 his hardly the only person whos cheated!

        I’m sure there have been many ppl who have cheated and we dont know about it because no1s ever found out!

        If Piquet Jnr didnt open his mouth no one would have known till this day!

      2. Krischar says:

        Same old people here

        People always remember Bad stuffs and forget the positive steps

        Despite the crashgate, Flavio deserves a lot credit for what he has done / achieved with Benetton and Renault. Flavio is Eccentric and knows how to work the team better and get results

        Flavio still have what it takes to be a team principal and still can achieve success with any team

      3. AuraF1 says:

        Er no. Cheating is one thing. Risking a drivers and Marshals lives is another. There’s a LOT of pretty evil stuff in Flavios past. Stop sweeping it under the carpet. Basic decency should prevent that.

      4. H.Guderian says:

        I’d say Kimi has to stop crashing to keep his seat.

        ;-)

      5. AuraF1 says:

        Ha, yeah, that might help…

      6. Elie says:

        I think now hes got the front end components he needs he wont trying to fix it by putting into walls :) .

    2. Dutch johhny says:

      I think no team should want to be associated with Flavio Briatore.

      1. mike says:

        I think Flavio is about the only guy that can go one on one with LDM- he is the real issue at Ferrari. He was better in the background working the environment so Todt, Burne, Brawn and Schu could succeed for the brand. Flavio was a poor rep but he is the only italian with the ability to take LDM. Otherwise it has to be a foreigner like Boullier, Brawn.

  12. Paul P says:

    Hi James,
    Stefano was/is, just like Martin Whitmarsh, a really nice guy. Maybe that’s the problem; perhaps there is no room for nice guys running formula teams because they lack the ruthlessness required to make it work.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Eric Boullier is generally regarded as a very nice guy. But then he hasn’t been in a four year fight with Ron Dennis (yet).

      1. W Johnson says:

        That didn’t stop Martin Whitmarsh from being a being a nice guy so that kills off your theory.

    2. Krischar says:

      Juxtaposition is not fair mate

      For me Martin whitmarsh have done much better job than Stefano D, Martin should have not been sacked 2013 was just a small blip in terms of Mclaren’s competitveness. Whereas Ferrari did nothing since 2009 to this point to improve the car or just come up with quickest package for at least 1 season.

      Yes Stefano D cannot be blamed for the total debacle, yet when anyone is in charge or team boss they need to take more blame for the failures than rest of the team and Stefano D has just done that, yet the timing of this move is diametrically wrong. As Ferrari cannot turn around the season in 2014. Hence Stefano D should have done the resignation at the end of the season. This will also present new team principal a fresh start

    3. Dave Emberton says:

      My thoughts exactly. It needs a Ron Dennis, or a politician like Christian Horner. Stefano was too much like Whitmarsh: too nice; too honest.

  13. goferet says:

    Domenicali was part of the Dream Team around Michael Schumacher
    ————————————————-

    Am beginning to think that the real brains behind the dream team was not necessarily Rory Byrne or Jean Todt but rather Ross Brawn.

    I mean, whatever cars Brawn touched, he turned into gold from the Benetton to the Ferrari to Brawn and now Mercedes.

    I now understand why Schumi insisted he would only work if it were with Brawn.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Indeed, Ross is yer man when it comes to success.
      Ross brings a system of structure, discipline, clarity of thought and excellent operational efficiency. Everything that has been lacking at Ferrari for the last 5,6 odd years.
      Perhaps this is harsh, but it could be argued that Ferrari have squandered the excellent system Ross put in place after he left the Maranello brigade at the end of 2006.
      There again, the Roman empire crumbled……

      1. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        So true.

        Unfortunately like all things in life, all good things have to come to an end.

      2. mike says:

        This is proof positive that LDM has killed the team. They had Brawn, and they lost him. He was the perfect successor for Todt ( and probably the real master behind the success)However LDM blew it up and blew up the system. [mod] and succession planning???

    2. Matthew Cheshire says:

      Have to agree with that.

    3. madmax says:

      He didn’t have much success in the Honda years or the first three years of Mercedes.

      1. goferet says:

        @ madmax

        But if you look at Brawn’s record, it has always taken him about 3 seasons to get this right.

        Benetton – 1992 to 1994

        Ferrari – 1996 to 2000

        Mercedes – 2010 to 2014

      2. madmax says:

        Your right goferet, actually thought that after wrote the comment!

        I don’t think anybody other than Schumi in the Benetton could have competed against the Williams in 94 and 95 and the Ferrari was only regarded as the best in 01,02 and 04. But the team work was perfection and a large amount of that goes to Brawn.

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        I totally agree.
        In my opinion it takes 2 or 3 odd years to get a team into championship winning potential. There is no such as an “overnight” sensation. When Michael and Benny started doing good business in 1994, it was the result of three odd years of putting in place the infrastructure required to beat what was at the time the might of Macca and Williams.

      4. mike says:

        wherever brawn goes, success follows. Mercedes are going great now but it feels very Ferrari like in the way they dethroned Brawn who built the system. I expect longer term for Wolff to be the LDM figurehead- with infighting and poor management to follow.

    4. zombie says:

      The ‘Dream Team’ was started by Montezemolo himself when he hired Jean Todt. Todt in turn hired Schumacher who brought with him his entire championship winning Benneton team. Then it was sheer hardwork, grit and leadership that took them to their first title after half a decade of toiling. With Alonso they have a driver who is fast and gritty, but i’m not sure if he has the leadership qualities to demand serious changes within the team. I just dont think the Alonso-Ferrari marriage will end well.

      1. mike says:

        setting up the environment and micro manageing it are 2 different set ups. LDM was at his best when he stuck to his knitting-brand management, revenue growth, cost control and politicking. As soon as he thought he could everything else vis his puppet Domenicali- the house came down. Leslie D’Amico-study history-LDMs Medici impression is poor, weak and out of touch.

    5. Leslie D'Amico says:

      goferet this is why we study history, Ross Brawn’s legacy is now becoming apparent to people, men like him are rare and I for one am glad I got to see his work from beginning to end. Seems like most people figured when he left Ferrari that it was Schumacher that made him a success. Seems it was the other way around. Doubt if he’ll come out of retirement but it sure would be interesting if he did!

    6. Jez Playense says:

      It was a combination of rare talent all being in one place, at the same time.

      Easy to forget the incredible successes Jean Todt had before Ferrari in WDC…

      I do hope Ross comes back once more and puts the smile back on the faces of the boys at Maranello. Even if he does make them eat oatcakes with their pasta!

    7. Rishi says:

      As attractive as your hypothesis is, I think the truth is far more prosaic.

      Of course Ross Brawn played a hugely important role at Ferrari, and is a very talented guy. But motor racing is, fundamentally, about the package. It was about Ross and Rory and Jean and Michael and Stefano and Paolo (Martinelli, engine head) working together, collectively building that winning culture that had been lacking at Ferrari. And it’s about those employees at Maranello who bought into the culture and used it to push themselves to greater heights.

      It’s also about the confidence of winning one title which, combined with the supreme competitiveness of F1 employees, drives people to get bigger and better, reinforcing success and draining the confidence away from the opposition. We have also seen this in the last four years with Red Bull, a period during which Brawn was left fighting over podium places (though he has played an important role in Mercedes’ 2014 start of course).

      It’s also about old rules, and new rules. Under the old rules, Ferrari had a great relationship with Bridgestone during the tyre wars, and also were the kings of testing. These days, with single tyre formulae and testing restrictions, Ferrari’s comparative advantage got eroded.

      It is this that Domenicali had to deal with during his tenure, and it is laudable that Luca Montezemolo realised this and continued to support him. Ferrari underwent quite a lot of changes during this period, both structurally (to move with the times) and in terms of personnel. Stefano dealt with this admirably and I really liked him and the way he tried to make Ferrari more personable than the Todt years, while maintaining that will to win. However, despite the changes that had happened, the lack of success did tell in the end and I think it was very honourable of him to step down. The Ferrari job is also a very tiring one and I wonder if he just didn’t have the energy left any more; although they’ve won many races, drivers titles eluded them. Stefano was always honest when it came to the car, but there’s only so long you can keep trying to put an optimistic-but-honest face on a difficult situation in front of the world’s media.

      Whatever happens I wish him well for the future. He’s a Ferrari lifer I think so it’ll be interesting to see if he resurfaces for them in a commercial capacity, or whether he ends up making a clean break. Either way, all the best to the guy.

  14. Nimmy says:

    Ross Brawn, jack in the holiday and please come back…Alonso and Raik will do your cars justice!

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Ross doesn’t design cars – I’m amazed people still think he’s been doing Adrian Neweys job for years. He’s an overseer and strategist – not an aero genius.

      1. Nimmy says:

        And that’s the capacity I mean for RB – he’ll bring it all together and by being at the top it’s a product of his steer and direction.

      2. AuraF1 says:

        I expect he’d improve a lot of things. But then Ross, as amazing as he is, oversaw several poor years at Honda and watched a lot of Mercedes driving round the back of the grid years too. He can’t work magic. I suspect he wouldn’t go back to Ferrari as he has nothing to prove and if things didn’t improve it would tarnish his legacy to the point people might start saying, ‘Actually Ross just went to the right place at the right time – he didn’t actually win anything himself’.

        While I disagree with that, it’s a danger he might not want to face. He’s one of the richest men to ever leave F1. Although he has plenty of years left, he might not want to spend his 60s under pressure to rebuild the flagging horse back up again – getting flak from the tifosi if it didn’t work out…

  15. uncas says:

    Stefano x M. Mattiaci? Is it confirmed by Ferrari? I think the disaster will continue for a long time. Ferrari needs an iron hand not another Italian.

    1. Basil says:

      Are you implying that Italians cannot be that ‘iron hand’? If I didn’t knew that this page is quite decent I would think there are racist undertones in your comment.

      1. mike says:

        i think the issue is that LDM has such an impact on the Italian landscape that any Italian working for him would be a pyrrhic appointment at best. The real power would sit back at Maranello.The only success they have had in recent years is with a foreigner who pushed hard. This was to the point where LDM and Todt where politicking. We know how that ended. Hows that working out now. Won battle lost war analogies abound.

      2. vdl says:

        “The only success they have had in recent years is with a foreigner who pushed hard”

        I find this simplistic frankly, their success wasn’t the result of two people but a massive investment by the entire company and many unsung people within it. As times changed they didn’t adapt or invest to new technologies and that’s why they are behind in comparison to others, this started already whilst todt was there. The problem is bigger than a man, it’s industrial. It’s not like football that they appoint a new manager, hire few new players and result could arrive pretty soon.

        F1 takes time and success is traced back to industrial decision made years before. Mercedes worked on this engines before anybody else and they didn’t do it from a clean slate but on a technology that they have already invested on, and that’s why they are so behind.

        I hope you can understand that all of this has nothing to do with the nationality of one key player, otherwise I can think just like you and say: ‘Aldo Costa designed their power unit, the germans needed some flamboyant Italian genius in there’, but that would be pure nonsense. Nonsense like any judgement based on nationality.

  16. Rockman says:

    I guess something had to happen sooner or later at Maranello.

    I wonder if they approached Ross Brawn with an open cheque book and was turned down?

    Is Marco Mattiaci a permanent fixture or on a temp role James?

    What about Flavio Briatore? Despite what a lot of people think about him, he knows how to get things done. At the end of the day, a team principal should be someone that knows how to extract talent from his people, he should be a leader. Stefano is too nice of a guy to push people to perform at their best.

    Interesting days ahead…

    1. Alpha16 says:

      I fully agree!

      Either Brawn or Briatore!
      They the only 2 ppl i know who can turn Ferrari around!

      Nothing more needs to be said about Ross Brawn!
      His name speaks for itself!

      But Flavio is ruthless, intelligent and he knows how to win!he has 4 drivers titles and 3 constructors titles to his name!

      If they cant get Brawn his the next best!

      Problem is isn’t he banned for life?

      1. AuraF1 says:

        He’s banned for good reason. Wouldn’t do Ferrari much good if they started winning only to get excluded following more Briatore nonsense…

      2. Andrew M says:

        No, the life ban was overturned by a French court, however Briatore said he wouldn’t want to return to F1. Now Moseley’s out of the picture he may reconsider though.

      3. LeeF1Nut says:

        The only person who can really sort Ferrari out is Ron Dennis. But I think he’s busy doing that at Mclaren at the moment lol.

    2. Paul D says:

      He’s banned for life I think.

      1. Michael says:

        He’s not. That was overturned in a real court of law, rather than kangroo style FIA ‘court’

      2. W Johnson says:

        Yes…it is time that the FIA ended their kangaroo system of justice…

      3. Krischar says:

        Lifetime Ban for Flavio is just a joke

        Yes Falvio committed mistake and invovled in one of the biggest scandal, yet a 5 year or 10 year ban could have easily settled the issue. Despite the crashgate scandal, flavio have better record as a team principal and he simply knows how to make the team work better to get the results. Flavio possess enough guile and a italian have strong personality as well. As soon as todt and brawn co departed LDM should have hired flavio instead of Stefano D

        Stefano D is not entirely to blame for all the debacle Ferrari are in right now, yet as team boss he needs to take more of the blame and he realized this and resigned from the position. Yet the timing of the resignation is not good for Ferrari as they simply cannot turn around 2014 anytime sooner. Hence Stefano D could have resigned at the end of the season.

      4. Kevin Green says:

        fabio’s bans up

  17. Ravi says:

    about time !

  18. muatasim says:

    For Ferrari sake, I hope this change will work, but I doubt

  19. Sebee says:

    Don’t they know they have to go outside of Italy for success?

    1. Random 79 says:

      They go outside of Italy for 18 races of the year…it doesn’t help ;)

      I don’t think nationality is the problem: They don’t necessarily need a foreign guy, they just need the right guy, but even then I think their problems go deeper.

      1. Sebee says:

        How long since Italian has done the country proud at Ferrari in driver or team leadership roles? Pressure is just too much.

    2. Cliff says:

      You could be right, but look how long it took for them to bring in Jean Todt. Remember the 80′s & early 90′s?

    3. vdl says:

      I hope you can have a moment of lucidity to understand the degree of nonsense that you put in writing. Nationality has nothing to do with this. Jesus.

      1. mike says:

        disagree- LDM is a modern day medici and he is the italian PM by default-thats a real problem for ANY italaian working for him. Flavio about the only Italian I see having the stones to have a hard conversation with him. Flavio been here before with the titans of Italian industry- think Luciano Bennetton.

      2. vdl says:

        again, by the way you are saying it’s more a matter of standing up to LDM and having leadership qualities to manage the racing side of the MOST well known brand in the world. This would be a real problem for ANY person working for them, no matter their passport.

  20. Chris says:

    James, will he remain with Ferrari in some capacity?

  21. Elie says:

    Desperate times call for desperate measures..One down 2 more to go.. Next up Pat Fry and a little while later Luca himself. Then maybe in 2 years time Ferrari may start to change

    1. Sebee says:

      Well, at least you’re ready for 3 years wait to see fruits of a rebuild.

    2. H.Guderian says:

      +1.000.000

  22. john says:

    Because someone is earmarked to take over a position that does not mean that he will be successful as well. Numerous examples in the past. He contribution in the previous years is and will be appreciated but the failure of the last few years for a team like Ferrari is not acceptable. It would have been a beautiful , poetic story , an Italian team , with Italian manager to win but… Ciao Stefano , wish you all the best. My opinion , this move is two years late. I do not want this to come out as I do not like the guy but Ferrari equals speed and seeing the car getting passed the last race like that it breaks my heart.
    Hopefully the new ideas might help to , at least finish second this year. Because Mercedes is looking to dominate this year.

    1. mike says:

      bang on.[mod] LDM thinks he is Enzo- he is not. A modern football equivalent is Man U- Ferguson should not have been allowed to choose his successor. Nobody is qualified to investigate themselves and their legacy. Thats what has gone on here at Ferrari- the Ferrari board and LDM have appointed a lifer with NO fresh eyes at precisely the time that it is needed. Poor diagnosis skills. its Ferrari though so not all THAT surprising.

  23. Neshaen says:

    James,

    Do you think Marco Mattiaci can make a difference or is he just a stand in for the time being?
    Any idea as to who Ferrari are looking at in the long term?

    Thanks for the excellent work done on your reporting, website, etc…

  24. Jonathan C says:

    So in a space of a few months, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th teams in last years championship all have new team principals. Perhaps Horner could step down too to take Bernie’s job, and make it a clean sweep for the top 5!

    1. Why doesn’t Bernie sort this out and save everyone the hassle of moving teams, relocating families etc.? Simple solution. Each year the team principle pulls a team name out of a hat and they rename their teams and paint their cars in the appropriate colours. That way you make sure each “team” gets a chance of having Newey design their cars and win the titles. And maybe draw the drivers’ names out of the hat too. That would spice things up a bit don’t you think?

  25. fox says:

    Finally.
    Bad for 2014 year but good for 2015 and beyond.
    But I wish Alonso faster car in 2015, and the color should not be red.

    1. Krischar says:

      Yes Fox spot on mate

      Alonso may have the faster car if he does not wear RED aprons next season

      Time will tell, as a devout ALO fan i want my conqueror to end up in different team next season and bag the WDC 3

      1. Valentino from montreal says:

        Good luck with that ! More chances of seeing an alien land on your front lawn that that scenario ever happening .

  26. harris19 says:

    It is sad to see SD fall on the sword due to inherited flaws throughout the company. To me, those flaws can only be addressed by LDM himself.

    1. Robert says:

      I thought that he was the flaw! Get him out of the F1 team and they will improve, never mind who the team principle.

      1. Sid says:

        LdM was behind the 5 yr winning streak, don’t forget that!

      2. Robert says:

        Realy! It was when LdM wanted to take control of the F1 team that the team started to crumble. Interestingly enough, when Jean Todd got more responsibilities at Ferrari, these responsibilities also improved. When Jean Todd, Rory Burne, Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher where all worked out of the team, the “dream” was also out of the team.

  27. Misty A says:

    It seems that era of nice people running teams is over.

    First it was Martin Whitmarsh (not seen since last year, possibly under the patio at McLaren HQ). Now Stefano.

    The comments when Ron re-took over at McLaren F1 show that a bit a fear and a more focussed and ruthless attitude is required to succeed. Ferrari need the same.

    In F1 nice people don’t finish first.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Possibly I agree but Whitmarsh oversaw the canning of the 2013 programme and focused on this years car. He also convinced Honda to come back. Ron had nothing to do with this car being better than last years. He will only see his influence again towards the latter stages of this year/next year.

      Besides Domenicali wasn’t the wet weekend he’s being shown as – he was pretty ruthless about using Massa as a test monkey and backup to Alonso’s title push. A slight change in circumstances and Alonso would have another title and Domenicali would have been lauded as orchestrating a brilliant underdog campaign against Red Bull.

      Ron Dennis didn’t remove Whitmarsh because he had a poor 2013. He just wanted his job back and has since 2009.

      It’s easy to say the iron fist rules best but you sometimes have to look for the real reasons which are power and timing.

      1. Misty A says:

        Whitmarsh also oversaw the creation of the 2013 car which was a disaster. I agree that Ron probably had not a lot to do with this years’ car to date. However he was clearly not happy, as a shareholder, in the performance of his company and therefore felt the time was right to take back control.

        I speak about Stefan with a heavy heart, but as a life long Ferrari supporter I have not felt that he had a total grip on winning. He has been unlucky, however he did keep Massa around for much longer than he deserved (although he seems now to have a new lease of life). The flip side is that he did ensure that the windtunnel fix was commissioned, and I am sure much more than that besides.

        However the bottom line is that he has not won. There are always reasons why this and that could and should have happened, but the results speak for themselves.

      2. AuraF1 says:

        I agree. Stefano has done the decent thing and resigned without being fired or making a big fuss. Someone has to take the blame, though I do worry that it’s sometimes just dumped on one figurehead and then nobody really looks into all the causes.

        Ron was trying to take control since late 2009. He regretted letting go. He can say he came back to rescue the company if he wants but the real reason is he felt pushed out by the broken relationship with Mosley and because his family asked him to take a step back and be at home more. He clearly hated it. He’s been lobbying against Whitmarsh from about 6 months after he left. 2013 just gave him the opportunity to finally get the power back. And if it works out – great for him and my team McLaren.

        My worry is that if everything is blamed on Whitmarsh and, at Ferrari, Stefan, then people may overlook the structure that needs changing. At Ferrari it was LdM who signed Massa’s contract and had final say – it’s ultimately him who says who can stay and who can go.

        It’s LdM who’s clashed with Alonso.

        There’s clearly a lot more wrong at the Scuderia than just Stefan’s low-key management.

    2. Grant says:

      Why do you say Whitmarsh and Domenicali were nice guys?

      I think they LACKED PERSONALITY.

      1. Misty A says:

        And Ron does?

      2. AuraF1 says:

        Ron has plenty of personality. Shame it’s often of a borderline pyschopath ;)

      3. Doobs says:

        Personality is worth 3 seconds a lap.

  28. Bert Puttocks says:

    Lol… they have brought in a guy with no motor sport experience.

    Having said that, I just read that Domenicali’s background was administration and human resources.

    This team is a joke.

    1. Michael says:

      It’s management. A good manage should be able to manage anything from a FTSE100 company, to a football team. You don’t need to be an expert in the industry you’re in (that why you have advisers), but you do need to be able to manage.

      1. Rich C says:

        Yep, pure and simple, its managing your people.
        And the CEO of a big sales/marketing company probably has pretty good people skills.

        BUT judging by the historical average of remarks on this site, most of *us could manage the team, so why did they pass over us?? I must have missed that call… :(

      2. mike says:

        agree, management is a skillset. I think the problem here is managing up, not down. Domenacali did not have the skills to sort LDM who, since taking control of the racing team, has killed it. Know yr role, play yr role and stay in yr lane. Words to live by for LDM. Any smart operator will DEMAND total control and keep LDM at a distance to handle brand management. Day to day ops is not his strength.

    2. bernardd says:

      Motor sport experience is neither a requirement nor a guarantee of success.

      Flavio Briatore’s experience was in some shady if not illegal deals and a spell managing franchising of Benetton stores. That didn’t stop the team he managed from winning several championships with his protege Fernando Alonso, now coincidentally a Ferrari pilot.

    3. lord horn says:

      ‘Having said that, I just read that Domenicali’s background was administration and human resources.’

      What he said… :) heh!

      This is Impossible! You got to be kidding me, Bert!

  29. Paul D says:

    Feels like Ferrari are fast heading back to the early 90′s.

    Even if they get the right man at the top and then assemble the best people, they are 5 years away from being a champion team again in my view.

    A lot to rebuild there.

    1. Fastfastfast says:

      Not necessarily. It only takes one great innovation to turn things around. Remember Brawn’s double diffuser.

      1. Flying Lap says:

        and Briatore’s Mass Dumper!!!

        Smart people make smart innovation work

    2. Doobs says:

      Ferrari already have some good engineers. Bahrain was a “bad” track for the F14T- the worst of the year according to Kimi – so the result should be regarded as worst case. Both cars have also finished all 3 races so is reliable too. The next few races would be better.

  30. Cheesypoof69 says:

    Unfortunately this just bodes worse for Ferrari. I think this shows they have no chance of even one win this year. Stefano is a nice guy but simply not good enough. I can’t believe they have another Italian at the helm now, that’s an even worse sign. There’s only one Italian that could right the ship and that is Flavio, otherwise look elsewhere. Time to call your agent Fernando and get outta there. James, what are your thoughts on all of this? You’ve given us facts but not your thoughts :)

  31. Justin says:

    I wonder if they took the opportunity with the timing to take some limelight away from Red Bull and their attention grab, err, I mean appeal

  32. Michael Spitale says:

    I do not see this making the car any faster. In fact when something like this happens this early in the year it is more of a symbolic gesture. It is crystal clear that it all comes down to the engine. With the rules on engines I have no idea how they get more power out of the car this year. Look at the cars with Merc lumps. I refuse to believe Williams, F I and Macca all of a sudden found perfect aero grip after how they all looked last year. They simply lucked out with the best Lump in the pit lane.

    1. Vlad says:

      True, I hate these no development rules. 2014 is now all about building the engine for 2015.
      Hire everyone you can in sight and build many models to see which is the best. Spend the house.
      In reality, a freeze on development actually costs more.

  33. Pkara says:

    Pat Fry & Luca should be thd ones resigning not Stefano!!

    1. fox says:

      Fry will be next one to resign

    2. Rich C says:

      Ol’ 3-car Monte can never resign unless he gives up his larger political aspirations.

    3. Ferman says:

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with LdM. His leadership capabilities at Ferrari cannot be questioned after everything he has done and achieved. Enzo chose his successor very well. Luca is definitely not the problem at Ferrari.

      1. Sid says:

        His decision to oust Jean Todt n make Ferrari ‘Italian’ was probably his biggest mistake

      2. Aussie in London says:

        Totally agree Ferman! Not sure what a lot of this anti di Montezemolo sentiment is, I think people need to have a little look back at the sucess this man has achieved. He turned Ferrari around (I’m not talking just the F1 team here, THE COMPANY) and did the same at FIAT in his term as president.

      3. mike says:

        thats the issue Aussie- LDM should stick to his knitting and think Macro, his micro involvement on the racing team has killed it, from a result and personnel standpoint. F1 is the creme de la creme of micro-macro and operational management. As the SME type teams in F1 show- big money does not mean big results. Ferrari can outspend everyone and rely on political connections to make it happen at FIA level, but day to day is about fundamental resource management, that is execution dependant. LDM should stay in the clouds and let the principal do his job.

      4. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        His leadership cannot be questioned… well his gift of a knife to his staff, with an invitation to put it between their teeth when thinking how to tackle the second half of the season, didn’t appear to work at all… ;)

  34. Mrolliee says:

    I don’t see how him leaving will fix Ferraris issues.
    He’s is not the Aero department, or the engine department or the suspension etc etc

    Didn’t the current car have input from Rory Byrne as a consultant?

    If anything they need to shake up their technical departments rather then the team principle as he is not designing the car!

    1. Alex says:

      Aren’t those areas under the control of the team principal?, if the guys in those areas were under Stefano’s management, then he is the one to blame, I mean if there are some guys there doing a bad job, is the boss the one who have to get rid of them, if SD had the control to do that and didn’t all this mess is his fault. I’ve red somewhere that a good leader is the one who can choose the best talent to work inside a company as a team.

      1. Doobs says:

        How would any TP know the team is doing a bad job until the first race(s). Then it’s “Oh cr**, another wasted year..”
        The testing rules and engine freeze hurts a team like Ferrari more than any other. I’m surprised they ever agreed to it.

  35. Harshad says:

    One Domenicali resigned and another Domenicali signed.
    God Bless Ferrari; what are they thinking?

    1. Ferman says:

      How do you know that? You never know when and where the new big talent is going to pop up. Briatore had zero motorsport experience as well when he came to F1.

      1. Harshad says:

        And Briatore was responsible for
        1) illegal traction control (Beneton)
        2) illegal lauch control
        3) infamous singapore race (renault) 2008.
        enough said about Briatore.

        I don’t think the same will happen in Ferrari’s case, but somebody with some knowledge of car racing or atleast building cars would have been useful.

  36. james encore says:

    I wonder if SD will give Marco Mattiacci three envelopes (Google it if you don’t know the story).

  37. Who knows, maybe his resign will lead the team to first place in the season.

  38. Scott D says:

    Another scapegoat bites the dust…I’m afraid there is no quick fix for Ferrari’s troubles and they certainly weren’t all down to Domenicali.

  39. Erik says:

    James, this article seems to contradict Domenicali’s recent public statement that he is aware that others want his job but they would need to fight him for it. Sure this wasn’t a Massa style firing?..

    In any case, he failed and the new guy doesnt have much hope either. No end in sight for the Ferrari slump, looks like they have taken a timewarp back to the early 90s.

  40. DB says:

    Sorry Ferrari fans, but, except for the Todt-Brawn-Schumacher era, when was Ferrari any different from what it is today?
    Before that, they spent almost 20 years without a WDC.

    1. Ferman says:

      Well Mclaren has spent almost 20 years without a WCC and has won only one WDC since 1999. What do you have to say about that then?

      1. DB says:

        I’d say I agree McLaren have dropped a lot recently, in part due to Ferrari’s great years. As have Williams; even further.
        My point, however, is that Ferrari has always been an “almost there” team, with a couple of exceptions around the late 70s and in the early 00s, while other teams kept closer to the top.
        I think a win% by year would convey my meaning better. I’ll try to find time to do it.

    2. mark says:

      I agree, Take Niki Lauda out of the 70′s and schumacher out of the 90′s and you have a team that was mostly a shambles.

      Lovely sounding and looking cars with the odd great result more due to driver than team/car (Villeneuve, Alboreto, Berger and Alessi come to mind).

      I stand to be corrected though…

  41. Kevin Green says:

    That’s Ross Brawn back in a job then!

    1. Narshe says:

      Could Brawn really be bothered dragging Ferrari back to competitiveness AGAIN though?

      1. Kevin Green says:

        Can not see any reason why not he is fully in the in the know of the core staff there just wonder if he was destined to head there anyway at the time of his departing from Mercedes but for a short sabatical anyway if things do not massively improve to the tune they are right at the forefront result wise by mid season you can bet your bottom dollar Alonso is at Mclaren next season.

  42. Think Fry and Tombazis should be falling on their sword also. Hard on Domenicalli but Ferrari’s performance has been poor for quite a few seasons.

    The sacking of Aldo Costa in 2010, arguably the best car Ferrari have had since 07 has proved to be a bad mistake.

    Wonder what Ross Brawn is thinking ?!

    1. H.Guderian says:

      Luca Marmorini???

      1. Yes.

        Ferrari have not put same level of resources behnind engine project as Mercedes did. They have fallen behind or were always behind in their simulation capabilities. Wind tunnel has been a farce for years, only recently rectified. Really makes you wonder what they are spending all their cash on !

        I think the Italian bias in hiring was an unnecessary policy and smacked of poor leadership by LdM. You should hire most talented people, irrespective of nationality.

        I think the new Team Principal is being groomed for Luca’s job !

  43. Harvey says:

    Some are good organizers, others are good delegators, very few are good leaders. Domenicali and others should have been moved out a couple of years ago, after all, four years to solve the wind tunnel correlation problems? Ferrari needs a top engineer to re-design the car, and I’ll offer two scenarios:
    1. Ross Brawn Team Principal – success everywhere he’s been
    2. Adrian Newey – if Ecclestone is removed or put on gardening leave by CVC and Horner is tapped as his heir apparent, Newey may be available for the right price.

  44. BrumCar says:

    Shame, I always found his interviews insightful and honest.
    But then again, if the team isn’t working, the boss has to take the chop.
    All the best for the future Stefano, I hope it will be somewhere in Ferrari.

  45. Kenneth M'Boy says:

    An outside name that may be considered is Gerhard Berger. He knows how Ferrari operates, has team management experience with Toro Rosso and also BMW and Bernie rates him highly for his business acumen. He was even considered by Bernie to take over his own role.

    I think Ferrari need an intelligent head right now and Berger could provide this, perhaps he would not want Team Principal but an advisory role, much like what Lauda had with Ferrari. I feel he would benefit the team that sadly looks like its about to implode.

    Reminiscent of 1991 when Team Manager Cesare Fiore and Alain Prost both got fired. From trucks to taxi cabs, will Alonso survive if he criticises the team? “Sir Frank? This is Fernando speaking, I come with millions of dollars from Santander and according to your new employee Rob, I am faster than Felipe”.

    I would love to see everyone’s head start scratching and see the Iceman on the podium at the next race.

    1. Krischar says:

      Iceman on the podium?

      Which Podium? where in PS3?

  46. forzaminardi says:

    I tend to think Domenicali is a good bloke and very competent at his specific job, but not a leader or an organiser. Like Sam Michael, he was probably promoted beyond his actual ability. I don’t see Ferrari improving with this new guy in charge, I assume he is a temporary appointment.

  47. Woody says:

    This should at least take the heat off LDM for a while, he’s become quite a joke in the last few seasons and think he must be feeling the pressure.

    For a replacement, I think they could do a lot worse than Gerhard Berger…

  48. Witan says:

    Wrong man going.

    Domenicali had to work in the unfocused miasma set from above. Everyone is to blame but the man at the top.

    Montezemolo sets the culture in Ferrari and it doesn’t work in the current high tech fast development environment. He is the one to go: get a new head, then new staff and new start.

    Otherwise the bombast will continue as will the absurd politicking off the track to get a more favourable set of regulations for the faltering Ferrari.

    Better to get down to work with a head without fantasies about becoming the PM in Italy and delusions about the power of the Ferrari mystique. It might pay big dividends.

    Imagine Ferrari showrooms all over the world wondering what on earth the story will be to the potential customers if for yet another year Ferrari F1 can’t cope with the technology.

    1. Ferman says:

      Don’t you worry about Ferrari car showrooms, they’re doing very well and will continue doing well for a long, long, looong time. The prestige and desirability factor of Ferrari road cars will never wane. So stop exaggerating.

  49. Arshadhusain Sheliya says:

    it was long overdue, you always need tough and demanding person for a top job, rather then a sweet personality

    From the 1st year itself it was quite evident that domencialli was not fit for his role even though ferrari bagged WCC

    You need people like Ron Dennis, LDM, falvio b attori (demanding)

    Martin whitmarsh story remains identical to domencialli’s… too sweet for the sport

  50. Richard says:

    This move rather dashes any hope that Ferrari has a short-term solution to its lack of pace. I doubt Stefano would have fallen on his sword if he was anticipating a significant performance improvement for the European leg. For Alonso the clock must be ticking very loudly indeed.

  51. Rudi says:

    Well Stefano seems like a very nice guy. He’s still got lots of money and i’m sure a very nice Ferrari at home.

    Now he can enjoy it and have some fun with the family.
    Pretty soon it will be apparent that Ferrari’s recent troubles were not just down to him….of that i’m sure.

  52. Alpha16 says:

    From bad to worse!

    No where in Ferrari’s press release does it say
    Mattiacci will only be in that role on a temp basis!

    If Mattiacci has been given this role permanently then the situation really is hopeless!!

    Ross Brawn returning to Ferrari is to good to be true it will never happen!

    Ferrari are to thick to do that!

  53. Yago says:

    This is very very tought for Ferrari. Domenicalli was not the problem at Ferrari. Now he has resigned, in a moment when a strong leadership is a must, and Ferrari has no one to replace him. The replacement is a business man, who knows nothing of racing. Clearly a quick and temporal fix. Very difficult times ahead for Ferrari. This could be the decisive factor for Alonso to decide to leave.

  54. Yago says:

    My bet for 2015:

    Marco Mattiacci as executive director, and Bob Bell as technical director. But I don’t like an executive director that knows nothing of racing…

    1. HP says:

      What about James Allison?

  55. HP says:

    Marko Mattiacci surely seems like a short-term fix as he has no or very little experience motorsport/racing. Wonder if Bob Bell will join Ferrari or even Ross Brawn.

  56. Luca says:

    First Serie A, now Ferrari … never underestimate Italians’ capacity to blow up a truly great brand. I have less patience every day for Luca, “il Duca di MontePrezzemolo”. What I cannot decide is whether his presiding over the building of a wind-tunnel without puff, or his deliberate Italy-first hiring policy post Brawn, is better or worse than calling the competition “Formula Boring” when it is your own employers, Fiat-Chrysler, and other manufacturers who desperately need to leverage the benefits of the business … Patrician twit.

    1. Michael says:

      Funny, love the line “I have less patience every day for Luca, “il Duca di MontePrezzemolo”. Hilarious, I’ve been texting my friends. Anyway, I hope Ferrari can turn things around.

  57. James says:

    James, from what Webber has been saying in aussie TV coverage is that vettel has an option to join Ferrari at the end of next year, perhaps they have a greater plan in which would involve someone like brawn. A year fishing and gardening would drive a guy like Ross insane with a kind as active as his.

    Time will tell

    1. Rich C says:

      I bet Vettel is checking his hole cards now!

  58. andy says:

    I want briatore in to shake it up. Ruthless and only wants too win.

  59. DPR says:

    This is why Luca has got to where he is. It was Luca’s silly moaning and protesting that seriously undermined Ferrari’s development of the new power trains (dreaming of the long gone V12′s). So as per usual, someone else has to fall on their sword. SDM is a great guy and a great boss, there is no sense or real point in any ream principle resigning (or being allowed to) mid season. All this does is confirm that Ferrari have already written off 2014…..and it’s still only April. There are quite a few candidates for the post long term, but I don’t think anyone would want to hold this hot potato right now. Expect a new appointment in November.

  60. Rudy says:

    Finally! I said before time after time, Domenicalli was not up to the task. If he succeded to win one WCC was merely a case of inertia from the Todt-Brawn era.
    Now, the worry on Ferrari fans heads is Mattiacci’s lack of racing experience. One understands it is a stand-in.

    Time to bring Ross Brawn AGAIN… or wait until november to bring Bob Bell.

  61. mixmeister73 says:

    LDM is the main problem in Ferrari after all he is the one insisting on having an all Italian team, well my guess is they are heading in a direction of no return. Very soon in a pitlane they will be calling them clowns again as they did in the 80′s. Sad very sad but this should have happened before they signed off on this years car and what exactly can this no name successor achieve in what is a nightmare of the car. My guess is they had to go for this bloke as no one else wanted to touch Ferrari…

    1. Ferman says:

      Ferrari team has never been called “clowns”! So stop exaggerating, clown!

      1. Sid says:

        Hilarious reply!!! But what I agree is the crazy all Italian agenda that LdM presumably has on his mind that’s all to blame for.

      2. mixmeister73 says:

        You might wanna do a fact check mate. When Ross Brawn came to Ferrari they didnt even have a proper design studio and commentators did call them clowns for them being bot organised at all, just ask James.

  62. Karima says:

    Ridiculous to replace Stefano mid season with someone who has no F1 experience! I can understand if it was Ross Brawn coming across or even Martin Whitmarsh, then that would make sense. Ferrari’s 2014 campaign is already in tatters and this will make it even worse. I hope, as a ferrari fan, that Ross does indeed come back to Maranello otherwise we are heading back to the disasters of the 90s.

  63. aveli says:

    i think monte should look in the mirror. treating ferrari f1 team as a banana republic doesn’t bring immediate results. He should have the right standard operational procedures in place at all levels and follow them like ferrari fans follow ferrari, religiously. is there any intelligence in operation at ferrari?

  64. Robert says:

    This is rather poor. In the end, the key issues with Ferrari are not about WHO, but about HOW MUCH and WHERE.

    They are being outspent by Red Bull and Mercedes, simple as that. The correlation between positions in the WCC and checkbook size is almost directly 1:1.

    Secondly, they exist in an island called Maranello, where they have access to the best technicians…within Italy. Contrast that to the masses of motorsport talent that exists between the Midlands and Woking in the UK. It is a more scalable environment, and finding up and coming talent is easy.

    So in the end, one has to say that the Ferrari issues are structural, not the result of Dominicalli or no Dominicalli. One can only be addressed several layers above the Team Principle, and one is inherently not easily fixable for Ferrari.

    Stephano, I wish you well. Loved watching your interviews and hearing you talk about the team.

    1. Sid says:

      I have said for a while now that Ferrari needs to operate a factory in UK as well

  65. Sturmovik says:

    Stefano is a decent chap, I wish him well, but this day always seemed to be an inevitability for him. I’m surprised he survived in the Team Principal position past 2011.

  66. roberto marquez says:

    Luca di Montezemolo is as responsable for this mess as Domenicalli. I think they are wasting time looking for an scape goat rather than doing a deep analysis of what is going the wrong way.This shows lack of management expertise.Luca should keep selling cars and let somebody else lead engineering.

  67. aveli says:

    tell mcnish to go and tell the world that it’s a high risk strategy, hopefully a shed load of water will be poured over all of that. but them again there are hundreds of other reporters, will they be ignored?

  68. Goggomobil says:

    One should never underestimate L.d Montezemolo he was not choosen as EU business manager of the year for nothing.His old friend Ronn Deniss
    fired the ” Gun” first,and as Ronn motto says. No substitute for failures.
    At Maranello, beside Domenicali three more are walking on the very thin ice, namely Pat Fry Tombazis and Luca Marmorini, what may save Marmorini his engines are bullet proof in reliability,as for some contributors to J.A site who beat the drum for Ross Brawn return Ross Brawn is a very smart Engineer/businiss man, he done well and he knows it,he’s also awere the Neon lights of yesteryear are no longer on the menu and to be a yesterday bred is not the option for Ross Brawn.

    1. Sid says:

      Man very well said. Listed all 3 on thin ice

  69. peruvian says:

    I believe it is called Formula… because everything needs to be balance, the engine the aero, tyres, etc… everything, and for that you need someone who will be able to make people talk and understand each other, working as a team toward Excellency. Stefano was not the one, and Luca DM is not either… he is more worry about his personal politics than Ferrari.
    SO even if they had the best engine, the rest is missing, aero, electronics, etc…. reminds me of Williams when they had the BMW engine, most powerful engine at the time, but no world champions… ferrari needs a real leader.

  70. deancassady says:

    Ah well; that’s the way it goes.
    Stephano did the right thing, this time.
    I wonder who is going to fill this role?
    Good luck Stephano.

  71. jmv says:

    shocker… but in the end no shocker… sad to see him go. Stefano is a nice likeable guy but without results to show… it’s practically a suicide job.

    I wonder what the new guy makes of Kimi…

  72. Valentino from montreal says:

    Through out history , every empire has fallen and eventually ends .. The Egyptians , the Romans , the American empire will eventually fall too ..

    Ferrari has fallen ! As an Italian , I knew that day would come … Luca had enough of the ” Todt-Schumacher” alliance back in 2005 .. He felt like a second skipper , saw his role within the company in jeapordy , never imagined in his wildest dreams the success Ferrari would have achieved under Todt’s leadership … Jealous little man …

    So what does he do ? Shatters Ferrari into a million pieces because if his EGO … He could have given the Team Principal role to Ross Brawn .. Big mistake for Ferrari …
    He could of left well enough alone … This is all his fault …

    In other sports , when a team loses , they always fire the coach … I don’t agree … First to go should be those over-paid pre-Madonnas spoiled athletes … If there’s one who deserves the Axe it should be ‘Nando .. He lost out twice … Maybe the technical director would’nt needed to step down … Ferrari is a mess , Ferrari is finished .., Finito !!

    Maybe someday , Vettel can bring Ferrari back to the top !

    ( End of rant )

    1. anirudh says:

      Alonso deserves the axe?? Are you serious mate? Fernando is the reason Ferrari have been competitive this long. And as far as Vettel is concerned, he can race only if the car is good. This year he is getting beaten by Dan big time. If he was in the Ferrari in 2012 I can assure you they would not have challenged for the WDC

      1. Sid says:

        Well according to Merc Richiardo gained .4s a lap due to fuel advantage. Vettel has had technical problems in Melbourne n Bahrain. He had a smooth weekend in Sepang n he blew the wide smile off of richiardo by a second in quali n beat him in the race

      2. Krischar says:

        Well put Anirudh

        Vettel is the most vaunted pilot in the history of F1 ever since 1950. He simply even could not get the better of daniel ricciardo.

        We all know how vettel and Newey co were able to win the WDC’S, now once the tables are turned newey and HOrner loathe about regulation changes all day long whereas the so called 4X WDC was warned by TOdt and ROn.

        A average pilot who was flattered by the quickest package, now easily gets beaten by another aussie in the form Daniel

      3. justafan says:

        Vettel 23 points
        Ricciardo 12 points

      4. Dutch johhny says:

        Lol getting beaten big time? what are you watching. In australia vettel had a problem in quali and race. In malysia he beat Dan soundly and in bahrain vettel hada problem with his power unit.. Maybe i should remind you of the 2004 season when fernando got handely beaten by trulli so much that flavio had to step in in the end..

      5. anirudh says:

        Daniel had a botched pit stop in Malaysia. Otherwise he would have been in the points. And why is it that Vettel fans forget the poor pitstop in Malaysia and talk of Pu problems for Vettel when Vet is beaten by Dan?

      6. justafan says:

        Maybe Vettel has the ability to lead the team in the way Schumi did so that they can win titles again.

    2. Doobs says:

      Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

  73. luqa says:

    Why is there so much finger pointing at Stefano this season.
    The obvious culprit is the power unit. Whoever designed that overweight, fuel slurping, underpowered piece of cr*p should be the one shown the door.

    Strangely, the other Ferrari powered teams are not setting the world on fire either, so there is ample evidence to show the power unit is under performing.

    It’s a sorry day when Ferrari can’t design a decent motor anymore. Their chassis and aero were always marginal, but the motors could be relied on to be close to the best, if not THE best.

    1. H.Guderian says:

      Luca Marmorini

    2. Doobs says:

      The result at Bahrain was expected by the team. Other tracks will suit the Ferrari Powertrain better

  74. Shri says:

    Ross Brawn is proven commodity in rebuilding and winning for Ferrari, Honda / Brawn GP and laying it out for Merc.

    Cannot think of anyone more qualified.

    Will know after the fishing vacation if they come together.

  75. KARTRACE says:

    I hope the next volunteer in resignation, I hope it would be the emperor himself, the LDM ? Then we could talk business at Scuderia.

  76. Moleman says:

    The Ferrari engine and Alonso’s speed & determination have gone some way to keeping Ferrari in the frame but with the engine now weak Alonso alone isn’t enough. Is it possible to build a winning car outside of England? The only significant piece of F1 equipment built elsewhere is the previously brilliant Renault engine. Toyota paid the price for setting up in Germany and BMW did not cover themselves in F1 glory. Of course Ferrari aren’t going to move away from Modena so they will either have to accept 2nd or 3rd best or tempt some top people from other UK based teams.

  77. Rishi says:

    Domenicali’s announcement is pretty big news in itself, but the more I think about it the more I find his replacement really intriguing.

    I find it quite fascinating they’ve picked someone from outside motor racing, and parachuted him straight into the top job running the team. That’s very rare in Formula 1, where most guys work their way up the greasy pole in F1/motor sport, or – if they have come from outside the sport – they spend a few years learning the ropes. Martin Whitmarsh had a twenty year apprenticeship before he became McLaren team principal, having joined from what was then British Aerospace!

    The obvious comparison to be made here, ostensibly, is Flavio Briatore. He openly knew little about the non-commercial intricacies of F1, but made sure he employed people who did know these things, and gave them the resources to the job without lavishly spending money willy-nilly. Maybe this is the role Luca has in mind for Mr Matiacci; a guy coming in to manage the individuals and make sure that they are put in the right places to do the right job (if that is not currently the case).

    Maybe they are also counting on any wider motivational skills he has acquired from business to help the team go the extra mile in difficult times, and to help inspire Alonso to stay? In this sense he would be even better than Briatore; for every individual who did well under Flav, there were others whose lives were made a real misery by him (Trulli, Wurz, Johnny Herbert). These, along with the unforgivable saga of Singapore 2008, often go some way to undermining Briatore’s achievements – leading a team to four drivers’ and three constructors’ titles with a middle-of-the-road budget.

    Either way, it’s a fascinating appointment and it’ll be interesting to see how things pan out.

  78. Chris Chong says:

    Ferrari should start planting hundreds of sea bass wherever the heck Ross Brawn goes fishing, so he’d be fed up by the lack of a good challenge and would maybe consider a return to F1 (after rigging it so the only rental cars he ever gets are Ferraris, of course)

  79. JackTorrance says:

    Very very sad development. Such a nice guy and a gentleman but it had to be done. And no, Domenicali did not walk out himself. He was given the gentlemans way out.

    But you have to say Ferrari has lost out on so many fronts something had to be done.

    1. Doobs says:

      Surprised that SD (like Massa) actually lasted so long as he did…

  80. Alan Morris says:

    Damon Hill was on the late Sunday flight from Heathrow to Bologna last night.

    Coincidence…. ?

    1. Rishi says:

      Haha good one! Probably why they made the replacement announcement so quickly. Didn’t want Ted Kravitz surrounded by pockets of passionate tifosi outside the gates of Gestione Sportiva (Ferrari’s HQ) all day reporting! Maybe the madness of football’s Transfer Deadline Day has had further-reaching implications than we thought:P

  81. Yak says:

    Personally I think Domenicali cops a bit more than he really deserves. To be fair, he had been team principal during a period mostly ruled by Red Bull. It’s not like every year a different team was winning and Ferrari were never one of those teams. Four years running, both titles every year. It hasn’t just been Domenicali and Ferrari not able to keep up with Red Bull.

    What makes it look particularly bad now though is that this was supposed to be the year when they had a shot. Aero regs changed significantly, exhaust regs (an area of significance for Red Bull over the years) changed significantly, the new power units (with Red Bull’s Renault getting off to a terrible start), etc. And of course, with Ferrari supposedly being engine specialists, 2014 was their big chance to basically do what Mercedes are looking like doing now. Running so far away with the titles in the first half of the year that no amount of development from the other teams and engine manufacturers will allow them to catch up. But is it Domenicali’s fault the power unit isn’t up to scratch? I would imagine that’s a separate team of people entirely.

  82. JohnBt says:

    It’s a pity Domenicali is to be blamed, I thought it’s a team effort. Ferrari has a long history in F1 and 21 years of dry spell too, well branded and marketed but not necessarily the best team or best sportscar manufacturer IMHO.

    Domenicali would’ve have been a good spokesman for F1, friendly, very approachable and carrying a genuine smile.

    And the new guy has no motorsport experience, there you go, the Italian family style of running a team and it’s definitely not a step forward. Let’s see how further back they will be, not a good feeling. Even I don’t like Flavio but I think he will be more suitable though.

    Maybe they should sack Alonso and Kimi too, I don’t mind getting a fat paycheck to sit out this year and watch a few races with a few magnum ice cream.

  83. Robb says:

    I wonder if Ferrari are taking a page from Mercedes book and splitting the traditional team principle roll in two, with Toto handling the business side, and Paddy the technical. Maybe with Marco as the business manager, and maybe someone like James Allison as the technical manager.

  84. Robb says:

    OK, let’s see. Martin Whittmarsh, Stefano, and Bob Bell out of work, and Gene Haas who will obviously be looking for people with F1 experience. Hmmm.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Haas: “Okay guys, I’m building a new F1 team and I need some experienced guys. Bob, you’re obviously the only technical guy so you’re my Technical Guy. You other two are both ex team leader guys, but I only need one Team Leader Guy so you’re going to have to fight to the death in this cobra pit I just designed.”

      Whitmarsh: “Er…I’d love to help you out but I can’t right now because I have to put the kettle on…”

      Haas: “Okay then, it looks like it’s down to you Stefano. Stefano?”

  85. mem says:

    Always good to make your own mind up and I imagine he was let down by the teams developing the car and didn’t fancy a whole season of taking the blame .
    Sometimes its nice to step out of the fire and enjoy life and F1.
    Ferrari haven’t done that bad with mr sunday and have been challengers for most seasons since the schumi/brawn years.
    too say is not good enough and the fans wont stand for it is rubbish as they are loyal and will cheer the team on till the end. they just like a grumble .

  86. Sujith says:

    Maybe Pat Fry should learn from Domenicali and step down on his own before he gets fired!!

  87. Geoff Norman says:

    It seems to me that Ferrari has gone through a phase that combines complacency with repeatedly failing to cope with the testing restrictions. They were completely dependent on using their test facilities in their dominant years and – as the wind tunnel fiasco proved – they have never changed their operations to make up for this loss. Inexcusable really.

    I have great respect for Domenicali – he’s clearly a very pleasant and honest character, but that might not qualify him to run a F1 team

  88. Ian Sellman says:

    “Stefano Domenicali has resigned as Team Principal of Ferrari”

    James,

    Does this mean he has left Ferrari or just the F1 team?

  89. Timp says:

    Even though they have come close a couple of times, it seems Ferrari have been on the back foot since 2009. In hindsight, it looks like the formula in f1 is moving further and further form their strengths.

  90. Matt says:

    Shame for Stefano, but someone’s head was going on the block. The new car is looking like a complete disaster, from the hideous nose to the terrible sponsorship placement. The car is awful looking and no better to watch.

    I don’t think we will see very many smiles from Alonso this season.

    The only smiles we may see are from Kimi because at least he is now being paid!

  91. tifoso says:

    I hate to see this decision come down. Whether from Domenicali or Montezemolo, this is the absolute worst move I feel the team could make at this point. (For the record, regardless of what the “well placed” Italian sources say, I believe it WAS the decision of the latter without a doubt. I personally think he is quite ruthless and would give the ax to ANYONE who he felt should be blamed for any situation) I digress. Right now, with the car having such poor performance, they need STABILITY! Calmer heads prevail!

  92. For sure says:

    Am I the only one who thinks letting Ross Brown go in 2007 was a mistake? Ironically it’s the team that he recently built is leaving Ferrari in the dust. Wait, twice already.

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