On the back of one of the Scuderia Ferrari team’s most disappointing displays at their home Grand Prix at Monza last weekend, where Kimi Raikkonen could only finish ninth and Fernando Alonso retired, chairman Luca di Montezemolo has announced that he is to step down from his role within the car company and Formula 1 team.
The Italian’s role within the team has been under intense scrutiny, and at an impromptu media call at Monza last Saturday, di Montezemolo denied he was to leave.
But Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne criticised the performance of the Ferrari F1 Team after the Italian Grand Prix, stating it was ‘unacceptable’, and Marchionne will take over as Ferrari’s chairman.
“Luca and I have discussed the future of Ferrari at length,” said Marchionne. “And our mutual desire to see Ferrari achieve its true potential on the track has led to misunderstandings which became clearly visible over the last weekend.”
Di Montezemolo will remain in the role until October 13, when a planned flotation on the New York Stock Exchange for the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles company
“Ferrari will have an important role to play within the FCA Group in the upcoming flotation on Wall Street,” said di Montezemolo. “This will open up a new and different phase, which I feel, should be spearheaded by the CEO of the Group.
“This is the end of an era and so I have decided to leave my position as Chairman after almost 23 marvellous and unforgettable years in addition to those spent at Enzo Ferrari’s side in the 1970s.”
“Ferrari is the most wonderful company in the world. It has been a great privilege and honour to have been its leader. I devoted all of my enthusiasm and commitment to it over the years. Together with my family, it was, and continues to be, the most important thing in my life.”
Di Montezemolo, who took over the role of chairman of Ferrari in 1991, thanked everyone who has been working for him at the team, and praised them for transforming them into one of the world’s strongest brands. He also thanked the Ferrari fans for remaining loyal to them even through the toughest moments.
“My thanks, first and foremost, to the exceptional Ferrari women and men from the factory, the offices, the race tracks and the markets across the world,” said di Montezemolo. “They were the real architects of the company’s spectacular growth, its many unforgettable victories and its transformation into one of the world’s strongest brands.
“A warm farewell and my thanks also to all of our technical and commercial partners, our dealers across the globe and, most particularly, the clients and collectors whose passion I so wholeheartedly share.
“But my thoughts go also to our fans who have always supported us with great enthusiasm especially through the Scuderia’s most difficult moments.”