Marco Mattiacci will leave Ferrari despite only taking over the reigns of the Formula 1 team seven months ago, Ferrari confirmed on Monday.
The Italian will be replaced by Maurizio Arrivabene, who has joined from long-time sponsor Philip Morris, owner the Marlboro tobacco company.
Fiat and Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne, who replaced Luca di Montezemolo earlier this year, said the decision was made as part of Ferrari’s effort to improve on the track.
“We decided to appoint Maurizio Arrivabene because, at this historic moment in time for the Scuderia and for Formula 1, we need a person with a thorough understanding not just of Ferrari but also of the governance mechanisms and requirements of the sport,” said Marchionne.
“Maurizio has a unique wealth of knowledge: he has been extremely close to the Scuderia for years and, as a member of the F1 Commission, is also keenly aware of the challenges we are facing.
“He has been a constant source of innovative ideas focused on revitalisation of Formula One. His managerial experience on a highly complex and closely regulated market is also of great importance, and will help him manage and motivate the team. I am delighted to have been able to secure his leadership for our racing activities.”
Marchionne thanked Mattiacci for his services both as Ferrari’s ‘stand-in’ team principal and for his work with Ferrari North America.
“We would also like to thank Marco Mattiacci for his service to Ferrari in the last 15 years and we wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Another rumour which circulated the Abu Dhabi paddock was that of the return of Ross Brawn to Ferrari, however the Briton as denied the news. Though Sky Sports later linked him to Audi’s rumoured F1 project for the 2017 season.