Formula 1

Was Stefano Domenicali's resignation from Ferrari overdue?

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In a move few were expecting, Stefano Domenicali resigned as team principal at Ferrari on Monday with immediate effect.

Though the timing of his resignation will have surprised, the fact the Italian has fallen on his sword is actual something many believe could have and maybe should have happened sooner.

It has been far from a successful tenure at the top of the most famous team in Formula 1 with Ferrari failing to win a single Drivers Championship during Domenicali's six-year reign and only a solitary constructor's title in his first year back in 2008.

Indeed in the previous few years, as all teams played second fiddle to the dominance of Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari's form has been the most disappointing with the Scuderia unable to match the aerodynamic genius of Adrian Newey.

For 2014 many believed the new engine formula and regulation changes would play as firmly into the hands of Ferrari as it has Mercedes with the philosophy of mechanical development very much a part of the team's history.

Instead, however, the same old story has continued with the team well off the Mercedes both in terms of car and engine performance and indeed the aerodynamic ability of Red Bull has them also ahead of the Prancing Horse despite an inferior engine.

The disappointment of the opening three races was only exacerbated as the team currently has one of the strongest driver pairings in recent history.

The double world champion Fernando Alonso and the last man to win a driver's title for Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen, were supposed to be the catalyst to send the scarlet coloured cars back to the very front - a place they feel they should be.

But those aspirations were only made to seem more like distant dreams as the so-called 'Fire & Ice' partnership found themselves being overtaken left, right and centre by the Mercedes-powered cars in Bahrain and even saw Fernando Alonso ironically celebrating as he finished ninth with Raikkonen tenth.

The long-time company president Luca di Montezemolo was in Bahrain for the race as he and Domenicali took part in meetings with Bernie Ecclestone and the man of whom Domenicali succeeded in 2008, now-FIA president Jean Todt.

Such was his disgust at what he saw it is believed he left the circuit mid-race to fly back to Italy.

After today's announcement Di Montezemolo praised Domenicali's commitment to the team, of which he has been apart of for 23 years, while perhaps hinting his successor, the current CEO of Ferrari in North America Marco Mattiacci, will bring more enthusiasm to the team.

There is no doubt that Domenicali will perhaps be remembered as the man who led Ferrari off their perch after the ultra-successful era led by Todt and Michael Schumacher.

Indeed his decision making will be a topic most will talk about when considering what legacy he leaves with the call to pit Fernando Alonso during an early Safety Car period at the season finale in Abu Dhabi back in 2010 potentially costing the Spaniard a third world title.

From that moment, despite again losing out in another final race showdown with Vettel in 2012, the ability of Domenicali to lead a winning team has been questioned and is also why some can't believe it has taken four years for his resignation to occur.

Certainly there has to be some ego soothing going on at Maranello with Alonso in-particular growing increasingly frustrated by Ferrari's lack of competitiveness, but as Mattiacci comes in, he joins a team not in disarray but in need of some fresh impetus.

The arrival of designer James Allison was said to be a key part of bolstering an area of the team most see as it's biggest weakness, however, looking at where Ferrari need to concentrate going forward, the new power unit, which is thought to be heavier, thirstier and under-powered, particularly compared to the Mercedes, is where development should focus.

The arrival of a new team principal will not bring instant results, but at a time when Ferrari looked to be pointing the blame at everyone bar themselves, it seems they have finally sat up and smelt the roses which for Domenicali may not have come soon enough.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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