Formula 1

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali steps down

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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has stepped down from his role with immediate effect, leaving Marco Mattiacci to take charge.

The Italian's decision does not come as the biggest shock in the world due to the awful start to the season which Ferrari have had.

Domenicali, who has been in charge since 2008 said: "There are particular moments in all of our professional lives where you need the courage to take difficult and very painful decisions,"

"It's time to make an important change. As boss, I take the responsibility - as I always have - for the situation we are going through."

Ferrari President Luca Di Montezemolo thanked Domenicali for his work with the team: "I thank Stefano Domenicali, not only for his constant dedication and effort, but also for the great sense of responsibility he has shown, even today, in always putting the interests of Ferrari above all else."

It has been setback after setback for the prancing horse, with pressure building up on the boss after yet another below par race weekend in Bahrain followed by a disastrous testing session in midweek, where Wednesday's running was concluded just 12 laps old due to car damage.

Since taking over from Jean Todt, under Domenicali's guidance, Ferrari have only won the constructors' title on one occasion, back in 2008. They have also not won the drivers' title since Kimi Raikkonen's success in 2007.

It has been a devastatingly under-performing era for Ferrari who are regarded as the greatest team in Formula One history in terms of reputation and results. With 16 constructors' titles to their name they are by far the most successful team in the sport.

It has been a Formula One without a consistently competitive Ferrari team for far too long now it seems. And it will be the job of 42-year-old Marco Mattiacci to revive the performance of the team. Mattiacci has worked in numerous roles for Ferrari, most recently as the President of their North American headquarters.

Ferrari are currently fifth in the constructors' standings with 33 points after three races. They have one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid with their acquisition of Kimi Raikkonen to partner Fernando Alonso in the winter, yet the pair are only 12th and fourth place in the individual table.

With the next Formula One Grand Prix scheduled for this weekend in China, Mattiacci will not be expected to turn things around as quickly as that, but there will be considerable pressure on him to show signs of progress as early as possible.

Major upgrades will be required to the cars to get them anywhere near this campaigns’ pacesetter, the Mercedes. But if, as the European season approaches, the Ferrari’s can become more competitive, both Kimi and Fernando will be ready and waiting to deliver the best results possible in time for the teams’ home Grand Prix at Monza in early September.


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