Ferrari chairman and key F1 figure Luca di Montezemolo steps down

Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo ended days of speculation about his future by announcing he is to step down from his role with the car company and Formula 1 team

Ferrari chairman and key F1 figure Luca di Montezemolo steps down

Ahead of a Ferrari board meeting on Thursday that is expected to announce record profits, di Montezemolo issued a statement saying that he will end his 23-year spell at Maranello.

ANALYSIS: Why change was inevitable and what comes next

He said his decision had been prompted by the flotation plans of the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles company, which is planned for the New York Stock Exchange next month.

"Ferrari will have an important role to play within the FCA Group in the upcoming flotation on Wall Street," he said. "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."

Di Montezemolo will stay on until the flotation on October 13.

Speculation about 67-year-old di Montezemolo's future intensified at last weekend's Italian Grand Prix, but he insisted during an impromptu media call on Saturday that he had no intention of stepping down.

In fact, he said an offer to remain in his position for three more years, which had been made back in March, was still valid.

But renewed questions about di Montezemolo's future erupted in the wake of criticisms from Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, who made clear that the performance of Ferrari's F1 team was 'unacceptable'.

Marchionne will become Ferrari's new chairman and suggested that 'misunderstandings' that came to light over the Monza weekend proved the catalyst for change.

He said: "Luca and I have discussed the future of Ferrari at length. 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 thanked the Ferrari staff who had worked with him during his spell there, and made particular reference to Enzo Ferrari's son Piero. No mention was made of Marchionne.

"Ferrari is the most wonderful company in the world," said di Montezemolo, who initially ran Ferrari's F1 operation during its mid-1970s glory years with Niki Lauda, before returning in 1991 at Fiat's behest.

"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.

"I wish the shareholders, particularly Piero Ferrari who has always been by my side, and everyone in the company the many more years of success that Ferrari deserves."

shares
comments
Why a three-car F1 team is illogical
Previous article

Why a three-car F1 team is illogical

Next article

Emilio Botin, architect of Santander's Formula 1 backing, dies

Emilio Botin, architect of Santander's Formula 1 backing, dies
Load comments
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021