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 Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Plus

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021