Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has today left the team releasing the following statement:
"There are special moments that come along in everyone’s professional life, when one needs courage to take difficult and very agonising decisions,” said Domenicali. “It is time for a significant change. As the boss, I take responsibility, as I have always done, for our current situation. This decision has been taken with the aim of doing something to shake things up and for the good of this group of people that I feel very close to.
With all my heart, I thank all the men and women in the team, the drivers and the partners for the wonderful relationship we have enjoyed over all these years. I hope that very soon, Ferrari will be back where it deserves to be. My final words of thanks go to our President, for having always supported me and to all our fans. I only regret that we have been unable to harvest what we worked so hard to sow in recent years.”
Domenicali joined Ferrari immediately after graduation from Bologna University, where he was studying business in 1991, Between 1992 to 1994, he was race director at Mugello and was involved in MotoGP, DTM and other racing series. In 1995, he was appointed head of personnel in Ferrari's sporting department and was also involved with sponsorship liaison, before being promoted to Team Manager in December 1996. He remained there till January 2001. After a brief stint as Logistics Manager became the team's Sporting Director in 2002. On November 12, 2007 Ferrari announced Domenicali would take on the role of Director of the Ferrari Formula One team, a position previously held by the now FIA president Jean Todt, He then was given the title of Team Principal in 2008.
Under his leadership, Ferrari won the 2008 Constructors' Championship and missed out on the drivers championship by a single point with Felipe Massa, Then the team endured a less competitive 2009 season in which the team won only a single race. In 2010, the team won five races and finished third in the Constructors' Championship, behind Red Bull and McLaren. In 2011 Alonso finish fourth in the championship table, two places ahead of Massa in sixth. Then the 2012 season, which saw Fernando Alonso just missing out on the title, despite having a largely uncompetitive car Ferrari claimed three Grand Prix victories and placed second in both the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships. 2013 saw Alonso take two wins early in the season as the team dropped off the leading pace as the year went on, switching focus to the challenging 2014 rule changes.
This year the team has endured a difficult start to the campaign despite having one of the best driver line-ups on the grid and having the huge benefit of manufacturing their own power units in house.
Speculation regarding Domenicali's position has been rife in recent months due to the team not challenging consistently at the top of the championship.
Ferrari later released a statement regarding his successor:
Maranello, 14 April 2014 –Ferrari announces that, as from today, it has appointed Marco Mattiacci, current President and CEO of Ferrari North America, as the new head of the Gestione Sportiva.
Marco Mattiacci is a long time Ferrari employee working in the road car division in Asia and the USA and has never worked for Ferrari's racing business.