ROME: Ferrari’s Formula One boss Stefano Domenicali quit last week over the legendary Italian team’s disastrous start to the 2014 season.
“It is time for a significant change,” Domenicali, 48, said in a Ferrari statement announcing his resignation.
The man who took over from FIA boss Jean Todt in 2008 stands aside with Ferrari having failed to climb the podium in the first races of the season and languishing fifth in the constructors’ table.
Ferrari’s North American chief executive Marco Mattiacci assumed control of the team, his remit simple: To reverse the Scuderia’s fortunes in a year when Mercedes is leaving all in its wake. Mattiacci took over the team at last weekend’s China Grand Prix.
Domenicali has faced growing pressure over the poor performances of drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo thanked Domenicali “for his sense of responsibility up to today where he placed Ferrari’s interests before his own.”
Domenicali’s near seven-year reign featured a constructors’ title in his first year in charge but critically no drivers’ titles, with Felipe Massa going closest in 2008.
Alonso had to settle for second-best to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel in 2010 and 2012.
New technical rules introduced for Formula One cars this season have left Ferrari playing catch-up to the likes of Mercedes.
Mattiacci joined the team with Alonso placed fourth in the drivers’ title race with 26 points, 35 points behind leader Rosberg, and Raikkonen in 12th with a mere seven points.
Raikkonen was the last Ferrari driver to be crowned world champion in his first spell with the team in 2007.