As expected, Ferrari confirmed on October 26th that technical director Ross Brawn is stepping down from his role and also that engine director Paolo Martinelli is to leave the team. Brawn will be replaced by Mario Almondo, formerly Ferrari industrial/human resources operations, while chief of racing activities Stefano Domenicali takes the position of sporting director.
The technical operations will consist of two departments; chief designer Aldo Costa will head the chassis department and head of design and development Gilles Simon the engine department, with both reporting to Almondo. From November 1st Jean Todt, newly announced as CEO of Ferrari S.p.A., will take an interim role of managing director.
"Ferrari offers its most heartfelt thanks to Ross Brawn and Paolo Martinelli for their immense contribution in the drafting of an extraordinary chapter in the history of the Scuderia and motor sport, which has produced a tally of eleven world titles (six Constructors' and five Drivers', all of these with Michael Schumacher) and of around ninety wins in Formula One Grands Prix," said a statement.
"After years of hard and demanding work, Ross Brawn has decided to turn his attention to his personal life, while Paolo Martinelli will take on an important role within the FIAT Group: to them go best wishes for a satisfying future."
Martinelli studied mechanical engineering at Bolgna University and joined Ferrari when he graduated. Previously with Williams and Arrows, Brawn oversaw Michael Schumacher's first two world titles at Benetton in 1994 and '95. He and Schumacher, who retires from F1 this year, joined Ferrari in 1996.
"I wish to thank Ferrari for allowing me to be part of a wonderful period in the history of the team," said Brawn. "For some time now, we have prepared for this handover and I am pleased to be able to pass on my responsibilities to people whom I am convinced can do an even better job than me. I have great faith in all of them and I am sure they will bring many more successes home to Maranello."
Martinelli spent his entire working life with Ferrari, 16 years on the Grantursimo cars side then at the Gestione Sportiva since 1995. "I will leave part of my heart at Maranello," he said. "These have been unforgettable times as part of a fantastic team made up of people who are exceptional in both professional and personal terms."