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Mattiacci dumped as Ferrari F1 boss - Arrivabene Arrives to Spearhead Revival

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Mattiacci dumped as Ferrari F1 boss - Arrivabene Arrives to Spearhead Revival
Nov 24, 2014, 4:01 PM

There has been more upheaval at Ferrari as Marco Mattiaci has been replaced as Ferrari F1 boss with immediate effect by long time Philip Morris e...

There has been more upheaval at Ferrari as Marco Mattiaci has been replaced as Ferrari F1 boss with immediate effect by long time Philip Morris executive Maurizio Arrivabene in a move that had been rumoured during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.

Arrivabene's first appointment Will be Tuesday's F1 Strategy Group and F1 commission meetings at which crucial votes on engine unfreezes for 2015 and 2016 will be made.

Mattiaci leaves Ferrari after just eight months at the helm and following the departures of Stefano Domenicali in April, Luca di Montezemolo in September and Fernando Alonso this month. This has been the Maranello squad's worst season since 1992 - they failed to win a race and finished fourth in the world constructor's championship, 581 points adrift of Mercedes. Alonso was 85 seconds behind race winner Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

It means that four times world champion Sebastian Vettel will move to the team next month to drive for a different boss from the one he signed up with.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Practice Day - Abu Dhabi, UAE

Arrivabene is a very tough character; he has been with Ferrari sponsor Philip Morris for 17 years and has held a variety of positions including Vice President of Marlboro Global Communication & Promotions for Philip Morris International and, in 2011, as Vice President Consumer Channel Strategy and Event Marketing.  He has been an independent member of the board of Juventus FC since 2012.

He is very close to new Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne, who ousted Luca di Montezemolo in September. Marchionne has served on the Philip Morris board. Arrivabene is also close to Andrea Agnelli, who worked as a young man at Philip Morris around the F1 activation, much as Enzo Ferrari, great-grandson of the company founder, does today. Agnelli junior is keen to move into the chairmanship Ferrari after his stint as chairman of Juventus and once Marchionne retires.

Marchionne who made the announcement, making it clear that Mattiacci isn't just being dropped as team boss, he is out of Ferrari altogether. Something very big has clearly happened in the last week to bring this about with Italian sources scratching their heads as to the cause. Possible suggestions are that Mattiacci had been in discussions with other car manufacturers, but there is nothing firm given as a reason at this point.

The implication is that Mattiacci doesn't know F1 and its complex corridors well enough. Marchionne also believes that Arrivabene will do a better job in handling Ferrari's interests with regards to F1 governance as he's been a long standing member of the F1 Commission and knows all the back room deals of the last 25 years.

It's another moment of shock for the team, however, which has been going through some real soul searching as to whether they will come to regret Mattiacci letting Alonso go.

“We decided to appoint Maurizio Arrivabene because, at this historic moment in time for the Scuderia and for Formula 1, we need a person with a thorough understanding not just of Ferrari but also of the governance mechanisms and requirements of the sport,” said Marchionne.

“Maurizio has a unique wealth of knowledge: he has been extremely close to the Scuderia for years and, as a member of the F1 Commission, is also keenly aware of the challenges we are facing.

"He has been a constant source of innovative ideas focused on revitalisation of Formula One. His managerial experience on a highly complex and closely regulated market is also of great importance, and will help him manage and motivate the team. I am delighted to have been able to secure his leadership for our racing activities”.

“We would also like to thank Marco Mattiacci for his service to Ferrari in the last 15 years and we wish him well in his future endeavours."
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