Domenicali resigns as Ferrari F1 boss
Ferrari team principal steps down with immediate effect, replaced by Marco Mattiacci
Stefano Domenicali has resigned as team principal of Ferrari's Formula One team.
It is understood the 48-year old has stepped down with immediate effect, to be replaced ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend with Marco Mattiacci, the president of Ferrari North America.
In a statement released earlier today, Domenicali - one of Top Gear's Men of the Year 2012 - said: "There are special moments that come along in everyone's professional life, when one needs courage to take difficult and very agonising decisions.
"It is time for a significant change. As the boss, I take responsibility, as I have always done, for our current situation," he added.
Domenicali joined Ferrari in 1991, was appointed Sporting Director in 2003 and took over from Jean Todt as F1 team principal for the 2008 season, clinching the constructors' championship in his first year. However, Ferrari has not won a drivers' championship since Kimi Raikkonen's title in 2007, though Fernando Alonso did come close to pipping Sebastian Vettel to the title in the 2012 season.
The Maranello outfit has suffered a below-par start to the 2014 season, too, with Alonso currently fourth in the championship standings and Raikkonen way down in 13th. Ferrari sits fifth in the constructors' championship, behind Mercedes, Force India, McLaren and Red Bull.
"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," Domenicali said. "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."
Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemelo said: "I thank Stefano Domenicali, not only for his constant dedication and effort, but also for the great sense of responsibility he has shown, even today, in always putting the interests of Ferrari above all else.
"I hold Domenicali in esteem and I have watched him grow professionally over the twenty three years we have worked together, I now wish him every success for the future. I also want to wish all the best to Marco Mattiacci, whom I know to be a highly regarded manager and who knows the company well. He has accepted this challenge with enthusiasm."