Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has announced he is leaving his post at the top of the famous car manufacturer and its Formula One team.
He has been in the driving seat for 23 years.
It comes days after his replacement, Sergio Marchionne of Ferrari’s parent company Fiat-Chrysler, said the Ferrari racing team’s performance was “unacceptable” and that it was “non-negotiable” that it should be winning Formula One races.
Montezemolo’s departure was widely expected after the Ferrari racing team’s poor performances and escalating clashes within the company over strategy.
Despite the talent of drivers such as Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari has not won a Formula One drivers’ or constructors’ title since 2008.
Marchionne, Fiat’s chief executive, will take over from Montezemolo next month.
He has been pushing to better integrate the Ferrari business within Fiat to boost the group’s move into the top end of the car market as it seeks to rival the likes of Volkswagen and BMW.
Under Montezemolo Ferrari grew into one of the world’s most powerful brands – a performance not matched on the racing track.
At the Italian Grand Prix last Sunday the Ferrari team registered its worst result of the year. Montezemolo’s departure has sparked rumours that Ferrari’s former engineering genius Ross Brawn may be prepared to make a comeback at the company where he enjoyed record-breaking success during the Michael Schumacher years.
On leaving Ferrari Brawn went to Honda before buying them out to set up his own team, winning the 2009 F1 Championship with Jenson Button.