Car sales chief Mattiacci takes Domenicali’s place

2014 F1 season

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Marco Mattiacci, who has taken over from Stefano Domenicali in charge of Ferrari’s F1 team, has not previously worked for the team’s racing operation.

The 42-year-old’s background is in Ferrari’s car sales division where he ascended to the position of president and CEO of their North American operation, which he has held since 2010.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo described Mattiacci as a “highly regarded manager who knows the company well”.

Mattiacci’s rise began after he joined the Italian company in 1999, having previously worked for Jaguar. He worked for Ferrari’s operations in South America, the Middle East, Russia and Finland.

After spending four years as the president and CEO of Ferrari Asia Pacific (pictured) he was moved into the corresponding role for the North American market.

A background in motor racing is not a prerequisite for success in Formula One – Flavio Briatore being a famous example. But Mattiacci will be aware that by taking charge of running Italy’s most historic racing team he now occupies one of the most demanding and high-profile jobs in motorsport.

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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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66 comments on “Car sales chief Mattiacci takes Domenicali’s place”

  1. And good luck to him!

  2. Good luck to him, but I’m not sure. Surely he had to have some background in running a race team, but hopefully he can bring success to Ferrari.

    1. yeahh….. probably selling more merchandise

  3. Uhmmmm!
    If Stefano cant bring race wins then this blokes got no chance !
    Is this a knee jerk reaction ?
    What could he possibly bring to make this team win ?
    Its designers and engineers that supply the wheel barrow !
    If Teflonso and Kimstar cant win then no amount of management head hunting will fix it,

  4. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    14th April 2014, 12:14

    This would be funny if I wasn’t a Ferrari fan and crying right now…

    1. …as a non-ferrari fan, i can confirm that it is.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        14th April 2014, 16:11

        @lancer033 – Thanks for the insight. I can’t wait for the first time Marco meets Ron Dennis, he’ll get eaten alive…

  5. Luca planning for customer cars?

    1. Now that would make sense. Otherwise, I’m just not getting this.

    2. Who would buy an F14 T? It isn’t exactly a world beater.

      1. That’s why he needs a good salesman in the roles ;)

  6. Good luck to him, but it is in the engineering department the shortfall is, and has been for the last 5 – 6 years.

    1. Ferrari’s engineering department is packed right now. Lots of talent in there.

  7. Was he the best candidate or the only candidate?

    1. Probably both.

  8. Bring back Ross Brawn !!!

  9. So much hoped for Whitmarsh! But he and Domenicali seem to have the same problem, being excessively accomodating.
    Good luck to Marco though, usually people with different roles can develop new interesting ways to address a problem!

  10. Speaking of Flavio, wonder if he’d be interested in working with Fernando again…

  11. He needs to find success and fast, or he will be gone very quickly. Patience at Maranello has finally worn out. Maybe Domenicali being jettisoned is a knee-jerk reaction to their woeful performance in Bahrain. If so then Mattiacci could just be a stop-gap replacement while the powers that be at Ferrari desperately try and find a way out of this mess.

    1. David Thompson
      14th April 2014, 18:28

      “Patience at Maranello”?

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        15th April 2014, 2:29

        but they´ve been very patient: no championships in a lot (A LOT!) of years…

  12. Sales chief, eh? While I’m sure he’s a perfectly nice man and I wish him the best, I assume it’s only temporary until they find somebody more engineering-oriented candidate. Ross Brawn maybe? Pleeeease?

    1. My thought exactly, this guy seems like filler. The team will survive without a titular team principal, this guy will fill a seat, and Ferrari will seek to lure Bell or Brawn or Whitmarsh or someone.

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        15th April 2014, 2:32

        in that case, why not say it out front? “we want to go in another direction and while we meditate on the most fitting person, XY is going to fill the position”. it wouldnt be bad for this guy when he is removed (and he will be removed) and everyone knows it´s just temporary. now it will look like a bad decision when they replace this guy!

  13. Well, I guess, even if he didn’t plan to, Alonso will be moving to McLaren. This now seems like a crazy house. One thing I finally saw going forward was the fact that they have finally added some important technical people with Alison and Loic if I remember well. NOW they needed the time. The truth is, since 2010 they just went backwards with every season.

    1. Alonso would be taking a step backwards by moving to Mclaren. Even with the Merc engine they are still not as quick as Merc. What makes you think Honda will be as quick as Merc with a year less matured engine? XD

      1. Mattiacci would take some time to settle down and bring the team back to shape. Since Stefano’s resignation is with immediate effect, he will have to start right away. I am hoping James Allison will take charge at this point.

        Alonso is pretty much stuck with Ferrari. He has run out of choice for 2015 !!!!
        2016 is the earliest he can make a reasonable move. For next year.

        Mercedes is full
        Red Bull – Not performing & full
        McLaren – Maybe good. But dunno how good Honda will be next year ?

    2. The truth is, since 2010 they just went backwards with every season

      That presumably includes the last-race showdown in 2012?

      1. @raceprouk

        That presumably includes the last-race showdown in 2012?

        Definitely. There was a last race show down for 2 reasons, Alonso had a stellar year and McLaren/Red Bull threw away lots of points. That F2012 needed others to stumble, and for Alonso to be there to pick up the pieces (Valencia was a great example of that). It was a great car in the rain and very reliable – but Ferrari was horrible with its in-season development of the car.

  14. Better a new car salesman than a used car salesman. I guess.
    But what the heck. I follow F1 for its political farce, and on paper, appointing a career salesman to manage the operations of any racing team is a masterstroke. When it also happens to be the team with the greatest sense of entitlement, well, that’s pure genius.
    Unless of course the guy has more untapped potential than the F14 T. Then it’s all going to become rather boring.

    1. Amazing post, +1

    2. {giggles quietly} Awesome post!

      1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
        14th April 2014, 16:09


    3. Love it! I am now on board with this change!

    4. GB (@bgp001ruled)
      15th April 2014, 2:36

      but that only means a lot of money is going to come in, not that the team will be competitive. ferrari has already lots of money, or at least I wouldnt say that has been the problem…

  15. Don’t be too quick to judge people by their appearance, but this guy looks like Luca…

  16. So someone without a motorsport career background now has the most prestigious title in the business, Ferrari Team Principal. That makes no sense at all but LDM’s not stupid, he must know something we don’t.

    Or he’s devaluing F1’s most famous team, thereby devaluing the sport and driving the share prices down for Bernie…..

  17. He’s an Italian looking Alec Baldwin.

    1. I hope that in his first day on the job, he recites Alec Baldwin’s monologue in Glengarry Glen Ross. If that doesn’t get their team moving in the right direction, I don’t know what will.

  18. Was he the first person Luca saw after Domenicalis quit?

    “Hey you, yes you, you’re the new team boss, be here early on monday you need to sign for your new key cards and learn what a CNC machine does”.

    1. Why the heck a TP should know how to operate a CNC machine?

      1. First he needs to know what it does.

  19. I’ll give this man the benefit of the doubt. This isn’t the first time someone with relatively little experience (or none) in Formula 1 has been thrusted into a particularly powerful position. Look at Flavio Briatore, he had actually said he wasn’t even interested in the sport, and look what he did with Benetton.

    1. *has been thrust

      (forgive the Grammar Nazi in me)

    2. yeah few people here realise that whether it be racing cars or running a coffee shop, if a manger has the ability and the time to learn quickly the new industry then there is no problem. But surely this is a stop gap for Ross as there is no time…

    3. well, even Luca wasn’t a man with a lot of racing experience when he got the job at ferrari, right?

  20. The problems at Ferrari are higher up in the management. And by higher up I mean all the way up. To the very top. Luca. Luca is the problem.

    1. It is very possible that Luca is the main source of their problems, but to my mind their problems appear to stem from an inability to develop a competitive engine, an apparent lack of aerodynamic knowledge and a lack of ideas about how to solve this…the fix has to start with a new head of the racing team surely, since (s)he is responsible for getting the right people into the right places. Whilst I am no Ferrari fan (based on the Veto they held (hold?) for so long), I don’t want to see them beaten because they’ve put a car salesman in charge…

    2. Luca is the CEO of Ferrari SpA. If you think he has any real say in how the F1 division is run, you’re very much mistaken.

  21. I know people are huge fans of the cliche ‘F1 is a business’, and maybe in some ways it is. But in other ways it just isn’t. It’ll be interesting to see if having business-people as team principals is actually a good idea. It hasn’t really worked for Sauber. Yet having someone who was born and bred in racing seems to be working splendidly, like with Williams. I really hope Mattiacci doesn’t prove me wrong. I like my sport being about more than numbers, money and sterile greed….

  22. I have a feeling he’s just filling in in wait for a proper replacement.

    1. I was thinking Flavio Briatore, perhaps?

      1. Oh my word! What a thought! Permatanned and perennially wrinkled Flavio with his fat wallet and sneaky demeanor.

        Yep! Will fit right in!

    2. @cyclops_pl – Interim, most likely. Even a highly capable sales manager would seemingly be better off with at least some racing background.

      Who inside the racing team has demonstrated the performance to validate a promotion from within? Just guessing that LdM is looking more to someone outside the team at this point.

      Brawn would be on the top of a very short LdM wish list one would think. Brawn doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to come back to F1 though.

      1. Very short wish list:

        …can’t think of any others unless they can poach someone. There should probably be a long gap from Briatore to Whitmarsh to represent desirability!

  23. Who ??

  24. So before we had the guy that mangaed the European Ferrari Supporters Clubs at the helm and everyone knows how it went. NOW we have this guy whom his only experience is selling Ferraris to filthy rich people and has never even dreamt of heading a go cart team let alone the most renowned racing team on the planet…….i don’t get it……..we should see people like Graeme Lowdon, Martin Withmarsh, Giorgio Ascanelli, Aldo Costa, Craig Pollock, Paul Stoddart, Eddie jordan, Tom Kristensen………..and the list goes on…….. what the hell happened to common sense????? and more importantly why do these people forget how they can use their money???

  25. I don’t think that this is good choice. Maybe it’s an interimistic solution.

  26. A puppet goes out, another (seemingly) puppet comes in. You just got to love Montezemolo.

    1. he wouldve been cheap :)

  27. Mark in Florida
    15th April 2014, 0:27

    This guy is probably LDM`s secret love child. Who is being presented now as a great team leader. Ferrari is in a complete nose dive right now so sad to see it makes you wish for the good old days.

  28. I think this speaks volumes as to where Ferarri’s head is at.

    Rather than bringing in a TP to turn their sporting business around, they bring a salesman in.

    Competing via politics rather than performance is not a strategy i particularly respect.

  29. Hmm… was this chap chosen by the Mafia? Is he a “made man”?

  30. What happened to Massimo Rivola? I thought he was being groomed for the TP job.

  31. He’s a placeholder for Ross Brawn.

  32. ferrari……….words fail me!

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