Ferrari has confirmed Maurizio Arrivabene will replace Marco Mattiacci as team principal with immediate effect.
Arrivabene was vice president of Philip Morris and has been brand ambassador for Marlboro since 2007. Rumours in the Abu Dhabi paddock last weekend suggested such a move was imminent and that Mattiacci would be moved into a more senior role at Ferrari.
Throughout his time at Philip Morris Arrivabene has been closely involved in its partnership with Ferrari. His standing is such that he has been the representative for F1′s sponsors on the F1 Commission since 2010. Arrivabene is also a board member at Italian football giants Juventus.
“We decided to appoint Maurizio Arrivabene because, at this historic moment in time for the Scuderia and for Formula One, we need a person with a thorough understanding not just of Ferrari but also of the governance mechanisms and requirements of the sport,” commented Ferrari Chairman Sergio 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.”
Speculation about Mattiacci’s future surfaced at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as the Italian drew short of confirming he would be at the team for the start of 2015.
When asked by AUTOSPORT whether he expected to remain as team principal next season, Mattiacci replied: “I’m very focused at working very hard, as the first day I arrived at the Scuderia.