Marco Mattiacci has broken his silence to suggest Sebastian Vettel was his “parting gift” to Ferrari.
After just seven months in the job, the Italian has been replaced as Ferrari team boss by the Marlboro executive Maurizio Arrivabene.
“My best wishes to him are sincere,” said Mattiacci, as he spoke for the first time since his ousting to the well-known Ferrari insider Leo Turrini.
“He (Arrivabene) is a very competent person and I am sure the fans – and I include myself – will get the results they expect.”
On his Quotidiano blog, however, Turunni said the 43-year-old did not want to talk about the details of his departure from Maranello.
“No. And neither do I intend to talk about it in the future,” he insisted.
But Mattiacci denied that his short F1 adventure had been an unpleasant one.
“No, you’re wrong,” he said. “It was a period I lived with enthusiasm, in the midst of passionate employees.
“I do not feel like a failure. I feel like someone who has worked for Ferrari for 15 years, not seven months. And this is a great privilege in life.
“I am one of the few people lucky enough to have worked in the service of a special company, and no one can take that away from me.”
Told, however, that the story did not end well for him, Mattiacci insisted: “You know the motto — what does not kill you makes you stronger.”
As for what his personal achievements have been at Ferrari, he answered: “I am convinced that a series of small steps will pay off over time.
“I have seen pictures of Vettel in the Ferrari box for testing in Abu Dhabi and I can say I am happy to have brought him to Maranello where he already brings a new energy, a fresh enthusiasm,” said Mattiacci.
Asked if Vettel wearing red is Mattiacci’s parting gift to Ferrari, he said: “If you write that, I will not be sorry.” (GMM)