Fiat chairman John Elkann has hailed the sweeping changes made by a resurgent Ferrari ahead of the 2015 season.
New York-born Elkann, Fiat-Chrysler chairman and the grandson of the great patriarch Gianni Agnelli, was quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport as insisting that the fabled Maranello team needed to react.
“2014 was a disaster,” he said, “and change was inevitable.
“The most important was the release of Luca di Montezemolo, who had led for over 20 years with great energy and commitment.
“He was particularly good at preserving the charm and magic of the brand, creating the best cars in the world and until 2008, managing to succeed on the circuit, thanks to the unbeatable Todt and Schumacher,” said Elkann.
“The task of returning to these glories now belongs to Sergio Marchionne, but many other things have been changed at Maranello and we are happy to see that we had a good start to 2015.
“Maurizio Arrivabene has taken the lead of the Scuderia, at the steering wheel are two great champions and the team has risen back to the top step of the podium,” Elkann added.
Like Elkann, Ferrari legend Niki Lauda also thinks the departure of Montezemolo as president was the right move for the fabled Italian marque.
“It was painful for Luca,” the now Mercedes team chairman told La Repubblica, “but it worked.
“I am a friend of Montezemolo, but I have to admit that after 23 years, maybe a cycle was finished. I hope, indeed dream that one day the two of them (Montezemolo and Marchionne) will make peace,” Lauda added. (GMM)