Mattiacci: 'I got a call and thought it was a joke'

Friday 18th April 2014, 12:11 by TF1T Staff 

Marco Mattiacci in China this weekend ( Ferrari)

Ferrari's new team principal Marco Mattiacci - a relative unknown in the Formula 1 paddock - revealed during an interview that he received a call from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo out of the blue just hours before he was confirmed as Stefano Domenicali's replacement.

The 43-year-old believed it was a joke at first, but soon realised that Di Montezemolo was being serious when he said a plane ticket was waiting to fly the Italian from America to Italy that same day.

"I received a call at 5.58am on Friday morning," he said. "It was the chairman Montezemolo on the phone, and he told me this is my idea. And I thought that April Fools was already far away, it was 15 days later! Then after the second or third minute of discussion I understood that it was serious. I understood because there was already a ticket ready to go from New York, to Milan."

Once he arrived at Ferrari's factory in Maranello, he spent some time with the outgoing Domenicali discussing the position.

"Stefano is a great person, he's a friend of mine. We spent Saturday, a few hours, Monday, we spent the entire day together," he added. "He is a person that I have the utmost respect. First as a human being, second as a professional. So it was natural for us to discuss the role."

Mattiacci believes his business background will help him and help the Scuderia get back to the front again.

"In the last 20 years I have assembled a lot of teams, I've benchmarked a lot of business structures, and as I told you this is a different perspective. Probably not in terms of a sporting team, but definitely assembling teams, working with people, managing people from different nationalities, with diversity, diversity in the industry, diversity in nationalities. This is a very specific culture, I'm aware of that. Time of reaction is completely different, you need to do things that happened yesterday, not in two months, like in corporate.

"I'm not an engineer but we have 800 people that are working to make the car faster, and as I said the best talented engineers. For me it's to get the highest motivation possible, and to define a certain project management. It's not me that's going to give one extra second to the car, it's the engineers who work for us."

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