|Luca di Montezemolo and Marco Mattiacci|
It's open war now between Luca di Montezemolo and FIAT's chief Sergio Marchionne.
Marchionne's harsh words during the Italian GP week end leave little room for maneuvering, except perhaps with respect to the size of di Montezemolo's exit bonus.
Not that di Montezemolo is taking it sitting down. Milano's Corriere della Sera quotes the Ferrari president as calling this "the end of an era" and that Marchionne and the new family leadership at Fiat will make " Ferrari become American".
What does that mean and how does it relate to racing anyway? Will they all have to wear sweaters?
|with Gianni Agnelli, his son Edoardo Agnelli and Cesare Fiorio|
Ferrari had been controlled but independent from FIAT since.
|With Lapo and John Elkann|
On the competition side, di Montezemolo
But time passes, Agnelli is now gone as is his brother Umberto, both dying within a year of each other and what used to be the Agnelli family is now New York born John Elkann, the chief executive at FIAT is now Canadian Sergio Marchionne, FIAT is now FIAT Chrysler.
Marchionne has brought in "american style" management and the new group will go public in New York October of this year. FIAT still has not built a decent car of note except the 500 so the prestige of Ferrari is key for success on the stock market along with Maserati and Alfa Romeo. Some say Marchionne wants an American to head the prancing horse, some say he will step in himself. For sure the plan is to expand production.
The doubt, many fear, is that a Scuderia Ferrari not insulated from the larger FCA group could be vulnerable to market pressures, No wins at the track could be seen as a reason by shareholders to just pack up and go home, like BMW did, like Toyota and Honda did.
These is the realities of giant conglomerates but it has never been Ferrari's, the one team that has participated in every single Formula 1 Championship since its inception.
Through thick and thin, triumph and misery.
Already press is speculating on the future of Fernando Alonso at the Scuderia. He and di Montezemolo were in the midst of renegotiating the 2017-19 contract extension, thought to be in the order of 30 million euro a year (based on what Mclaren Honda is said to have offered the Spaniard). If Marchionne steps in, it would effectively have to be a now contract, says Autosprint, and the Canadian, notoriously averse to paying out big salaries , would be in a position to have to justify that huge contract while defending the deep and painful cuts made to FCA.
Not exactly the picture you want to present to potential investors. Enzo's not happy.