sport

Mattiacci: I have alot to prove

Marco Mattiacci has vowed to win over the sceptics following his appointment as Ferrari's new team principal this week.

Mattiacci has confirmed he was approached last Friday by president Luca Di Montezemolo to take over from Stefano Domenicali, initially believing it was an April Fool prank being played a fortnight late.

The fact Di Montezemolo had a plane ticket lined up for the 43-year-old to travel immediately from New York to Italy quickly convinced him of the serious intent.

Domenicali's resignation, following a poor start to this season and with only one trophy to show for his six years at the helm, was announced on Monday.

But with no motorsport experience to his name - he has served for the last few years as president and CEO of Ferrari's North American operation - Mattiacci has a lot to do to convince Ferrari fans he is the right man to recapture the team's glory days and end their current barren spell.

"It is very motivating for me (to prove people wrong)," said Mattiacci on his first visit to a Formula One paddock ahead of Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.

"I accept (the challenge) because sometimes you can bring a new perspective in looking at issues and opportunities.

"I first need to prove I am at the level of Ferrari, and of Formula One, so you have in front of you an extremely motivated person.

"Over the last few years I've assembled a lot of (business) teams, working with people, managing people from different nations.

"I will try to bring some of my best practices from that role, but (F1) is a very specific culture.

"Reaction time is different. You have to do things yesterday, not in two months like in the corporate world.

"So I come with a lot of humility to understand, to work very hard, this is what I can commit to the team and drivers, and we have the best drivers in the world.

"I am an extremely humble person who will listen, and will fight 150 per cent to be a facilitator, to utilise the best talent in Ferrari."

Mattiacci claims he will at first take stock of Ferrari and assess whether the team needs restructuring or restrengthening.

"When you first arrive you look at what is good, and in this team there is a lot of talent," added Mattiacci.

"I'm working with Mr Di Montezemolo to see what is needed, but at this moment in time we cannot make any call in such regard.

"We have a history, a pedigree, that is unique, and a pride that is impressive, and we will react, but to talk about restructuring is too early.

"Mr Di Montezemolo is extremely focused on me giving any type of support to the team, and if needed, to go into the market.

"But only to go into the market if I believe there will be added value and an impact on this team."

Mattiacci has at least utilised Domenicali's experience in his bid to hit the ground running.

"Stefano is a great person, a friend of mine and we spent a few hours together on Saturday, and then the entire day together on Monday," revealed Mattiacci.

"Stefano is a person I have the utmost respect for, first as a human being and second as a professional, so it was natural for us to discuss things."