Date: 10th September 2014 at 8:39am
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Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo will step down from his role as chairman of the Formula 1 team next month.

The move follows talk throughout the Italian Grand Prix race weekend regarding the future of the 67-year-old.

The rumour was that Di Montezemolo was set to step down from his position with Ferrari to become President of UAE airline Alitalia Etihad.

There are strong links between Etihad and Ferrari, so the rumour didn’t sound so far fetched.

However Luca Di Montezemolo denied the speculation, highlighting his recent new three-year-contract and the news was welcomed by Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, but his comments appeared to anger some in the Ferrari hierarchy.

Ferrari’s parent company is Fiat and their chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne criticised Di Montezemolo.

‘I consider myself essential, of course, But I also know very well that I am at the service of this company. So to create positions, illusions that one can operate outside the rules, is talking rubbish.

‘It’s the same for him as it is for me; we serve the company. When the company has a change of plan, or if there is no longer a convergence of ideas, things change.’
Marchionne told the BBC.

And it didn’t take long for things to change with the announcement coming first thing this Wednesday morning.

‘This is the end of an era and so I have decided to leave my position as Chairman after almost 23 marvellous and unforgettable years in addition to those spent at Enzo Ferrari?s side in the 1970s. said Di Montezemolo in a statement.

‘Ferrari is the most wonderful company in the world. It has been a great privilege and honour to have been its leader. I devoted all of my enthusiasm and commitment to it over the years. Together with my family, it was, and continues to be, the most important thing in my life.

‘I wish the shareholders, particularly Piero Ferrari who has always been by my side, and everyone in the Company the many more years of success that Ferrari deserves.?

In a final twist it appears that Marchionne will be the man who will replace Di Montezemolo.