Kimi Räikkönen has told the media of his shock at the sudden resignation of Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali.
Domenicali, who had been at the helm of the team since 2008, unexpectedly announced his immediate resignation on Monday. The Italian seemingly took responsibility for the team’s continued poor form, paving the way for Ferrari North America CEO, Marco Mattiacci, to assume his duties.
“I think everyone is a bit surprised but it was Stefano’s own decision as I understand it,” Räikkönen said in the lead-up to this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.
“If he felt like that [resigning], then it’s fair enough. Life goes on. He was a great guy. I worked with him for many years and I spoke to him often. But that’s the way it goes. We can handle this sort of thing.”
The Finn’s sentiments were somewhat echoed by teammate Fernando Alonso, who described Domenicali’s decision as “responsible”.
“It is not easy when you have a very privileged position in an F1 team to step back and say maybe it is better to move. He did, for Ferrari’s interest,” he said during Thursday’s FIA Press Conference.
“That is something we cannot forget. We have to respect that decision.”
Given Mattiacci’s negligible background in motorsport, neither Alonso nor Räikkönen was exactly singing the new boss’ praises.
“It’s too early to say if he will be very good or very bad,” Alonso said, when asked of the team’s new leader.
“I think we need to make sure that he has all the facilities ready, all the technical stuff ready, all the team behind him and try to help to settle down as fast as possible.”
“I don’t know him [atlhough] we’ve probably met before,” Räikkönen shrugged.
“He’s got great people around him so I don’t see there being any issues. I’m sure he’ll do everything he can to push things forward.”
Images via Sutton Images and XPB Images