Marchionne downplays Sassi’s Ferrari exit


Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has played down any significance of their ex-chief engineer Lorenzo Sassi leaving the team and joining Mercedes.

Sassi spearheaded Ferrari's early-season revival in 2017 but was eventually sacked during the campaign in a Scuderia shake-up, a tactical move carried out to try and stop Ferrari's slide in the second part of the season.

Sassi was expected to stay within the Ferrari family and join up with Fiat Chrysler, but instead opted to stay firmly in Formula 1 with arch-rivals Mercedes.

But Marchionne is more than happy with his replacement and does not feel Sassi will be a big loss to the team.

"I don't know who said Sassi is a phenomenon, but I don't remember saying it," Marchionne told Spain's Marca.

"What is true is that our problems were not only due to him. Our intention was to keep him in GTs, but unfortunately he decided to leave and continue his career elsewhere.

"For the team it's a normal change and now we have Corrado Iotti and we're fine with him."