Next Ferrari chief focuses on F1

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PARIS (AP) — The incoming boss of Ferrari has one "very high" priority: getting his cars back on top of the Formula One podium.

Sergio Marchionne, also CEO of Ferrari's parent company Fiat Chrysler, said at the Paris Car Show that his "key objective is to re-establish Ferrari in Formula One," describing it as "non-negotiable."

The team's recent struggles on the race track are widely thought to be why current Ferrari CEO Luca Di Montezemolo is being pushed out.

At a tense farewell news conference, Montezemolo urged Ferrari's leaders to remember the importance of "selling the dream" of luxury cars. "Our myth has been based not only on Formula One."

Ferrari has fallen behind its rivals in Formula One in recent years. The last time it won the driver's championship was in 2007.

Marchionne says his own Ferrari is the famous "Enzo" model named after the company's founder. But the man who could drive any Ferrari he wants says he's not immune to the charms of rival German craftsmanship.

"When I was young and foolish I drove an M5" he said, referring to the high-end sportscar made by BMW.