Clearly, Ferrari doesn't race for fourth place, and this week, major changes continued at the Scuderia.

It was a rough year for Ferrari, and the Scuderia conducted its season-ending tests in Abu Dhabi this week with a view toward a fresh start in 2015 with new leaders and a new ace driver.

Though plenty of other Formula One teams were disappointed with their finishes in 2014, Ferrari was perhaps the most eager to put this season in its rear-view mirror. The Scuderia finished a distant fourth in the Constructors standings with 216 points, well behind No. 1 Mercedes (701 points), and Ferrari failed to win a single race as the Silver Arrows dominated the grid.

It was an especially bitter pill for a team that claims 16 Constructors championships and 15 Drivers titles – the most in history – and is the only surviving team from F1's first season, 1950.

Clearly, Ferrari doesn't race for fourth place, and this week, major changes continued at the Scuderia.
Ferrari named Philip Morris executive Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal. He replaced Marco Mattiacci, who held the job for only seven months after taking over for Stefano Domenicali, who resigned in April amid the Scuderia's early-season struggles.

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Phillip Morris (through its Marlboro brand) is a key Ferrari sponsor, and that played a role in Arrivabene's ascension. Still, he's no stranger to F1, and has been intimately involved in the Ferrari-Marlboro partnership. He also has served as the sponsors' representative on the FIA's F1 Commission since 2010.

In a statement, new Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne said:

"We decided to appoint Maurizio Arrivabene because, at this historic moment in time for the Scuderia and for Formula One, we need a person with a thorough understanding not just of Ferrari, but also of the governance mechanisms and requirements of the sport."

Arrivabene's background is primarily in marketing and communication, and most recently he held the title of vice president of consumer channel strategy and event marketing for Philip Morris. He has been with the company since 1997.

Arrivabene now leads a team that's rife with change. Marchionne took over in October when longtime boss Luca di Montezemolo quit in a disagreement about Ferrari's future, and the company itself will be spun off from parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in 2015. Fernando Alonso, a two-time world champion, has left the team and will be replaced by four-time champ Sebastian Vettel, who's coming off a so-so season by his own high standards. Kimi Raikkonen, one-year into his second stint at the Scuderia, will drive the other car.

Amid all of this, Arrivabene is tasked with turning around a sleeping giant, which despite its massive resources, brand recognition and history, hasn't won a Constructors title since 2008. It's unclear how much time he'll get. Domenicali had six years. Mattiacci got seven months. Even with the backing of the team's key sponsor (and his former employer), Arrivabene would be best served to win – and quickly.

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