Did Ferrari block Montezemolo from becoming F1 chairman?

The Formula One Group has appointed a series of new directors to its board. But while ousted Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo is among them, the latest reports suggest that he was earmarked to become the group's chairman, but that Sergio Marchionne blocked the appointment.

Montezemolo, for those just joining us, served as chairman of Ferrari since 1991, but was ousted just a couple of months ago by Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles who took his place at the head of the table in Maranello. During his tenure as Ferrari chief, Montezemolo sat as the team's representative on the F1 board (and also as chairman of the Formula One Teams Association), but despite having broken ties with Ferrari, Luca was renominated to the board as an independent member.

That seat on the board, however, could have been at the head of the table, according to circulating reports, had Marchionne not expressed certain reservations, if not blocked the nomination outright. Montezemolo's appointment would have meant that both the F1 Group and the FIA would have been headed up by former Ferrari men, although Marchionne was quoted as saying that if it had been his call, he would have prevented Jean Todt from being elected to the presidency of the FIA as well.

The chairmanship of the Formula One Group is separate from the role held by Bernie Ecclestone, who will continue to run the sport's day-to-day operations. Ecclestone has also rejoined the board along with Paul Walsh, the former head of distilling giant Diageo who was also tipped as a favorite to chair the F1 board. That role instead will return to Peter Brabeck, the former head of Nestlé, who had previously stepped down from the chair of the Formula One Group.

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