A letter sent to Ferrari staff explaining why Marco Mattiacci has been replaced at Gestione Sportiva throws some light in the decision. Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne explained to the staff at Maranello that he is committed to “ensure Ferrari maintains its position of influence in the governance of F1” or in other words that he wants the F1 boss to be in with the right people and not trying to create better structures. Mattiacci was smart and quickly identified that F1 needs to change to progress and that the teams can only be powerful if they work together, rather than always being divided and conquered.
With Arrivabene in charge of politics at Ferrari, Ecclestone will see Ferrari as a continuing ally. The two men know how the other operates.
“Maurizio brings a unique set of experiences with him. In addition to his long-standing relationship with our team, he has also served on the F1 Commission and is already keenly aware of the challenges we face,” Marchionne wrote. “He has a thorough understanding of the governance mechanisms and requirements of the sport, the level of competition and the challenges.
“In Maurizio, I see the qualities of someone who leads by his strong personal example, his professionalism, and the integrity of his decisions – in short by the type of person he is.”
The weak point is that Arrivabene has no experience running racing teams and is famously not very open with the media. Thus one would expect to see further changes at Ferrari, perhaps with a “sporting director” kind of figure to run operations and talk to the world, leaving Arrivabene doing the back room deals.