New Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci says he is “extremely motivated” to prove he is good enough for the role.
Mattiacci replaced Stefano Domenicali at the start of the week and is present in China for his first race in the new job. Having no previous F1 experience, Mattiacci insisted there were strengths to the way he will be able to approach the role and – facing the media for the first time – said he is determined to prove any doubters wrong.
"It is very motivating for me,” Mattiacci said. “I accept it because sometimes you can bring a new perspective in looking at issues and opportunities. The fact I need to prove I am at the level of Ferrari first, and the level of Formula One, so you have in front of you an extremely motivated person."
While acknowledging the position Ferrari finds itself in the championship, Mattiacci said he still believes the team can save its season.
"We're not going to give up. Our goal is to close the gap as much as we can to the leaders, which is Mercedes, which is not an easy task. You all know racing better than me, that there are many variables that can influence a lap, a race and a championship. This is the fourth race and still very early to make decisions."
Asked if he would be looking to restructure the team in some way, Mattiacci said he has yet to have enough time to analyse its strengths and weaknesses.
"It's too early for me to make such statements. I can tell you I have worked at Ferrari for 14 years, and in the last four days in Maranello we have an amazing group of talented people. We have a history, a pedigree, that is unique, a pride that is impressive, and we will react, but to talk about restructuring is too early.
"Mr di Montezemolo is extremely focused on giving any type of support to the team, and if needed, to go into the market. But only to go into the market if you believe there will be added value and an impact on this team."
And Mattiacci confirmed he had spoken to Domenicali about the task that lies ahead of him, having taken on the job at such short notice.
“Stefano is a great person, he's a friend of mine and we spent Saturday a few hours together, Monday we spent the entire day together, so yes [I spoke to him]. Stefano is a person that I have the utmost respect for; first as a human being and second as a professional. So it was natural for us to discuss this outside the roles.”