Luca Di Montezemolo has confirmed he is stepping down as Ferrari president after nearly 23 years, with FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne taking over.

Montezemolo confirmed the news in a statement released on Wednesday morning, despite having scorched such rumours during the Italian Grand Prix weekend.

"Ferrari will have an important role to play within the FCA Group in the upcoming flotation on Wall Street," Montezemolo said. "This will open up a new and different phase which I feel should be spearheaded by the CEO of the Group.

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"This is the end of an era and so I have decided to leave my position as chairman after almost 23 marvellous and unforgettable years in addition to those spent at Enzo Ferrari's side in the 1970s.

"My thanks, first and foremost, to the exceptional Ferrari women and men from the factory, the offices, the race tracks and the markets across the world. They were the real architects of the company's spectacular growth, its many unforgettable victories and its transformation into one of the world's strongest brands.

"A warm farewell and my thanks also to all of our technical and commercial partners, our dealers across the globe and, most particularly, the clients and collectors whose passion I so wholeheartedly share.

"But my thoughts go also to our fans who have always supported us with great enthusiasm especially through the Scuderia's most difficult moments.

"Ferrari is the most wonderful company in the world. It has been a great privilege and honour to have been its leader. I devoted all of my enthusiasm and commitment to it over the years. Together with my family, it was, and continues to be, the most important thing in my life.

"I wish the shareholders, particularly Piero Ferrari who has always been by my side, and everyone in the company the many more years of success that Ferrari deserves."

Marchionne had warned Montezemolo over his future earlier this week, being critical of his comments at Monza and saying "nobody is indispensable".

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F1 in general is the poorer for his going. Aside from all the politics, his was one of the (few) voices of reason, and his experience in the sport is unmatched.

Ferrari, I fear, as an effective F1 team are probably finished.

While they definitely need someone like Brawn, I cannot see him going anywhere near them - it would be a no-win situation for him.