The departure of Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has been on the cards for a while - not least since it's six years since the F1 team won a world championship and Italy's Tifosi are notorious for their impatience and sense of entitlement.

In the end, however, it's not the racing team's problems that have done for the man who at times seemed to be styling himself as the latter-day Enzo.

It is Montezemolo's insistence on maintaining a traditional shape for Ferrari - as an independent company with mostly separate engineering, finances and annual production restricted to 7000-8000 cars a year that has brought the turmoil

Fiat supremo Sergio Marchionne has grown steadily more impatient with what he sees as Montezemolo's intransigence when it comes to making maximum commercial use of the Ferrari name to the benefit of the whole Fiat-Chrysler group.

The rate of growth of VW's Lamborghini organisation - and the prominence of its on-message, youthful management - has shaded Ferrari, for all its power and prominence, in recent years, and Marchionne wants some of that. Today would not be too soon

It's ironic that 23 years ago Montezemolo's return to Ferrari (he had been a very successful F1 race team manager in the Lauda era) was as a moderniser.

Back in the early '90s Ferrari was making Mondials, 348s and Testarossas, none of them very good. Montezemolo made an instant decision to start making cars that were both more practical for buyers to use, better equipped and built, and nicer to drive. He was very hands-on, and the result was the 355, still celebrated as a driver's car, and a return to GT cars like the 456.

Montezemolo's unique relationship with (and trust in) Michael Schumacher built a great racing team - Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne were in there too - which delivered enormous success. But it ended, as these things do. The men who delivered the inspiration moved on and perhaps Montezemolo tried too hard to stick with the old ways.

Still, it's hard to imagine Ferrari without a leader that thinks of and plans for its interests first and last.

Marchionne will take over as chairman, and he's a modern thinker, but he'll be thinking of Alfa and Chrysler and the rest, and plotting to maximise the Ferrari halo for the benefit of the whole group. It is arguable that he could spoil what has been so painstakingly built up over nearly 70 years.

As I say, Montezemolo's time was probably at its end, and it's certainly arguable that Ferrari can now be managed more creatively. But the concern will be over the maverick tendencies of its now part-time chairman.

Be careful what you wish for.