Mercedes Zetsche sees 'big question mark' after Marchionne exit

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Dieter Zetsche, the man at the helm of Mercedes-Benz, believes Sergio Marchionne's departure from Ferrari has put a layer of uncertainty over Formula 1.

A severe medical condition affecting the 66-year-old executive compelled the Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari boards to replace Marchionne last weekend, the House of Maranello appointing John Elkann and Louis Camilleri as Chairman and CEO, respectively.

Both men met with Scuderia boss Maurizio Arrivabene on Monday, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen joining in via video conference, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Winning the world championship is Ferrari's only goal," said Elkann afterwards.

It's unsure how changes at Ferrari will impact the team's driver line-up for 2019, with many suggesting the Scuderia could choose to retain Raikkonen rather than promote rookie Charles Leclerc.

But questions on how a change of the guard at Maranello may alter Ferrari's stance on Formula 1's political front also linger.

For Mercedes CEO Zetsche, Marchionne's unexpected and unfortunate exit is a significant event, and one that could disrupt talks, relations or alliances between Ferrari, F1 teams and the sport's commercial rights holder.

"I have always worked together well with Sergio, even throughout our battles," Zetsche told Ansa news agency.

"I don't know what will happen now, because we must start over. I have no doubt that I will continue to have good relations as I did with Sergio.

"It is clear, however, that we had reached certain fixed points on which we could work together. This will no longer be possible," he added.

"The future is a big question mark."

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