Ex-Ferrari boss Domenicali to take over as Formula 1 CEO

2020 F1 season

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Former Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali is poised to make a surprise return to Formula 1 as the CEO of the sport, RaceFans has learned from a source with knowledge of the situation.

The role of CEO will be relinquished by Chase Carey, who took up the position in January 2017 following Liberty Media’s takeover, and has recently overseen the successful completion of negotiations to extend F1’s Concorde Agreement with all 10 participating teams. Carey, who also holds the role of F1 chairman, is expected to retain links to the sport in an outward-facing role.

Domenicali, 55, is well-connected both to Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn and FIA president Jean Todt through his spell at Ferrari. Born in Imola and educated at the University of Bologna, Domenicali joined Ferrari in 1991. He took over from Todt in charge of the team in 2007 and oversaw its most recent championship success the following year, before standing down in 2014.

In December that year Domenicali took over as the head of the FIA’s single seater commission. Two years later he became the CEO of Lamborghini, which is now believed to be up for sale by parent company Audi.

Domenicali is expected to take over the role before the start of next season. Liberty Media declined to comment when approached by RaceFans.

The appointment of Domenicali means the top roles at both F1’s governing body and commercial rights holder will be held by former Ferrari principals. However Todt, who became FIA president in 2010, has indicated he will not seek re-election when his current term expires at the end of next year.

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78 comments on “Ex-Ferrari boss Domenicali to take over as Formula 1 CEO”

  1. Ferrari stich up. They’ve locked out the top three spots.

    1. It’s the only top spots they can get at the moment.

    2. @falken

      Doesn’t change much. It’s not like that they will start winning even if they have every policy in their favour. Heck, they couldn’t win with illegal engines that were a second a lap faster than their rivals.

    3. Considering how they treated Domenicali… not so sure that’s an advantage.

  2. I am not sure of the politics of this but I always liked this guy definitely the most personable character in recent F1 managment.

    1. Same here. He is a good bloke, let’s hope he is a good F1 CEO.

      1. Certainly in yesterday’s round-up @dieterrencken gives him a glowing review as a very good man and the perfect man for the job, so I’m good with that and happy to trust Dieter’s insight.

  3. Well, I would say that is a surprise…

  4. Another ex-Ferrari man as FIA boss, colour me shocked.

    1. *misread F1 as FIA, my bad.

      1. When I read the title I misread it too, and thought Mattia Binotto was being replaced by Stefano.

    2. Getting the old band back together.

      1. Ferrari International Assistance (retirement division)

  5. The Mafia of Formula One.

    1. I’m not sure what you mean by “mafia”. Can you elaborate please?

    2. Burned bridges by this team with both Brawn and Domenically so these people dont have much motivation to help the maFIA.

    3. So Ferrari are Mafia?
      This is a racist comment towards white Italians.
      Just as bad as saying hamilton must be a drug dealer as he is black.

  6. “I think that anybody who’s been an active and important player in a certain team within the last few years, to take on that responsibility at F1 would automatically create conflicts of interest, perceived or otherwise,”
    So said Louis Camilleri. So we should expect Ferrari to veto the appointment then?

    1. He left 6 years ago. Does that still count as last “few” years.

      1. Many of the people there are people he worked with and/or hired. So, I think that if Camilleri’s objection is valid then – for sure – it applies to this appointment.
        Perhaps it was a BS objection in the first place though?

  7. I can’t decide whether to make a remark about ”so its a no no for a team boss like Wolf, but not this guy?’ Or ‘so Ferrari have total control over the sport now?’

    But I’ll settle for ‘what a left field, completely brilliant pick.’ From what a few others have intimated; got out of Ferrari when he saw the ‘unique’ way they intended to go about their business in the future. Hope it turns out to be true.

  8. It’s mad how many exclusives this site has! I used to think “it’s not official until its reported by autosport”. I now think “it’s not official until its reported by RaceFans”. Bloody great job.

    1. And to think how many more readers completely worthless sites like PlanetF1 have. It’s criminal.

      1. If racing lines put up a decent system for us to comment on this site would be massive.

      2. i like their quizzes

    2. Impressive indeed.

    3. I have seen the famous Italian Motorsport magazine Autosprint citing RaceFans as a source with regard to a story broken about a new Mercedes sponsorship deal.

    4. yo for real!

    5. True. I read it first at Russian sport media quoting RaceFans.

    6. Benson at the beeb must either have the same source(s) or wants to keep up with Racefans!


      1. He was still 8.5 hours later and after Reuters referenced racefans.net and confirmed the rumours.

      2. He tweeted great scoop by Racing Lines.

  9. He was a good pundit last year on Channel 4. Came across as extremely likeable and knowledgeable. I’m sure he will do a great job as Formula 1 CEO. Hopefully he can get his old mates at Channel 4 the TV rights from 2025 onwards

  10. Huge shoes to fill, Chase Carey has been brilliant. We are very lucky that CVC haven’t been in control of the sport during Covid as one shudders to think what might still be left.

    Task number 1 for Stefano – please tell Ross & Co where to shove their silly reverse grid Idea. Grazie.

    1. Huge shoes to fill

      Huge stache to match!

  11. When I was watching the buildup to the Tuscan grand prix and they had him on talking about Ferrari I had 2 thoughts “wow I haven’t seen him in a while, wonder what he’s doing now” and also “he always seemed a great guy, a shame Ferrari shredded him up he should still be in F1”.

    Probably his history with Ross Brawn helped him get a foot in but I can see him being a steady and sensible hand at the tiller.

    And before anyone says anything I’m really not a huge fan of Ferrari.

  12. I am not at all sure it is healthy to have four ex-Ferrari senior staff at the top of the F1 pyramid: Todt, Brawn, Domenicali, Tombazis.

    1. Witan, you could also ask whether it is necessarily entirely healthy for there to be an even greater personal conflict of interests for Todt when his son also manages Charles Leclerc – therefore creating a financial interest for Todt’s family with regards to the success of Ferrari and Leclerc.

    2. Brawn is ex-Mercedes as well and basically wrote the hybrid formula on their behalf…

      1. Brawn did not write any hybrid rules, he is not an engine man. Gilles Simon, on behalf of the FIA, lead the team which included representatives from Merc, Renault and Ferrari and observers from Cosworth and Porsche and possibly Honda as well. Last minute Ferrari forced a change from a I4 to a v6 delaying the change by at least a year. Stop repeating nonsense lies.

        1. Yep, this is the official version but Bernie thinks differently and I believe him more than anything Megatron (or anybody else) has to say. Btw your avatar doesn’t help either…

  13. Agris Rūmītis
    23rd September 2020, 0:32

    so the question really is will Ferrari/Domenicali will take on to beat INEOS/Mercedes.

  14. Domenicali resigned from Ferrari in April 2014, went to Audi and has been CEO of Lamborghini since March 2016. So his connections with Ferrari are no longer strong. But he’s an extremely competent manager who understands cars, motorsport and marketing, so F1 will in good hands for a long time – he’s young – 55 years old.

    1. I think he still has quite a good line to many people within the team @greenflag. But then he seemed to work together well with many of the other teams when needed as well, and everyone speaks of him as a good guy.

      This is a very good pick in my view. He understands the way of F1, Ferrari will have a hard time fooling him, he knows his way within German motorsports as well from the last few years and he seems to be a good manager with people skills to get things going.

  15. Diversity hire? Let’s see, former Ferrari employees hiring another former Ferrari employee. Maybe next year they can branch out and hire a Sicilian?

    1. It would be Liberty hiring him, a US company.
      I think his departure from Ferrari wasn’t amicable. I expect he would look after the interests of F1 as that’s what he’s paid to do and if he doesn’t he may end up back at Lambo.

    2. Its the americans hiring an Italian here. And Brawn, while also an ex ferrari guy, then had his break and return with Honda/Brawn GP and Mercedes, so you can hardly call him a Ferrari man anymore @jimfromus

  16. I’m not sure I would accept this if I were Red Bull or Mercedes. It’s nearly ludicrous to have Brawn,Todt, and Domenicali in those positions. This can only be a joke. I’m sure that Helmut Marko has already accepted the position of President of F1 and Norbert Haug will be in charge of all engine development change decisions.

    1. Yeah, I am sure Mercedes hugely objects to having Ross Brawn in a top role in F1 … @freelittlebirds. As for Red Bull, I think I even read that Red Bull had been in talks with Dominicali over Audi/VW/Lambo engagement in F1, so they too will feel very badly done for with this pick.

      1. @bascb I agree that Brawn has ties to both Ferrari and Mercedes but it just seems that these folks have way too many ties to Ferrari.

        Without a doubt Audi and Porsche should have had their own teams and engines in F1 and hopefully will in the future. It’s quite incredible that they are not competing in F1.

        1. I think that it is just a case of VW weighing the cost vs rewards and also the strategy to get as far away from dirty dieselgate ICE units @freelittlebirds – with that, it was the sensible step to go Formula E with Audi.

          And since VW seems to now be offloading both Bugatti and Lamborghini as well as Bentley (well, and SEAT, but who cares for that brand) I think it is even less likely we’ll see any of their brands anywhere near F1 soon.

      2. You do understand that toto wolff & Mercedes FIRED Ross Brawn right? How many favours do you think that bought them?

  17. Will this mean that fuel sensor gate decision will be reversed then?

    1. This is F1 Management not the FIA

  18. This came out of nowhere. Silly season is really going strong..

  19. I didn’t see this coming, but a good choice if this happens. BTW, he became TP in 2008. Todt was still in that role the previous season.

  20. So it’s time for Toto to signed one year deal with Mercedes.

  21. So Ferrari vetoed Toto Wolff from taking that position claiming it’ll be unhealthy for the sport and then put their own man there? Did I understand this wrong?

    1. If by their own man you mean the guy they kicked out unceremoniously after he dedicated his life to the firm? sure…

      1. yeah, the poor guy became the CEO of Lamborghini.

        1. If your life is F1, Lamborghini is a huge disappointment.

  22. lol, that’s going to put the conspiracy theorists amongst the pigeons.

  23. So, Domenicali on top of Formula One Management
    And Gerard Neveu stop WEC engagement at the end of 2020 and goes for FIA president in 2021
    And, behind all of that you can see one person pulling the strings, but officially it’s someone who retired
    Yes, I can see Jean Todt having a legacy

    1. LDM?

      1. Luca has no chance today to say anything for Ferrari or FIA

  24. @keithcollantine @dieterrencken

    However Todt, who became FIA president in 2010, has indicated he will not seek re-election when his current term expires at the end of next year

    Isn’t it the case that he CANT seek re-election, having run 3 terms?


    1. There was talk that the FIA membership had discussed revisiting the election statutes given the havoc caused by Covid, although I believe it is no longer the case.

  25. You forgot to mention my conspiracy on faceless, characterless yet opinionated critics. You can do better, write a counter argument, the least one can do.

  26. If Domenicali is taking over for Chase C. aka The Stache, then he is employed by Liberty Media.
    This is a business. A BIG business. His involvement with the teams, the FIA and past employers should assist him in running THE BUSINESS.
    There must be a reason that Liberty selected him to run their business and it is most likely with the expectation of making the business more profitable. And in the current climate(s) that is going to be a challenge.
    Does Chase C. stay on as Chairman of Liberty Media.?

    1. Not enough caps and bold.

      Please amend for your next post.

  27. i like domenicali but really he’s 55 . does he moisturise? .

  28. Go against Domenicali only why was in Ferrari 7 years ago is undeserved; it should consider the entire carrer of the guy and his competence in automotive and motorsport. who compares the situation with the ban to Wolff is disingenuous. Wolff is now (not in the past) the boss of the most important team

  29. So Ferrari are Mafia?
    This is a racist comment towards white Italians.
    Just as bad as saying hamilton must be a drug dealer as he is black.

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