Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

Hamilton says F1 couldn’t have chosen better than Domenicali as CEO

2020 Russian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton praised Formula 1’s decision to appoint Stefano Domenicali as its new CEO next year, calling it “amazing” news.

F1 confirmed today Domenicali will take over from Chase Carey as CEO in January. Domenicali was previously the team principal of Ferrari between 2008 and 2014.

Hamilton welcomed the news, which was revealed by RaceFans on Tuesday, and officially announced during today’s second practice session.

“I know Stefano really well,” said Hamilton. “He’s one of the nicest guys.

“Actually, I don’t think they could have really chosen someone better, to be honest, to replace some big shoes that Chase [has]. He’s done an amazing job and has always had such a great approach.”

“I think Stefano has got a great heart, he’s got a good family and good morals,” Hamilton added. “The future’s positive.”

Many other figures in Formula 1 were quick to praise Domenicali’s appointment. Speaking before the news was made official, Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul said Domenicali “has plenty to offer in such a position” following his work at Ferrari and, more recently, Lamborghini’s road car division.

“He’s obviously got a very good knowledge of the sport itself, he’s got very good knowledge of how the sport can support the manufacturers. Lamborghini obviously [are] not in Formula 1, but he also knows, probably, why they are not in Formula 1. So I guess he’s got a different, interesting perspective to offer in relation to that.

McLaren issued a statement welcoming the news of Domenicali’s hiring and praising Carey’s management of the sport since his took over in 2017.

“McLaren Racing applauds Chase Carey for his leadership in bringing our sport to the cusp of a new, exciting, promising era,” it said. “In the three years he has been at the helm, the sport has been reinventing itself: it has embraced digital and social media and opened itself up to fans more than ever; it has new financial regulations including the all-important budget cap that begins next year; new technical and sporting regulations and a new Concorde Agreement to govern the sport for the future; and it has a new focus on sustainability and diversity as intrinsic elements of the sport’s growth and success.

“Second, the team embraces the decision to appoint Stefano Domenicali to the position of president and CEO of F1, and believes he is the right person to lead the sport into its new era. Stefano has a rounded view and broad experience at team, manufacturer, regulator, brand and senior leadership levels that equip him well to build on the strong foundations Chase and his team have laid for the sport’s continued development and growth.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Hamilton says F1 couldn’t have chosen better than Domenicali as CEO”

  1. Ouch – Toto was in the running initially.

  2. Having seen a lot of online ‘huh, look at all those former Ferrari people at the head of FIA and F1’, seeing a lot of the paddock rightly praise this choice and the man himself is good.

    Domenicali does indeed seem like a fine choice, with intelligence, business experience, good knowledge of F1 and respectful and constructive ties to a large amount of car manufacturer, motorsports and F1 figures, and at the same time having been involved with something else than F1 for half a decade now (time flies!) he has some distance to the immediate issues, which isn’t a bad thing.

    With Carey having finished the Concorde deal, and the 2022 rules decided on both technical and financial aspects, seems like a good time to have him take over the reign and lead FOM/F1 from here.

    I mean, yeah, I get the superficial visual effect of all of the Ferrari-related men, but for all of them it has been a while, they have done other things in between, and several of them left because they didn’t agree with Ferrari over where to go next.

    1. @bosyber I also find it weird all the talk about ex-Ferrari people now I’m charge that supposedly means Ferrari will have (more) control, but as far as I remember Domenicali didn’t leave in very good terms (and went to work for a rival, Lamborghini) so I’m more inclined in thinking he will make them no favours than the opposite

      1. but as far as I remember Domenicali didn’t leave in very good terms

        Just for the record, Domenicali resigned twice from his position as a Ferrari team principle. The first one was after the Ferrari harakiri in the title decider in Abu Dhabi 2010. His resignation was rejected by Montezemolo though whom Domenicali is a protegee and kept secret from the rest of the team/media till reported by Autosprint later that year.

        The second resignation came after Mercedes one man show in the 2014 Bahrain GP when Luca left furious and didn’t even finish the race. In that race, it became clear even to the casual fans how big the gap is to Mercedes. Despite this, Domenicali wasn’t under scrutiny by the top management and instead the technicians were targeted. After all he was good at what he does which is the respect of the budget allocated by the mother company Fiat which started to squeeze Ferrari a little bit after the death of Gianni Agnelli and the appointment of Marchionne as head of the group. This is one of the main reasons that pushed the latter to get rid of Jean Todt who didn’t care about the budget.

        By the way, Domenicali’s second resignation caught the top management by surprise. Montezemolo tried to dissuade him without success and then consulted with Marchionne who came to Maranello one day later with the excuse of inaugurating a new area of the Ferrari museum, to deal with the problem of replacing him.

        Domenicali’s decision to leave was praised by the Italian media back then because he did it the same day the Italian government overturned imposed restrictions on the top managers privileges of state-owned companies which outraged most of them.

        1. Thanks for all the details @tifoso1989

  3. Too funny, this will blow some tinfoil hats off the snowflakes and their mafiosa conspiracies!

  4. And here I was worrying LH would give SD a thumbs down. SD must be so happy that he’s cracked the nod from the GOAT!

  5. Anyone wondering just what Lewis actually knows about Domenicali?

  6. Because it also means Toto is more likely to stick around at Merc?

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