The former Ferrari team principal, Stefano Domenicali, is set to be announced as the new chief executive of Formula One. Domenicali will replace Chase Carey before the 2021 season and a formal announcement from owners, Liberty Media, confirming his appointment is expected shortly.
Domenicali was sporting director at Ferrari when they took six consecutive constructors’ championships, between 1999 and 2004. The 55-year-old Italian took over as team principal from Jean Todt, who had led the team through that great success with Michael Schumacher, in 2008 – the last time the Scuderia won the constructors’ championship. He left the team in 2014 and has been president of the FIA single seater commission since then and joined Lamborghini as their chief executive in 2016.
It is understood teams have been informed of Domenicali’s appointment and that Carey will retain some role within F1. The American took over when Liberty Media bought F1 in 2007 and has overseen the sport’ s restructuring. He succeeded Bernie Ecclestone who was swiftly sidelined from power and has since ceased to be employed by F1.
Carey has recently concluded the new concorde agreement, the commercial deal between teams and F1 including a radical change in the way prize money is distributed and a budget cap aimed at ensuring the sport remains sustainable in future. He has been instrumental in opening the sport up to social media and expanding the calendar. Crucially, he was at the helm as F1 successfully retuned to racing during the pandemic and is currently on course to complete a 17-race season, a prospect that appeared unthinkable in April.
Domenicali will join two other former Ferrari alumni at the top of F1 – Todt is president of the FIA, while Ross Brawn, who was technical director during Schumacher’s period of dominance, is now F1’s head of motorsport.
While management changes are under way, F1’s world champion, Lewis Hamilton, has also been included in this year’s Time list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Hamilton, who could match Schumacher’s record of 91 wins with victory at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, has been recognised by the magazine in a year when he has used his profile to actively promote anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement. He remains the only black driver in F1 and has been outspoken in his insistence the sport must embrace greater diversity.
His contribution was acknowledged in Time by the only black Nascar driver, Bubba Wallace. “His activism has also moved the world,” he said. “Lewis has brought international attention to the Black Lives Matter movement, through his advocacy on social media and at F1 events. He’s an inspiration for everyone.”