No concerns over Ferrari-heavy F1 leadership after Domenicali appointment

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Formula 1 teams are not concerned about the plethora of ex-Ferrari chiefs at the top of the sport after Stefano Domenicali was appointed CEO from 2021.

Last weekend, it was confirmed the Italian, who was team boss at the Scuderia between 2008 and 2014, will take over from Chase Carey, who ended Bernie Ecclestone's 40-year tenure in the position back in 2017.

And soon after, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto welcomed Domenicali's return to F1 and praised Carey for his work.

“This is an important day for our sport, with the announcement from Liberty Media that Stefano Domenicali will take on the role of President and CEO of Formula 1,” he said.

“On behalf of Ferrari, I would first like to thank Chase Carey. There have been many positive changes made to the sport under his leadership, in particular the promoter’s relationship with the teams.

“Very important decisions have been taken concerning the future of Formula 1, such as the new Concorde Agreement and the creation of an operational structure that will help the sport grow in terms of its audience and its appeal to the younger generations.

Binotto Carey

"And let’s not forget that Formula 1 has managed to put on a World Championship this year under very difficult circumstances.

“We very much appreciate the fact that continuity is assured as Chase stays on as the non-executive Chairman of Formula 1.

“We are very pleased that Chase’s role will be entrusted to Stefano as from 1st January. His talents as a manager and especially his knowledge of the sport, combined with his experience and personal qualities, make him the ideal choice to carry on Chase’s reforms.

“Personally, it will be a pleasure for me to work with a good friend, as we came through the ranks at Ferrari together. I look forward to working along with all the other stakeholders in this sport and with him to make Formula 1 even stronger and more spectacular.”

But with three former Ferrari chiefs soon to have three of the most important positions in F1, is there any concern that could lead to a bias towards the Italian team?

“I think it’s great for the sport. He’s one of the good guys, having competed against him when he was the team principal of Ferrari," Red Bull boss Christian Horner commented.

Horner Domenicali

“He has a lot of integrity, he was a racer, a competitor, he understands the business. Obviously, he spent his life in the commercial world outside F1 over the last few years. He’s done a great job at Lamborghini, and I think he will be a great asset to F1.

“You look at the make-up of the top end of the sport, with Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Stefano and it looks like the mid-90s or early 2000s [Ferrari] set-up, but I don’t think that there’s any particular bias or love towards Ferrari from any of those individuals. I’m sure Stefano will be scrupulous in his impartiality."

That view was shared from every team boss who was asked about Domenicali during the Sochi race weekend, and even Lewis Hamilton believes F1 is now in a safe pair of hands.

“I know Stefano really well,” he said. “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.”