Stefano Domenicali does the job Bernie Ecclestone made well-known. That’s to say he’s Formula One chief govt, its head honcho.
And he needs it recognized that, as was the case together with his predecessor: ‘The buck stops with me.’
World champion Max Verstappen even threatened to stop if such a schedule continued – Saturday given over to dash qualifying adopted by the dash race – claiming the game’s DNA was being violated. Others spoke out in opposition to some very American razzmatazz on the pre-race grid in Miami a fortnight in the past.
‘I don’t need a society through which folks can’t say what they need,’ the Italian tells Mail Sport in his most forthright interview since taking up from the moustachioed Chase Carey two years in the past. ‘However drivers generally must do not forget that they’re a part of a broader image. We don’t have to be egocentric.
F1 boss Stefano Domenicali has hit again following criticism of the brand new dash format launched in Azerbaijan final month
Reigning world champion Max Verstappen threatened to stop if such a schedule continued
‘They’re a part of this sport and this enterprise, and it grows as a result of we’re considering larger. Typically being out of our consolation zone just isn’t straightforward, however we can’t be lazy or complacent – simply as we will evaluate a number of the specifics of the dash weekend format on the finish of the season as soon as we’ve got tried it out on the meant six events. We received’t have sprints each weekend, both.
‘However we’ve got a brand new viewers and want to offer worth for cash each session, not let everybody drive round in circles for the only advantage of engineers and drivers.’
As for dropping Marauding Max, wouldn’t that be a blow to the present?
‘I mentioned the problems with Max (earlier than the final race in Miami). He stated he cherished the game and what he was doing. He’s world champion and is combating for a 3rd title. He was born in a automotive. I’d say he’s more likely to keep longer than me. It’s not an issue.’
Domenicali demonstrated authority over his £2billion-a-year enterprise final week when he briskly known as off what would have been in the present day’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Imola in response to the near-apocalyptic flooding within the area of his delivery.
He had travelled out to northern Italy on Tuesday to evaluate the destruction at first hand quickly after the red-alert warning was sounded, staying together with his dad and mom and listening to the rain tip down on the household home as he tried to sleep that night time.
Subsequent morning he known as collectively the related events and cancelled the occasion, forfeiting £15million-plus in internet hosting charges.
The scenario was particularly emotional for him as a result of, as a boy, Domenicali labored on the automotive parks at Imola, directing the likes of Ecclestone to their reserved locations, and studied for a enterprise administration diploma in Bologna, capital metropolis of Emilia-Romagna, the place no less than 14 have died. Twenty-one rivers have burst their banks and several other cities are submerged.
This weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was known as off on account of excessive rain in Imola
Homes have been see almost utterly submerged within the flooded water in Ponte delle Grazie
The scenario was particularly emotional for Domenicali as a result of, as a boy, he labored on the automotive parks at Imola
‘It’s a calamity, together with for family and friends,’ he says. ‘I do know lots of people who misplaced all the things – the home, the automotive. As is the case with members of AlphaTauri (the Purple Bull sister crew with a manufacturing facility at close by Faenza). The crew are doing an unbelievable job to assist them, and we’ll do the identical.’
Method One donated €1million in the direction of assuaging the catastrophe.
One doubt aired in regards to the 58-year-old Domenicali, the final title-winning Ferrari crew principal, is that he’s ‘too good’ to rule F1’s piranhas. But, little question to dispel the notion, he demonstrates his understanding of energy play earlier than we sit down to speak in his workplace on the fifth flooring of his HQ off Regent Avenue.
He factors out the chair reverse his desk is intentionally designed too slim and too arduous for guests to sit down comfortably, and little egg timers, fantastically introduced, that may be deployed, nevertheless jocularly or menacingly, to present visitors, say, 5 minutes to spit out their arguments and go.
However he kindly dispenses with the equipment of gentle torture, and we sit as an alternative on a few armchairs by the facet.
After the gravity of Imola, we transfer on to different subjects. One is Lewis Hamilton, with whom Domenicali developed an honest relationship after the Briton misplaced the title so agonisingly to Verstappen in Abu Dhabi two years in the past. Their understanding was based on shared expertise of last-day woes, for Hamilton’s first championship success in 2008 got here on the remaining bend on the expense of his man, Felipe Massa.
So ought to Hamilton, aged 38: a) stick at Mercedes; b) search a drive elsewhere; or c) retire?
‘I’d like him to remain within the sport 100 per cent, 100pc– 1,000pc!’ declares Domenicali.
‘I don’t need to give Lewis any recommendation as a result of that will be disrespectful to Toto (Wolff, Mercedes’ crew principal). And Lewis has such deep expertise that I’m certain he doesn’t want my enter as a result of he is aware of what he needs.
‘He loves our sport. He has been in it since he was a baby. Now his position in F1 is getting larger than an F1 world champion, given the best way he will get concerned in lots of issues exterior the game and takes an energetic position in society. He takes us in the direction of new dimensions.
Domenicali urges Lewis Hamilton to proceed pushing for an eigth world championship win
The F1 boss believes Hamilton, 38, has change into larger than a world champion of the game
‘However his love is Method One, and, after all, he needs to realize his dream of being the one driver to have received an eighth title.
‘Toto is completely centered on making Mercedes enhance. He instructed me he made changes inside the crew to make sure that there’s the appropriate depth to achieve efficiency as quickly as attainable. I’m certain it will occur very, very quickly.’
No matter ending is written to the nice Hamilton story. He talks glowingly of Lewis’s team-mate George Russell as a ‘protagonist’ for the title in years to come back. He’s aged 25, as is Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. McLaren’s British hope Lando Norris is simply 23.
‘There’s an amazing future for Method One,’ says Domenicali, including with half a smile, ‘and I feel they know who should take the choices.’