Domenicali: I called Alonso, Raikkonen and Vettel after I quit

Stefano Domenicali during the Malaysian GP weekend his final one as Ferrari team principal

Stefano Domenicali during the Malaysian GP weekend, his final as Ferrari team principal

Stefano Domenicali, who has kept a low profile since his departure from Ferrari, has finally spoken out about his departure from Maranello revealing that world champion Sebastian Vettel was one of three drivers he called on the day he stepped down as team boss.

Until now, Domenicali has been silent since leaving his post at Maranello due to the fabled Italian team’s poor results, but an  interview was posted by none other than the respected Ferrari source Leo Turrini, on his reputable and highly regarded Quotidiano blog.

Domenicali reportedly said that when he quit, he made three phone calls: “In alphabetical order, to Alonso, Raikkonen and Vettel,” he said. “Fernando and Kimi are true friends to me. I regret the results. I did not put them together to make them fight for sixth place, but unfortunately that’s how it went.”

Stefano Domenicali with Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen

Stefano Domenicali with Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen

He sidestepped the issue of Ferrari’s highly controversial pit strategy in Barcelona, claiming that he did not even watch the Spanish Grand Prix on television, “Maybe I will not even watch Monte Carlo.”

When it comes to Monaco, he recalls 2001, Michael Schumacher’s fifth win in the principality, “I remember that night we were all confident that soon Michael would beat Senna’s record of six wins, but unfortunately it never happened.”

As the conversation turned to Schumacher’s skiing fall and coma, Domenicali admitted: “Sometimes I think that if we [Ferrari] would have had him between 2008 and 2013, I would have had at least one title. But do not misunderstand me: I think Alonso deserved to be champion in both 2010 and 2012.”

As for the third driver he called on the day he stepped down, Domenicali was less forthcoming, “Why I called Seb? You’ll have to find out the answer for yourself, sorry.”

Stefano Domenicali with Sebastian Vettel

Stefano Domenicali with Sebastian Vettel

On his own future in Formula 1, Domenicali ruled out returning with another team, “I have never excluded staying in racing, but I have always excluded working for another team, whether it is Caterham or McLaren or whoever.”

“It would not work when I go to the wall and cheer for Alonso and Raikkonen. But in a different area? Why not,” he said. “I am receiving a lot of proposals, even from different areas, but honestly I have no hurry to decide.  I realize that I am a privileged one when looking at the situation in Italy and in Europe today.”

Domenicali declined, meanwhile, to talk publicly about his successor, the inexperienced Marco Mattiacci but did point out, “Mattiacci did not ask me anything,” he admitted. “It’s a good thing to see that he did not need advice.”

Meanwhile German correspondent for Sport Bild, Bianca Garloff, claimed on Wednesday that the interview posted on Turrini’s blog was in fact a fake. (GMM)

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