The Morning After: Benvenuti Stefano!

Stefano Domenicali

Once shown the door by the team he loved, Stefano Domenicali is officially back and in a better position than ever after Formula 1’s announcement in Sochi on Friday.

We knew it was happening, but now it’s official: Stefano Domenicali will be F1’s next CEO.

Possibly the most popular move in the F1 paddock since they canned ‘incremental elimination’ qualifying after one disastrous showing at the 2016 Aussie Grand Prix, the consensus seems to be that Domenicali is a true racer who understands what makes the sport special, which is a quality it can be argued incumbent Chase Carey does not possess.

That’s not to say Carey’s tenure has been a bad one, or that it was time for him to go, but it’s understandable to want someone in charge who has been in and around motorsport their entire professional life, and not someone who’s there as a direct extension of the company that seeks nothing more than to make a buck.

So, allow me to join the chorus in welcoming Stefano Domenicali back to F1. Between COVID-19, the reg changes in 2022, and the likely change of engine formula in 2026, he’s going to have three immense challenges on his plate from the get go. Here’s hoping he’s up to the challenge.

Friday Figures

0.791 seconds. FP2 Gap between P2 Lewis Hamilton and P3 Daniel Ricciardo – bigger than the 0.665s difference between the next ten cars combined. As Fernando Alonso would say, “what a yoke”.

Seven. Positive COVID tests from the latest round of 3,256, including most notably F1 journo Will Buxton. Hoping for a speedy recovery to Will and the other six, and also that this isn’t a sign F1 has a problem on their hands.

P17. Lance Stroll’s final position in FP2. According to Racing Point, it was due to “overdriving”, but it’s worth bearing in mind he’s yet to score a point in three attempts at Sochi (twice his teammates have). Perhaps it’s just his bogey track?

Quick Hits

So, who’s gonna get the petition going for Stefano to grow Chase’s moustache?

We all assumed as much, but it’s nonetheless interesting for Toto Wolff to just come out and say Ferrari were blocking him from taking the F1 CEO role. Something tells me he could still be interested further down the line.

The reported pink-and-green livery for Aston Martin next year doesn’t sound like a good idea in theory… but if it turns out like this, I can get behind it.