(Motorsport-Total.com) – Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is convinced that Stefano Domenicali is the best choice as the future CEO of Formula 1. Although his first contact with the Ferrari team boss at the time was not a positive one: “We had our first real encounter in Monaco when he protested against us about ‘Reifengate’,” laughs Wolff.
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That was in 2013, when Mercedes stayed in Barcelona after all the other teams had left to test new Pirelli prototype tires. Because there was a strict test ban in 2013 and the loophole that Mercedes had entered with it was a bit too thin, a controversy developed out of this – which ultimately ended with a harmless warning for Mercedes.
Today Austrians and Italians can laugh about it. Wolff thinks that Liberty Media has made “a great move” by signing Domenicali: “Stefano is a man with a great personality, very good integrity, and he knows the sport.”
“He was already sports director, team boss, he had difficult times and successful times. He was on Audi’s Formula 1 project for a while and has now led Lamborghini to enormous financial success. These are great cars. He is a very, very good one Choice.”
Domenicali: focus on future issues
In addition, when he takes office in January 2021, he can concentrate on the essentials because his predecessor Chase Carey has already taken the biggest cow, the new Concorde Agreement, off the ice.
“It’s good that that’s done. So Stefano can take care of optimizing the sport, winning sponsors, making great TV deals, taking us to new places and new routes and inspiring a new generation of fans, above all Channels that exist today. “
Wolff clarifies that he himself was not interested in the job as Formula 1 CEO. Even if he admits in retrospect: “Everyone knows that there were initial talks with Greg Maffei (President of Liberty Media). But they did not lead to anything.”
Conversations with Liberty: So yes!
An interesting correction, because in May 2019, when the story about the conversations with Maffei mentioned by Wolff became public, the Mercedes team boss classified them “in the field of fables” and criticized the high-circulation ‘Kronen Zeitung’: “There has a journalist wrote a funny story that is full of speculation. “
Be that as it may: Wolff has since decided against the job as Formula 1 CEO, for which Liberty boss John Malone and Maffei reportedly wanted to win him, and would presumably not have been able to take it even if he did would have wanted that because Ferrari has threatened to veto it.
“I love where I am,” Wolff clarifies, “and it became clear to me that I love the stopwatch, competition and racing so much. Today I am co-owner of a Formula 1 team, together with Mercedes, and have to That’s why I tweak every day. Ultimately, it wouldn’t have led to anything anyway because Ferrari wouldn’t have accepted it. “
When asked whether he really believes that, Wolff replies: “No. I know that! But it’s okay. You have this right, and I respect that. Perhaps I would have thought the same in your place. It’s a difficult decision, because you you need the best man for this job. But I think they have him now. Stefano is the real deal. “