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F1: Beyond The Grid

Stefano Domenicali: driving F1 forward

Tue Jun 13 2023

Stefano Dominikali's Approach to Formula One

  • Stefano Dominikali believes in respecting traditions while embracing change in Formula One.
  • He emphasizes the importance of considering the bigger picture and what is best for the sport.
  • Dominikali has had success at Ferrari, winning 14 drivers and constructors' titles.
  • He is determined to capitalize on the recent popularity of Formula One.

Stefano Dominikali's Journey to Becoming CEO of Formula One

  • Stefanot is now the president and CEO of Formula One, which he did not expect five years ago.
  • He knew what to expect in terms of managing the business, but there were challenges due to the pandemic, political evolution, team involvement, media broadcasters, etc.
  • Stefanot received the call about the job offer at his house in Monza after the Italian Grand Prix and had to give an answer within a week.
  • His family embraced the opportunity despite having to move and change their lifestyle.

Balancing Personal Life and Formula One

  • Stefano refers to Formula One as his family business, having been born into it professionally.
  • His wife is knowledgeable about the business, but his kids are not super fans.
  • He believes it's important to keep one's feet on the ground and not believe that Formula One is the only thing in life.

Responsibilities as CEO of Formula One

  • Stefano feels the weight of responsibility that comes with running Formula One and believes it's important to consider the impact decisions have on people, businesses, and other factors.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of feeling a sense of responsibility in their work.
  • They prefer to prioritize their duty over personal desires.
  • The speaker acknowledges the great responsibility that comes with their position and the need to make certain decisions alone.

Future Planning for Formula One

  • The speaker is looking ahead to the future of Formula One and needs to understand the dynamics and elements that will shape it.
  • The speed of change in life is very fast, so decisions need to be made with a calm and clear vision.
  • Chase has helped with long-term planning, such as implementing the budget cap.
  • The speaker's experience as team principal of Ferrari for seven years is useful in understanding the complexity of the ecosystem in Formula One.
  • Ferrari is important to Formula One because they are part of its legacy, but other teams are also strongly invested in it.
  • The speaker believes that all teams need to grow for the sport to grow.

Financial Stability and Future Agreements

  • The budget cap was implemented to provide financial stability for teams and promote a competitive field.
  • Sustainable financial stability is important for all teams to ensure growth and development.
  • The current Concord Agreement is a couple of years old, but discussions for a new one are happening.
  • There is an ongoing evaluation on the number of teams that should be on the Formula One grid, with 10 teams being considered enough to create a good show and competition on the track.
  • The discussion on whether to have more than 10 teams will be part of future talks related to the renewal of the Concord agreement.

Welcoming New Teams and Closing Gaps

  • The speaker is open to new teams joining F1, but wants to ensure they are the right fit and respects those who have invested in the sport.
  • A question is posed about the larger gaps in the field for 2023 despite regulations meant to close them, and the speaker notes that while there is a significant gap with Red Bull, other teams are very close and have done an incredible job.
  • The aim is to keep the gap as small as possible and other teams are likely working on catching up within the budget cap.

Max Verstappen and Drivers' Opinions

  • Changing regulations mid-season to slow down Red Bull is not fair and correct.
  • Leaving the regulations the same and allowing everyone to converge at the time is the right approach.
  • F1 has always been a sport with cycles of dominance, and the objective should be to ensure that these cycles continue in the future.
  • Max Verstappen is an impressive driver who has won more races for Red Bull than any other driver in their history.
  • Comparing drivers of different generations is not ideal, but Max's numbers speak for themselves, and he is one of the best drivers ever.
  • Max's negative opinions about certain aspects of the sport do not concern his manager because it's part of his personality, and everyone has a bigger role to play in the growth of this sport.
  • The speaker is not worried about Max's future because they have a good relationship and will not interfere in his choice.

Formula One Calendar and Races

  • The ideal number of races for Formula One is 24, which strikes a balance between logistics and market demand.
  • Madrid wants to host a race in the future, but no decision has been made yet. Barcelona still has years left on its contract with Formula One.
  • Formula One used to have a European-centric calendar, but now has a worldwide approach with more races.
  • The rotational principle could be applied to some European races in the future, but not in the same year.
  • Historical races like Monza, Silverstone, and Spa are important for providing context for new races and have their own personality.
  • "Historic" should not be seen as old and out of fashion; it has a greater responsibility to evolve with the world.
  • While new generation fans may not have knowledge of past drivers or technical elements, it's important to find the right balance between tradition and progress.
  • Historical races will always be part of the calendar, but some may need to work on infrastructure.

Promoters and Partnerships

  • Historical races will always be part of the calendar, but some need to recognize the need to work on infrastructure to meet fans' changing needs.
  • One example is when a race invested in infrastructure related to providing the best experience for fans.
  • The best promoter of the year award will be reintroduced at the end of the season with transparent evaluation elements.
  • F1 is an IP business that requires partnerships with promoters, media, broadcasters, teams, sponsors, and partners.
  • Las Vegas Grand Prix Corporation is doing an incredible job preparing for the upcoming race in an iconic location with high expectations and demands.
  • The race weekend was scheduled for a specific time due to limited options.

Relationships and Responsibilities

  • Ross Braun has been important for Formula One and still provides strategic help despite stepping back this year.
  • Formula One and FIA have a good relationship and need to work together for the betterment of the sport.
  • Financial regulation is a massive task that requires competence from regulators.
  • Stefano feels a responsibility to shape the next level of sport with Mohammed as they have a solid relationship.
  • Stefano doesn't focus on learning things while being the boss of Formula One.

Personal Approach and Fan Stories

  • Stefano Domenicali, former F1 boss, emphasizes the importance of always being on standby mode and listening to people in his job.
  • His goal is to be loyal, transparent, and credible with no compromise.
  • Neil Oakley is praised as an unsung hero in the sport by fans who appreciate his contributions to shaping F1 history.
  • Fans share personal stories about witnessing McLaren Honda testing and Frank Williams' first victory celebration.

Additional Information

  • F1 Nation's preview of the Canadian Grand Prix and a new episode of Formula Y are available for listeners.